It looks like Microsoft is preparing the field for releasing the Mango update or as it will be officially known: Windows Phone OS 7.5. One of such changes preparing the field is the reorganization of the Marketplace, where I have noticed today a re-categorization of all apps.
The Marketplace is divided at the top level into several groups or categories:
- Carrier Apps
- OEM Apps
Where the Carrier Apps are the apps that your Cellular carrier developed apps are grouped. The OEM apps is where the smartphone manufacturer apps are grouped. Apps is the proper App Marketplace or where all apps are stored (including Carrier and OEM apps if they so choose to). Games acts as a shortcut of sorts into the Games category within Apps. Finally Music, which has all the music you can download if you have a Zune subscription or purchase through your account.
The Apps category was similarly divided into sub-categories that had clear boundaries but some overlaps. Some of the developers I’ve been in touch have expressed their hopes that some of those categories would be regrouped in order to make more sense from a consumer point of view. This seems to be what Microsoft is preparing so that the latest App wave can be grouped into more logical or potentially more flexible groups.
The new App sub-categories are:
- Music + Video
- Tools + Productivity
- Kids + Family
- News + Weather
- Travel + Navigation
- Health + Fitness
- Personal Finance
- Books + Reference
These categories clearly offer some space for overlapping and making apps show up.