Exclusive: Microsoft funding music mini-stores for WP7

Zune Music Marketplace coming to more countries this year

With Windows Phone 7 now well and truly launched around the world, some users have been lucky enough to experience the full set of features, and others have not. In many countries, handsets are somewhat 'crippled' by the lack of localised search, and importantly, a music marketplace. We're sure Microsoft is working to address the former, but now there's confirmation that Microsoft’s working to address the music situation.

Neowin has been told that Microsoft Australia has enlisted the help of record labels to create applications that will sit in the marketplace and allow users to purchase music. The development of the applications is being funded by Microsoft and there's no word as to how the applications will work with the Zune software on the phone – however, our source did make complaints about the complexities involved in storing downloaded files in the Zune music library. Apart from that, the development teams are apparently enjoying using and developing for Windows Phone 7. There was no word on pricing, nor any word on cross platform usage of music purchased in the mini-stores.

In addition to the aforementioned applications, our source also revealed that Microsoft intended to have the Zune Music Marketplace launched in Australia some time in 2011 and that the mini-stores were simply designed to fill the gap. One has to wonder how successful these mini-stores will be however, and if that money should have been spent on speeding up the launch of the Zune Music Marketplace.

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