It's all over the Internet now. Verizon Wireless, the biggest wireless carrier in the United States, has decreed that it will only allow apps to be purchased through its own app store.
So, Microsoft's Mobile Marketplace will be out. If you own a Windows Mobile app, you're at VW's mercy.
How is this right? Oh, right. Verizon as well as ATT as well as Sprint as well as T-Mobile all see themselves as "guardians" of hapless uneducated subscribers who need protection from the wild wild frontier of wireless Internet.
I totally agree with MacDailyNews that this is an attempt by VW to roll back the times after so many mobile platforms have started creating their own app stores, thereby, successfully wrestling away some controls from wireless providers (I can totally see the wireless head honchos calling ATT up and saying "you will be the death of us all" regarding their deal with Apple). The bottomline is this. iPhone users will never go for ATT controlling their app store experience. Why should Windows Mobile users?
One thing I fear is that Microsoft has sold out WM users (and other users of other platforms) by kowtowing to Verizon in order to gain a stronger foothold in the mobile market. I doubt that's the case since Zune materials and media isn't likely to be included.
Now, Verizon isn't totally saying no to other app stores. It's just not making them available to users right out of the box. Think of this as Microsoft including IE with Windows but it isn't saying you can't use Firefox or another third party browser.
Verizon won't just stop there. Blackberry. Android. Palm. You're all a part of this. VW is making this sound really good. Don't bite, my fellow mobile warriors. There's an acerbic taste to this and I'm afraid this will be pretty bad for all of us in the long run.
Bottomline from Verizon: Us or no one else.
Note: I wonder if there is something larger going on here than just VW simply asserting its rights as the false guardians of the wireless gateway.