Google’s Android Market gives you a 1-day money back guarantee on all apps, which effectively lets you “return” an app if you’re not satisfied. But there’s no way to try an iPhone app before buying it unless there’s a free (usually limited, or ad-supported) version also available in the App Store. Microsoft is taking a more Google-like approach with Windows Phone 7… and then going a few steps further.

Blogger Long Zheng reports that Microsoft is building a trial mode into the Windows Phone Marketplace infrastructure. Basically, users will be able to either “try” or “buy” any paid app from the Marketplace. You’ll be downloading the full version of the app either way, but developers will be able to determine what happens when you choose the “try” option.

For instance, the app might only work for 10 days, or it might include advertising. It might not have all the features of the full version, or if you download a game, maybe you’ll only be able to play through the first level.

This system will also make it very easy for developers to let you download the trial version of their software and unlock the full version once you pay up, because basically all this would do is change the license for the app on your phone from trial to full.

Brad Linder

Brad Linder is editor of Liliputing and Mobiputing. He's been tinkering with mobile tech for decades and writing about it since...