When Microsoft rolls out the Mango update for Windows Phone 7 later this year, the company will also introduce a new web-based version of the Windows Phone Market. This will allow users to browser the Marketplace using a desktop web browser, read reviews, and purchase and download apps.
You’ll be able to login to the web site with a Windows Live ID to purchase apps using the credit card linked to your account. You can then send download links to your phone via SMS or email to initiate a download. It’s not quite as elegant as Google’s web-based Android Market which lets you start a download on your phone simply by clicking a button on the web. But it’s pretty close, and unlike iTunes, you don’t need to download an app to your desktop and synchronize your phone to install an app you discovered using a web browser.
Microsoft will offer parental controls to let you keep your kids from downloading paid apps or seeing apps with mature content ratings.
The web site will also make it easier for users, developers, and bloggers to share links to Windows Phone apps. Mobile apps for Windows Phone 7 will also start showing up in Bing search results.