Microsoft sent a letter today to Windows Mobile customers informing them that the Windows Mobile Marketplace is shutting down on May 9.
Beginning on that date, customers will no longer be able to browse, buy or download applications from their Windows Mobile 6 and Windows Mobile 6.5 phones.
Applications and games already purchased and installed on the phones will still work but additional updates and downloads will no longer be available, according to the letter. Microsoft is recommending that people with Windows Mobile phones review their applications and install any updates before the marketplace shuts down on May 9.
The letter also notes that if a customer’s Windows Mobile phone is wiped or a hard reset is done, that all phone data — including data, settings and applications bought from the marketplace, will be deleted from the phone.
Microsoft has replaced Windows Mobile with Windows Phone 7 as its smartphone platform. Windows 7 launched in late 2010 and despite positive reviews of the operating system — especially for the latest Windows Phone 7.5 version — it’s having a hard time gaining traction among consumers. Microsoft’s smartphone platform — meaning Windows Phone and Windows Mobile combined — held only a 4.4 percent U.S. market share for the three months ended in January, according to comScore.