(By Preethi J and Nikhil Pahwa) So the application ecosystem continues to grow, and following the success of the Apple iPhone Store, every handset manufacturer and telecom operator doesn't want to risk losing out. At the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, the GSM Association's premier event, Nokia and Microsoft unveiled their application stores: Nokia's Ovi Store Nokia will launch its Ovi Store for apps, with content, applications, videos etc, with the commercial launch planned for May, in 9 countries. Personalization and Content Discovery The Ovi Store appears to have a personalization angle to it - it doesn't serve up just any application, but also offers targeted content based on your social connections and physical location. But with thousands of applications, games, videos, widgets, podcasts and content available, how will users choose what to view and buy? To address the issue of content discovery, Nokia is implementing a "social discovery" feature - the store will display apps that your friends have bought, and that helps proliferate the applications. Reminds you of Facebook apps, albeit with a location input, doesn't it? Nokia wants to leverage its Forum Nokia network for the Ovi Store, with around 3.5 million developers. Apparently, developers will get 70% of the proceeds from any sale, after the credit card fees and operator cut have been paid off. Devices The Ovi Store will be available on S60 and Series 40 devices - which is substantial - and the Nokia N97, launching in June, will be the first device to have Ovi…
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