Those of you who have been anxiously waiting to buy one will now be able to do so. Some are reporting that this registry hack is no longer required to install Windows Phone 7 apps using Zune software, in India.
I was delighted to talk to and hear that my MVP colleague Muqeet Khan had officially purchased one, right here in Pune today, with Vodafone being his service provider. Unfortunately he was very disappointed to find out that he was unable to access the Windows Phone 7 Market Place and download or install WP7 apps. You can bet, that many people in India are going to be really disappointed if they realize that they are unable to access the Marketplace, via their cool new Windows Phone!
Hopefully Microsoft will realize this and make the Marketplace open to India too very soon. But then till such a time, so that the new India WP7 consumer is not disappointed, and does not getting a wrong impression about the capabilities and features of the Windows Phone, my MVP colleague Dhaval Faria suggested a small modification to the Windows Registry.
I did try it out and was able to access the Marketplace and make purchases too. First download and install the free Zune software from Microsoft. Having done that, click on the Start button or orb and in the search box type regedit and hit Enter. This will open the Registry Editor. Navigate to the following key: It should now look like this: Your Zune software will automatically start and you will be alerted with a following message: You will see the Marketplace tab too now, in your Zune software.
If its a Paid app, you can choose to Try it first or Buy it directly. The first time you buy it, you will be required to fill in your name, address, country of residence, credit card number, etc. Give your details, including Country as India, and you should be able to complete your transaction. Once you have completed the transaction, the app will be installed directly on your Windows Phone.
Next time onwards things become easy since you have entered your credit card and other details! I did make a few purchases and was alerted on my mobile phone that my Credit Card had been charged. I also received a confirmatory mail from Microsoft, giving me a statement of my purchases. There is one hitch. The next time you connect your Windows Phone, you may not see the Marketplace option. This means that you will have to modify the registry every time you connect it.
I have therefore created this registry file which I first double-click on, to add its contents to my Windows registry, and then connect my Windows Phone to my Windows 7 computer. I know its going to be a bit of a trouble for new WP7 users from India, but till such a time that Microsoft makes it possible for you to access the MarketPlace via your Windows Phone, you can use this method. You may also petition Microsoft to make it available worldwide soon. This tip works on my Zune v 4.
If anyone wants to give feedback in this regard, please do so in the comments.