Browse the Marketplace for Windows Phone 7 apps outside the USA

2 minute read

This article does technically not belong to this blog, for it does not contain any code samples – in fact it does not handle code at all. But since the launch of Windows Phone 7 is a very special occasion and the devices will hit my country (the Netherlands) very soon I thought it important enough to break rank for once.

For all kinds of reasons – mostly legal, I’ve been told - about 17 countries are included in the Marketplace for Windows Phone 7. This by no means that you cannot be part of the fun of the Windows Phone 7 launch if you are not inside the USA or any of the other countries – like me. All you have to do to view the Windows Phone 7 apps that are currently in the Marketplace is follow the simple procedure below:

  1. Install Zune software (if you haven’t done that already)
  2. Browse to This will redirect you to your local msn (in my case, but will also provide you with a popup that lets you choose between your local and the USA Choose the USA version
  3. If you are signed in with your live ID, sign out
  4. Create a new live ID that has its location in the USA. You need to provide an USA state and ZIP code that actually exist and match. Which can be easily obtained via this site. Simply click somewhere on the map, choose one of the cities it suggests, and presto – one existing zip code and state combination
  5. Start up the Zune software
  6. Login with your freshly created live ID
  7. Provide your birth date
  8. Click Marketplace
  9. Click Apps
  10. And there you are

Update according to Rob Houweling this procedure will only work if the OS language is set to English. See comment. Thanks Rob!

Update 2 this works on a Windows Phone 7 as well. Tom Verhoeff has a blog post which explains (in Dutch) how you can setup a phone to use a specific Live Id that has it's location in the UK and a billing adress in the UK that will allow you to buy apps using an ordinary Dutch credit card.

Bear in mind that your local Microsoft office does not support this procedure, so when you have problems you are basically on your own. But that is what you have your local Microsoft community for - they can probably help you out, and if not, there are plenty of Microsoft employees who will help you out sub rosa – if you just ask the right person kindly enough. After all, we’re all in the same boat ;-)

Have fun!