Over at the Windows Phone Blog, Microsoft has announced a couple of changes coming to the Windows Phone Marketplace. First, the company will be removing the ability to download Windows Phone apps through their Zune PC software. Secondly, the app market will now only work with devices running Windows Phone 7.5.
Up until now, Microsoft has offered three ways to get WP7 apps: the web (Windows Phone Marketplace), the Marketplace app found on all WP7 devices or Zune for Windows. According to Microsoft, they just want to focus on delivering Windows Phone apps through the official Marketplace instead of spreading their efforts across multiple platforms.
What does this mean for Zune users? Not much. Although users can no longer download WP7 apps through their Zune software, the Zune HD app store will remain operational for everyone's Zune-specific needs. The software will also continue to be used for making WP7 handset backups and transferring files like photos and music.
Users still relying on older versions of WP7 will also need to update their Windows Phone operating system. The blog post says users running anything prior to 7.5 won't be able to submit reviews, update or download apps.
For users who need to update their phone, Microsoft says it's pretty straight forward -- just plug it into your computer and Zune (PC) or WP7 Connector (Mac) will handle the rest. If it doesn't appear to be working automagically, then you may need to start the software manually and click "Update Now" (PC) or "Install Updates" (Mac). For troubleshooting, see this article.