Microsoft is preparing to introduce a website  to sell Windows Mobile OS applications.

The clue to the launch, dubbed Skymarket is a job advertisement spotted by blogger Long Zheng. Microsoft is looking for a senior product manager who would oversee the marketing and development for the service, intended to complement the eventual release of the next mobile OS, Windows Mobile 7.

Third-party developers have built more than 15,000 applications for Windows Mobile, but the applications are sold through a multitude of vendors on different webites. The advertisement would suggest that Microsoft is aiming for something closer to Apple's one-stop shop approach with its iTunes Music Store.

One of the goals listed in the ad for position is making "the Windows Mobile marketplace 'the place to be' for developers wishing to distribute and monetise their Windows Mobile applications."

Apple created a new section for its applications within its iTunes Music Store in July. Those applications, which now number more than 1,000, are vetted by Apple and are not sold elsewhere.

Microsoft has already taken a shot at loosely roping its applications under one online roof with its [Windows
Mobile Catalogue

But the site is a facade, with links leading to vendors such as Pocketland, Handango and MobiHand which handle the transaction and downloads. By contrast, Apple's applications can be purchased and downloaded on its iPhone wirelessly.