Microsoft has revealed it will hand over 70 percent of any sales of software sold in via its app store to the developer.

The company has also released tools to enable developers to build applications for the Windows Marketplace for Mobile app store, which was unveiled at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona last month and will be offered on Windows Mobile 6.5 handsets.

The Windows Mobile marketplace is Microsoft's answer to the Apple iTunes App store of iPhone applications offered as part of its software for the iPhone, which popularised the idea of buying and downloading mobile applications from the devices themselves.

Apple iPhone 3G review

Apple iTunes App Store review

Developers now can download a toolkit to begin building applications for the Windows Mobile marketplace. The toolkit uses existing application-development software for Windows Mobile applications, including Windows Mobile 6 SDK, .NET Compact Framework 3.5, Win32, Active Template Library, Microsoft Foundation Classes (Visual C++), Visual C#, Visual Basic .NET, ASP.NET and AJAX (asynchronous JavaScript and XML).

For an annual fee of $99 (£71), developers can sell up to five applications on the marketplace and set the prices for those applications, receiving 70 percent of fees paid for applications sold, Microsoft said.

However, the company will waive the annual registration fee for student developers who are enrolled in the Microsoft DreamSpark programme. Developers also can offer free applications on the marketplace if they so choose.

Microsoft also said it work with developers to test and certify their applications to run on Windows Mobile to ensure a smooth experience for end users.

Registration for Windows Marketplace for Mobile will begin sometime in the next couple of months, and developers will be able to submit applications to the marketplace from June 21.

Mobile buying advice

See also: Windows Mobile 6.5 gets new interface