When Microsoft launched its mobile app store last month, Windows Marketplace for Mobile was only available for Windows phones running operating system 6.5. Although highly anticipated among users, the execution of the app store nevertheless put Microsoft on wobbly competitive footing. Here was Microsoft, a year and a half behind Apple on producing an app store, and the company had already dropped a boulder on its big toe by limiting the storefront to its brand-new operating system, which a bulk of its users didn't have.

Thankfully, Redmond seems to have recovered, and on Monday, Microsoft opened up its Marketplace app to more Windows phones. If yours runs version 6.0 or 6.1 of the operating system, you can now download the free Marketplace application by sending yourself a link from Microsoft's Web site.

Microsoft boasts approving more than 800 applications for Windows Marketplace for Mobile as of November 16, a little over a month after launching the digital storefront. But the figure pales in comparison to Apple's announcement of its 100,000 app milestone just two weeks before. Microsoft's has some serious work to do if it wants to attract more developers and attempt to reach Apple's benchmark. Making the Marketplace available to more users is a necessary first step.

Related: Microsoft opens online mobile Marketplace

Jessica Dolcourt reviews smartphones and cell phones, covers handset news, and pens the monthly column Smartphones Unlocked. A senior editor, she started at CNET in 2006 and spent four years reviewing mobile and desktop software before taking on devices.