Microsoft is making a couple of changes to the Marketplace for Windows Phone apps that theoretically won't have a major impact on most users, but are still worth noting. First, starting today, the Zune Desktop software will no longer be a place to browse and purchase apps; it will all be done either on the phone or in the web browser. Although the Zune software will still be used to apply OS updates, it's fairly obvious that Microsoft wants to keep Zune more focused on music playing than on being a desktop portal to your Windows Phone experience. Microsoft also notes that the vast majority of users are doing their app shopping on the phone or via the web.
Microsoft will also soon be requiring that Windows Phone devices run the latest version of the OS, version 7.5, in order to download, update, or review apps. That would be an onerous restriction except that Microsoft has done a remarkably good job ensuring that every Windows Phone sold to date can be updated to the new OS.
In both cases, Microsoft portrays the changes as a focusing of its effort into the areas that will matter in the future and, frankly, we're all for the company putting its engineering effort towards feature improvements and additions — especially when cutting legacy support shouldn't leave any users out in the cold. As for that future, Microsoft has said that any apps purchased on current Windows Phones will run on future versions of Windows Phone, even though it looks highly unlikely that said phones will be getting the Apollo update.