Microsoft has flipped the switch on its new Windows Phone Web Marketplace, allowing users to easily discover applications and games for their Windows Phone devices directly from the browser and have them delivered to their phone via SMS or email link, WPCentral reports.

The move sees Microsoft mimic Google’s browser-based Android Market portal, which is able to directly deliver purchases to Android handsets, however Microsoft’s implementation falls one step short with the delivery of a SMS or email message to link the application to the device – resulting in a manual download.

However, Microsoft has made sure to tie Windows Phone owners’ credit card details to their Windows Live ID, enabling them to physically purchase an app from the browser.

As with Google’s Android Market, a number of apps are positioned in the coveted “Featured” spot, providing publicity to titles that Microsoft deems worthy.

Each listing displays the full description, screenshots, reviews, compatibility information and other categorical data. Microsoft has also included a “Related Apps” feature to drive clickthroughs to other apps, increasing their visibility on the Marketplace.

Screen Shot 2011 09 27 at 10.25.46 520x368 Microsoft brings browser based app purchases to Windows Phone Web Marketplace