A few weeks ago, Mary-Jo Foley at Microsoft watch first mentioned Agora during a roundup of the Windows Live services. It appears that Agora is the codename for the replacement for Windows Marketplace, unoriginally expected to be Windows Live Marketplace. What is surprising is that the existing site features a countdown to the new version, indicating that the launch will be Monday 28th August, 8pm BST.
Through Marketplace, Microsoft can provide Windows Vista compatiable downloads straight to the desktop, with their new Digital Locker technology making this process even more transparent. Marketplace will also provide yet another route to getting Windows Live on the desktop, beyond the possibiliy of OEM's installing Windows Live Essentials.
Here's waiting for Monday.