Recently, Microsoft announced the first step towards the long rumored Store unification between Windows Phone and Windows 8: a unique registration process. What does it mean? Until recently, being a Windows Phone developer was different than being a Windows Store apps developer: they were two separate subscriptions, each with their own registration process and payment.
Now, the process has been unified: a single registration portal, a single registration process and, most of all, a single registration fee! Microsoft is doing an amazing job to attract developers to its new platforms: first they’ve dropped the registration price (from $99 to $15), now they’ve merged the registration process and they’ve lowered it by 70% of the original price. The new developer fee to pay, in fact, is $19, which will allow you to publish applications both for Windows Phone and Windows 8.
For the moment, Microsoft has unified just the registration process: since we’re talking about two different Stores (you can’t install a Windows Phone app on Windows 8 and vice versa), you will still have to use two different dashboards to publish and manage your applications on the store. So, if you’re a Windows Phone developer, your starting point will continue to be http://dev.windowsphone.com
And what about already existing developers? The good news is that, for free, you’ll gain access to both stores: so, if you were a Windows Phone developer, now you’ll be able to submit apps also on the Windows 8 store; if you were a Windows Store apps developer, you’ll be able to port and publish your apps also on the Windows Phone Store. And if you were already both? Microsoft has you covered by giving you a free token to renew your subscription when your account will expire (the account that expires for latest will count).
This news, combined with the announcements by Nokia that is going to release its first Windows RT tablet, will help more developers to support both platforms by giving them the tools to publish them both for smartphones and PCs / tablets. As I’ve already made in the previous post about the Nokia World, I suggest you take a look at this series of webcasts about sharing code between Windows Phone and Windows Store applications.
Keep up the good work!