Microsoft Unifies Windows, Phone App Development

Microsoft announced a unified registration experience for both Windows and Windows Phone developers.

Microsoft recently unified Windows and Windows Phone app development, with a unified registration experience for both Windows Store and Windows Phone developers.

According to Microsoft, Windows developers are now also Windows Phone developers--and vice versa. The consolidation will reduce developer registration costs and management complexity. This aligns with Microsoft’s ongoing strategy of making it easier for developers to create apps that target both Windows and Windows Phone, while providing greater monetization opportunities.

With the new move, registered Windows Phone developers now have access to Windows Dev Center at no additional cost, using the same Microsoft Account used for Windows Phone Dev Center. Registered Windows developers have access to Windows Phone Dev Center at no additional cost, using the same Microsoft Account used for Windows Dev Center. New developers can register and existing developers can renew their account for both Dev Centers using the same Microsoft Account. They enter their registration information just once and pay a single lower price of $19 for individuals and $99 for companies–this is lower than the cost of both Dev Centers today.

Meanwhile, developers who are already registered with both Windows and Windows Phone Dev Centers using the same Microsoft Account will receive a code via email this month, valid for a free, one-year renewal. And students will continue to be supported through the Microsoft DreamSpark program.

In a blog post on the changes, Todd Brix, ‎general manager of Windows Apps and Store at Microsoft, said developers will continue to use the separate Windows Store and Windows Phone Dev Center dashboards to submit and manage their apps. However, developers can expect some differences in the steps they take to renew their account. The most notable for some Windows Phone developers is the addition of a credit card to validate all new account and renewals, he said.

“Over the last month, we’ve brought the Windows Store and the Windows Phone Store together into a single marketing and operations team to deliver a better experience for developers, end users and partners,” Brix said. “I am looking forward to working with all of you in the same way I’ve worked with the Windows Phone community over the past three years. Our focus remains to improve the way we help you reach new users and better monetize your apps, all while reducing friction and cost.”

Moreover, Brix said with the holiday selling season approaching, this is an ideal time for developers to tune-up and publish their apps for both Windows and Windows Phone to help increase their downloads and revenue. Last year, holiday sales of paid apps grew 40 percent over baseline, and Microsoft expects an even more robust 2013 holiday season due to an even larger base of Windows and Windows Phone users with more ways to pay for apps, he said.

And as an added incentive, Microsoft has partnered with Nokia via the DVLUP community to give developers an easy way to learn more and complete challenges as they develop for both the Windows Store and Windows Phone. Developers can earn points that can then be redeemed for prizes such as Xbox consoles, Nokia Lumia phones and more. DVLUP is open to developers in more than 20 countries.

Developers can register for the DVLUP program and take advantage of the two new challenges now available: