Microsoft cuts the ribbon on Windows Phone Dev Center

Microsoft cuts the ribbon on Windows Phone Dev Center

Summary: Microsoft has unveiled a retooled, new-look developer app portal that brings new features and paves the way for the introduction of options such as in-app purchases that will arrive with Windows Phone 8

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Microsoft has unveiled the Windows Phone Dev Center — replacing the App Hub — which brings new features aimed at making it easier for developers to get paid and reach more markets.

The centre is a repository for tools aimed at developers making apps for the Windows Phone 7.5 (or earlier) platform.

Windows Phone Dev Center
Microsoft hopes to woo developers with the Windows Phone Dev Center. Image credit: Microsoft

The Dev Center will also be used for submitting and managing Windows Phone 8 apps in the future, a Microsoft spokesman told ZDNet.

"The site, an evolution of our retired App Hub developer portal, is designed to provide everything you need to build, publish, and manage apps for Windows Phones around the world," Ash Wahi wrote on the Windows Team Blog on Tuesday. "The result of months of careful planning and attention to your feedback, it has new features to help make Windows Phone app development faster and more profitable."

Microsoft said the centre had been designed with future growth and movement into new geographical markets in mind.

As well as making the site less cluttered than the App Hub, the overhaul has brought back-end modifications to improve reliability and performance of the portal.

In addition, for the first time developers can now use PayPal to pay for their developer account or get paid. The Dev Center also introduces the ability to set specific pricing for each country.

Devs can also now see how their apps have been rated and reviewed for each market at a glance, rather than needing to select individual markets to see the summary.

Microsoft said the Dev Centre will also support in-app purchasing when Windows Phone 8 is introduced, and will allow developers to add new in-app merchandise and track sales.

New features

The Dev Center will also mean developers that want to give their apps a run-through with beta testers are now no longer limited to 100 users, and can instead use thousands.

Wahi also said the repository will provide developers with better analytics information for their apps — for example, providing detailed information about downloads, such as whether they were free, paid, or trial users. Paid-for downloads can also be broken down by region as well as "without trial" or "after trial".

Given Microsoft's desire to attract developers to the Windows Phone platform, the company has also made it easier to submit apps to multiple markets but omit specific ones that have additional content requirements. Previously, developers had been limited to a single worldwide submission option.

Rounding off the list of improvements is better integration of the Dev Center with MSDN resources and documentation to help developers, meaning that there is now no need to leave the portal to browse Windows Phone forums or find SDK info.

Topics: Microsoft, Apps, Mobility, Windows

Ben Woods

About Ben Woods

With several years' experience covering everything in the world of telecoms and mobility, Ben's your man if it involves a smartphone, tablet, laptop, or any other piece of tech small enough to carry around with you.

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12 comments
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  • Speed up the approval process!

    The new UI is nice. Lot's of nice features added. The membership is free now, if you have MSDN, and that's nice.

    Microsoft, as always, thinks developer first when it comes to samples/documentation (they are second to none here).

    BUT......The most important output of this site is the speed approving apps.....and that's where it needs improvement. You can submit an app (or an update) and watch it collect dust for days.
    Tojuro
    • Approvals are OK

      Approval usually takes 4-5 days. Longest I've seen were about 9 days. What I really hate is the fact that download statistics appear only a week later. I would understand stats delay of few hours or one day but a week? That does not make any sense. Is somebody counting downloads manually?
      paul2011
    • @Tojuro

      Just be glad Microsoft's approval process is faster and more predictable than Apple's.

      Our recent iOS apps have taken between 2 and four weeks for approval!
      bitcrazed
    • Nice

      Cleaner UI, everything you need is a click away. I don't think the membership is free though?
      erniebanzon@...
      • 'free' subscription

        You get a free year with MSDN subscriptions. They sent out an email about it this morning.

        Don't know how 'free' that is, but it's something you didn't get yesterday.

        Go to the benefits page and it hands out a token for a year membership in the AppHub / Windows Store.
        Tojuro
        • So it's not free

          Just say what you mean and stop being oblique about it.
          CaviarBlack
          • Wow.

            You are such an idiot. Really...just a pathetic idiot.

            Apphub is free for a year to MSDN subscribers. That's what he said, that's what he meant.

            My apologies if English isn't your first language or you have an IQ below that of a chimpanzee.
            allusernamestaken
          • Wow is right

            Hi numbnuts.

            Guess what? If you're a MSDN subscriber IT'S NOT FREE.

            FREE MEANS TO THE GENERAL PUBLIC.

            Jeez, what an asshole.
            CaviarBlack
          • "If you're a MSDN subscriber IT'S NOT FREE"

            In what sense is it not FREE for MSDN subscribers?
            If it's "NOT FREE" for MSDN subscribers then you're implying that MSDN subscribers have a cost for that benefit.

            If what you mean to say is that MSDN subscribers already HAVE that benefit and therefore are getting no added benefit, then just say that instead of being petty about it. Obviously you have no point to make.
            milo ducillo
          • Get a clue, dumbass

            If you're an MSDN subscriber, that means you're already paying for it. Just by being a subscriber, you're paying for it. You're already giving money to M$.

            FREE means to the general public at no cost. Is that what this is, milo? Or are you lying like Tojuro up above.

            Not that that would surprise me any...
            CaviarBlack
          • You have a very interesting version of reality

            As one of the benefits of being an MSDN subscriber, you get free use of the AppHub. Period. There's nothing to debate here.

            You're really running dry on the things to troll about.
            milo ducillo
  • Where Is The "Connect With Customers" Button?

    Oh wait, there aren't any.
    ldo17