Microsoft gives its developer portal a more unified make-over

Microsoft gives its developer portal a more unified make-over

Summary: One more step toward unification: Microsoft has revamped its MSDN developer portal, providing Windows, Web, cloud and mobile developers with more consistent cross-platform experience.


Microsoft is continuing its slow and steady march toward platform unification.


Its latest step is the makeover of its Microsoft Developer Network (MSDN) Web site. The new MSDN portal, revealed on July 31, is designed to provide a more comprehensive and unified picture of Microsoft's developer platform.

Microsoft Technical Fellow and TFS Product Unit Manager Brian Harry, whose team is charged with managing the back-end MSDN infrastructure, blogged about the redesigned MSDN page. From his post:

"Working with the Microsoft Developer and Platform Evangelism team and others we’ve worked to create an improved experience we’re calling the Microsoft Developer Network. It is a major update to the MSDN home page and gives you a more modern place to go as a central landing page to find out everything you want to know about developing for Microsoft platforms."

Harry noted that the idea of the revamp is to create a single point of entry for all developers. Currently, developers targeting mobile, cloud, and PCs/desktops have to hunt for the right information across a variety of locations. Community blogs and an integrated social feed are part of the new design, too.

In addition, the redesigned page doesn't focus solely on Microsoft/Windows developers. It also includes easier-to-find entry points for Web, iOS and Android developers, too.

The new portal also includes explicit, direct links to Visual Studio tools and users' MSDN subscriptions, from anywhere on the new MSDN site.

Today's revamp doesn't include any MSDN subscription pricing cuts or changes -- something many disenfranchised TechNet subscribers are hoping might happen to make up for Microsoft's decision to kill TechNet. 

Microsoft is continuing to make changes to its programming interfaces, frameworks and tools to unify its cross-Windows development story. With the coming Windows "Blue" releases, Microsoft is moving a bit closer to the "write once, run on any Windows" goal that the company has set for itself.

Update: While the MSDN portal is attempting to include content for a variety of devs, a separate Windows dev portal page seemingly continues to exist.

Topics: Software Development, Android, Cloud, iOS, Microsoft, Windows, Web development, Windows 8, Windows Phone


Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

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  • Ugh

    And yet the MSDN subscriber download center is the same atrocious pile of garbage it's always been. Sigh...
    • I have no problem with the MSDN downloads?

      Just a fairly straight ahead catalogue of stuff to download... doesn't need to look pretty. The key manager is fairly straight ahead, too.
  • False advertising

    You click on "I Build .NET Apps" and you get something pimping Windows Store apps. But the .NET Metro profile is as slim as Silverlight's, and definitely not of an app building grade.

    Instead, the .NET Developer is forced to work in the crappy COM based WinRT Framework, instead of managed .NET...
    • Well...

      They don't have any choice given the decisions they made. They "bet the company" on the new Windows Runtime platform, they want you to develop apps for the Store and therefore it's no wonder that they promote it in front of anything else now, even on the .NET side of things.
      • They want you to write in Javascript now

        Forget productive and robust .Net development, and get used to the wonderful new world of JavaScript, as Microsoft wants all of us to use now. Lots of dodgy JavaScript code and yellow error triangles to care less about. What joy!
  • Wow

    I think AdBlock or Chrome/Firefox is blocking the whole middle image on that site...
  • Didn't Microsoft's developer portal recently get hacked?

    Didn't Microsoft's developer portal recently get hacked, proving how much Windows sucks?

    Oops, that was apple and Ubuntu's portals that got hacked, proving how much osx and Linux suck.
    • Ah-hahahahahahahahaha!




      HIL-AR-I-OUS!!! Digging on Apple and Ubuntu in a MS developer It's like my mind is just blown. What a trip. Just so funny I can't stop...



      Sorry, couldn't help laughing. Now, what was your point? What does this have to do with MS's Developers site being updated? I don't understand your Ubuntu and Apple angle here since we're not talking about the MS developers site being hacked. Are you trying to tell us that the MS developers site is now hack-proof with this update? Are you saying the Microsoft stuff never gets hacked? I'm trying to see your point, but it's just too clever for me I guess.

  • I must say that I just about never go to the "entry page"

    I just google stuff with Bing and find what I'm looking for. All that has changed for me is that the page header is blacker. It appears that the content is unchanged.
    (note, in English, all verbs are lower-case: "After I skyped my friend last night, I googled his address")
  • I thought that this make over was cool...

    ...until I started clicking around. *Everything* seems to push you towards Windows 8 development or "Azure" development. This is incredibly idiotic and frustrating. If I hit msdn, I'm far more likely to be going there for ASP.NET, WPF, or any of the other many technologies that actually have significant developer share. I'm a big fan of Windows 8, but this is absolutely ridiculous.
    • You can always google for it

      I usually get to MSDN by search or by hitting F1 on a keyword in Visual Studio.
  • I am anxious to see how Microsoft developers do with this

    You know if Microsoft came back with the Start Menu, I'd be happy.
    Tim Jordan
  • Still need separate WP8 and W8 accounts

    Hardly unified is it.

    And Microsoft do not seem to accept being able to change or transfer a Live Id email in a developer account. Their only advice, for changing my email, is to create a new Live Is and new Developer accounts. Microsoft are idiotic in management of developers. No wonder we are all leaving the platforms.

    Stupid and sad MicroSoft.
  • Metro is saying that we are all just secritaries

    I use to be an engineer. A computer programmer. Now, with Metro, I but a secritary. Metro is degrading to us programmers. I want my desktop back.
    Tim Jordan
  • Open Source is a much more conservative choice than Windows

    The swing with Windows 8 speaks for itself.
    Tim Jordan
  • microsoft hiring developers from china

    Microsoft seems so effective in windows 8 app development and invited more developers from china to represent good apps as well this is another way of welcoming new talents and new things.