Microsoft is continuing to inch along the path to offering a unified Windows and Windows Phone store.
On November 6, company officials announced Microsoft is creating a unified developer registration experience for the two platforms. The thinking is this unified registration will make it easier for developers who want to create apps that target both Windows and Windows Phone by cutting dev registration costs and complexity.
The new registration program allows Windows Phone developers to have access to the Windows Dev Center for no additional cost. They can use their same Microsoft Accounts that they use on the Windows Phone Dev Center. At the same time, Windows developers now have access to the Windows Phone Dev Center for no additional cost, and can use their same Microsoft Account on either site.
New and existing developers can register and/or renew their accounts for both Dev Centers for a new lower price: $19 for individuals and $99 for companies. As a further incentive, developers already registered with both the Windows and Windows Phone Dev Centers using the same Microsoft Account will get a code for a free, one-year renewal.
The new unified developer registration program doesn't mean there's a unified dashboard for submitting and managing apps. (Rumor is this may be coming at some point, possibly in early/mid-2014.) There are still some differences, too, in steps developers take to renew.
Microsoft execs talked up plans to create a unified Windows-Windows Phone Store at the company's annual meeting earlier this fall. However, officials have still not publicly acknowledged that a single store is in the cards. My sources are indicating a unified Windows-Windows Phone Store may not be available to consumers until Spring 2015.