Microsoft today announced it is slashing its Windows Phone Dev Center annual registration fee from $99 to $19, for the next 60 days. While the news wasn’t revealed during the keynote today at the company’s Build 2013 conference, the timing of course is no coincidence: the move is all about third-party Windows Phone developers.

This isn’t the first time Microsoft has slashed the price tag in question. At last year’s Build conference, it lowered the registration to $8, although only for eight days.

In 2012, the discount worked by charging developers $99 USD or equivalent in their local currency, and then refunding the difference in the following 30 to 45 days. The 2013 deal, however, seems to just be an outright 80 percent reduction:

For a limited time, the annual subscription fee for a Windows Phone Dev Center account has been reduced to $19 USD (or the equivalent in your local currency). Taxes, VAT, and other fees are excluded from this offer. This offer is valid beginning 6/26/2013 12:00 AM PST and ending 8/27/2013 12:00 AM PST in countries where the Windows Phone Dev Center registration is available (see Regional info).

You can take advantage of the deal here. In case you need help getting started, Microsoft this week published a refresh of its Windows Phone 8 Development for Absolute Beginners and there will be Build 2013 sessions available on Channel 9.

Microsoft also took the opportunity today to emphasize that it expects Windows Phone to become the third place mobile ecosystem (after Android and iOS). The company cited industry estimates, as well as its own internal projections, to claim it will be taking bronze. With that goal in mind, deals for developers can’t hurt.

See also – Telefónica partners with Microsoft to promote Windows Phone 8 and end the Android and iOS duopoly and Sprint unveils HTC 8XT with BoomSound and Samsung ATIV S Neo as its first Windows Phone 8 handsets

Top Image Credit: Fred Dufour / Getty Images