Microsoft today announced it is merging the online developer resources (education materials, guidance, code samples, and reference documentation) for Windows Store and Windows Phone. At the same time, the company has expanded the number of payout markets by 21.
The first piece of news follows when Microsoft merged Windows Store and Windows Phone developer accounts in November 2013 as well as when it rolled out universal Windows apps in April 2014. The company is now taking things further by offering a single Windows Dev Center website at dev.windows.com for all your development needs regarding building apps and games across phone, tablet, and PC.
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The new unified site aims to help you learn about design, find the tools you need for development, understand the steps to publish universal Windows apps, as well as offer code samples and forums in one location.
Here are the highlights Microsoft wants you to know:
- Unified documentation: You will now see a comprehensive, combined documentation set to help you learn how to build apps for Windows devices (phone, tablet and PC), with API and feature distinctions clearly called out. Documentation is now available in 11 languages: German, English, Spanish, French, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Brazilian Portuguese, Russian, Simplified Chinese and Traditional Chinese.
- Single location for code samples: The code samples for Windows Phone and Windows Store apps, as well as for universal Windows apps, continue to be published in the MSDN code gallery. The difference is that they are now easily accessible directly from one Dev Center page.
- Single location for developer forums: The Windows Store apps and Windows Phone developer forums have been merged into one streamlined set of forums. The dashboard forums have been combined so that they appear together in one location, while the technical forums remain specialized for each form factor.
It is worth noting, however, that Microsoft plans to keep the dashboards separate for Windows and Windows Phone. When you first click the Dashboard link in the Dev Center, you’ll be asked to choose which one you want to start with, and then you’ll have to switch between them in the left-hand navigation pane:
The 21 new payout markets in which registered developers can now submit paid apps to both the Windows and Windows Phone stores are as follows: Albania, Antigua and Barbuda, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Comoros, Dominica, Fiji Islands, Georgia, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Mauritius, Monaco, Mongolia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Tajikistan, Tonga, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.
Microsoft says this brings the count to 149 markets where Windows and Windows Phone developers can earn revenue through paid apps or through in-app purchase. In-app purchase is the fastest growing revenue model according to Microsoft, and it already represents over 30% of Windows payout and nearly 50 percent of Windows Phone developer payout.
Lastly, Microsoft also reminded developers that they will be able to start submitting their Kinect-powered apps to the Windows Store later this year. The new SDK preview was released yesterday, and you can read more about it here.
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