Rumors that Microsoft wants to merge two of its flagship app repository have been doing the rounds for some time now, and word on the grapevine yesterday was that the company was ready to kick things off by unifying developer registration.
And smack on target, Redmond has just announced that it has merged the Windows and Windows Phone Store developer accounts — meaning developers will have to pay lower fees to create apps that run on Microsoft platforms.
Microsoft posted the good news on the official Windows blog:
“New developers can register and existing developers can renew their account using the same Microsoft account. Developers will enter registration information just once and pay a single lower price of $19 for an Individual and $99 for a Company account, providing access to publish apps for both Windows and Windows Phone users.”
The company has made it no secret that it wants to see (and bring) more apps in its app repositories, the Windows Store in particular. Now, developers that code for the mobile platform can easily submit their software compatible with Windows 8.1 and Windows RT 8.1 with no additional costs involved.
In fact, the company is also offering special prizes to developers that submit apps to both the Windows and Windows Phone Stores:
“As an added incentive, we’ve partnered with Nokia via the DVLUP community to give you an easy way to learn more and complete challenges as you develop for both the Windows Store and Windows Phone. Along the way, you’ll earn points that can then be redeemed for great prizes (for example, Nokia Lumia phones and more). DVLUP is currently open to developers in more than 20 countries.”
The decision to merge the developer accounts is an important one, whichever way you look at it.
This, for all intents and purposes, is the first step towards the bigger merger of the two stores proper. Reports on the matter indicate that the company wants to pull the trigger on this sometime in 2014 — the upcoming Spring GDR update or Windows 9.
Either way, a unified store will go a long way in ensuring the success of Microsoft’s modern platforms.