Microsoft Gives Devs Access to Both Windows Stores with One Account
Developers registered with either Windows Store or Windows Phone Store can now submit apps for both.
In an effort to erase the line between Windows Store developers and Windows Phone Store developers, Microsoft has unified registration so that a developer has access to both platforms with one account.
Microsoft's Todd Brix wrote about the changes on the Windows App Builder Blog. In addition to giving a "two-for-one" deal, Redmond has lowered the price to register, to $19 for an individual account and $99 for a company.
The upshot is that developers registered for either store can submit apps to one or both at no additional cost, using the unified account. One thing that will remain separate, though, is the Dashboard to submit and manage apps; developers still need to use the dashboard for each store.
One important change for Windows Phone developers, Brix blogged, is the need to use a credit card to validate new accounts and renewals. Other than that, it appears from the blog that an already-registered developer doesn't have to take any action to gain access to both stores.
Developers already registered in both stores will also get a freebie: an e-mailed code for a free one-year renewal when the existing registration is set to expire. Students, Brix wrote, will continue to get access through the DreamSpark program.
The site Microsoft by the Numbers puts the current count of Windows Phone apps at 175,000; the same site says there are "more than 100,000 apps in the Windows Store," without giving more specifics. It's more difficult to get hard numbers of available apps in the Apple Store and Google Play, but most estimates put the number for both at more than 800,000.
The next step for developers is for Microsoft to unify the codebase between the two platforms. As "Brandon" said in the comments section of the blog, "Excellent news! Can't wait to hear that we can use the same code ;)".
Keith Ward is the editor in chief of Virtualization & Cloud Review. Follow him on Twitter @VirtReviewKeith.