As Windows 10 Goes Live, So Do Developer Resources
Microsoft's developer division has been gearing up for this day, as it now officially opens up the Windows 10 Store and announces a handful of Windows 10 resources that developers can deploy in live production environments.
Along with the launch of Windows 10 today, Microsoft's Windows Developer Division has made a number of parallel announcements on the developer side.
Todd Brix, a general manager on the Windows Apps and Store team, writes on the Windows blog that the Windows 10 Store is now open. Even though it's much smaller in breadth and offerings to competitive services delivery systems, Brix emphasizes the immense developer opportunities with the launch of an OS that is aimed at being on a billion devices in the next two to three years.
"We've converged and are now opening the unified Windows Dev Center to create a single end-to-end developer experience across all Windows device types," writes Brix. "The final stage of that Dev Center unification was to provide a single app submission flow and dashboard." So, besides the lure of a billions of devices running Windows 10, Brix notes the more streamlined method for creating Universal Windows Apps and process with which to sell them in the Windows Store. "The Store itself is now an app built on the Universal Windows Platform, enabling more frequent updates to add new functionality, refine the experience and address issues quickly."
Brix also said that the Windows Store has expanded payment options for customers: "traditional debit and credit cards, PayPal, Alipay, app gifting, gift cards and BitCoin (US Only)," and adds that carrier billing enabled later this year. To entice customers further, the team has enabled a number of new developer-enabled app features, including the ability to add promotional codes to apps, price apps based on markets, offer discounts, and track campaigns.
Bernardo Zamora, a Microsoft product manager with the Windows Apps and Store team, blogged a few days ago about some changes that developers need to be aware of when placing apps in the Windows Store. First is the deployment of new algorithms for Windows 10 apps, tuned so that search results favor apps, games, movies, and music. Zamora also writes that keywords need to be fine-tuned: "Irrelevant keywords can hurt your app's rating as the algorithms detect inaccurate keywords, the app could potentially drop in the rankings."
Kevin Gallo, vice president of the Windows Developer Platform, announced in a separate blog the availability of a number of Windows 10-supported tools, available in the Windows Developer Center here. Gallo said that developers looking to sell apps today in the Windows Store should download Windows 10, then get the most recent Windows 10-supported Visual Studio that was released last week.
Windows 10 should be a free upgrade for the majority of developers and it's been readily available to the 5 million developers registered with the Windows Insider Program. Even so, preliminary reports have already been coming in of stalled or delayed downloadability among the Windows hoi polloi. For those who are able, Gallo advises making sure to have the most recent build possible before propping apps in the store. "If you've already started working on a Windows 10 app using a prior version of the Windows developer tools, you will need to load up your Windows app using today's release and rebuild the AppX package to submit it to the Windows Store."
Microsoft Corporate Vice President of the Developer Tools, S. Somasegar, blogs about the general availability of the Visual Studio Tools for Windows 10 that was released in preview in March. It's essentially a reiteration of capabilities, but he notes a few newsworthy improvements to project creatin, .NET Framework libary delivery via NuGet, and views tailored to targeted devices from within the XAML Designer and Editor.
To get the latest developments on the Windows 10 platform, check out Redmondmag.com's and RCPmag.com's News pages here and here. Redmond contributor Brien Posey also writes about a not-so-secret method for downloading Windows 10 without having to wait in line for it.
You Tell 'Em, Readers: If you've read this far, know that Michael Domingo, Visual Studio Magazine Editor in Chief, is here to serve you, dear readers, and wants to get you the information you so richly deserve. What news, content, topics, issues do you want to see covered in Visual Studio Magazine? He's listening at firstname.lastname@example.org.