Microsoft has launched a new Windows Phone development center in a bid to woo developers a little closer to its oft-maligned mobile platform. This new portal is an evolution of the old App Hub, which previously was the focal point for this technology support.
The new presentation is clean enough in terms of design and has a clear Windows 8 Metro style GUI emphasis. Microsoft's Ash Wahi writes on the Windows Phone Developer Blog that there is a streamlined set of menu options and quick links (Submit App, Get SDK, and View Samples) — all aimed at providing faster access to common tasks.
Blogs and other information resources encourage "absolute beginners" to the Windows Phone 7 space; but whether this means juniors or more seasoned developers (or both) have not considered the platform to date is unclear.
Monetization matters, and Microsoft has paved the way for developers to soon register in four times as many countries or regions and get paid in three times as many as what is possible today. Plus, the Dev Center now supports PayPal, an option that the firm says programmers have asked for.
"One highly-requested feature coming in our next release is in-app purchasing. The Dev Center will support this important new revenue-generating mechanism in multiple ways, making it easy to do things like add and manage in-app merchandise and track sales," writes Microsoft's Wahi.
"Finally, beta testing is a key part of the development process, and some developers told us App Hub's 100-tester limit didn't provide them with enough feedback on in-progress apps. So the Windows Phone Dev Center now supports thousands of beta testers."
But just how well (or really not well at all) is the Windows Phone market actually doing?
UK tech news site Computer Weekly’s Jennifer Scott reports on a Canalys study which showed that, "Windows Phone still only held 3.2% marketshare; shipments have increased by a huge 277.3%, growing from 1.3 million handsets sold in the second quarter of 2011 to 5.1 million in Q2 2012. Whilst this has had little effect on Google's Android mobile OS, which now accounts for 68% of market share, iOS, Blackberry, and Symbian all fell in marketshare, with the last two also losing out on shipment numbers compared to last year."