Time and again, we at TheTelecomBlog have written exhaustively about Microsoft’s tactics to win developer confidence on the Windows Phone platform. Whether it’s paying developers to win the app game, luring iPhone devs with porting tools or attracting webOS devs with free phones, developer tools and training, Microsoft has tried every trick in the book to attract the mobile developer community to embrace Windows Phone.
The efforts have born mixed results as surveys increasingly suggest Windows Phone is more popular than BlackBerry among mobile developers. However, despite its best efforts, Microsoft hasn’t been able to lure a majority of Android and iPhone devs to convert to the Windows Phone platform.
In order to further aid developers, the company yesterday overhauled its Windows Phone Dev Center and added some extra ways for developers to get paid. The erstwhile Windows Phone Marketplace is now the Windows Phone Store – a revamped UI, infrastructure changes and most importantly the added support for PayPal, allowing developers to receive money using the payments service.
Microsoft claims that the new Windows Phone Dev Center makes it easier for developers to submit apps and edit their accounts. This is in stark contrast to the long approval and publish times for Windows Phone apps at the erstwhile App Hub. The Dev Center supports thousands of beta testers for each app, thereby allowing developers to fix any identified issues before the app goes live. Previously, App Hub only allowed for 100 beta testers.
The company has also added new countries where developers can sell their applications as well as added flexibility for what they charge and how they receive payments. New analytics tools have been introduced, allowing developers to view downloads by several types, including free, paid, trial, and beta. In-app purchases, though, would need to wait till Windows Phone 8 is launched.
For what it’s worth, the company has also made some change to the Microsoft Developer Network, making it easier for new developers to get the Windows Phone SDK.
As I’ve mentioned in my earlier posts, developer interest in WP7 is currently “Highest ever for Microsoft”. However, despite the initial success of the Lumia series, several developers are still in a wait and watch situation before taking coding time away from iOS and Android, thereby leaving Microsoft in a classic chicken and egg problem.