Microsoft’s been making some admirable efforts this summer to help encourage interest in Windows Phone development. In early August, we saw the launch of the Windows Phone App Studio, letting even programming novices take a shot at building their own WP8 apps. That arrived alongside news of changes to developer policies, like how any users could now register as devs and get started sideloading their App Studio creations, without needing to pay any of the fees associated with full-on developers – the kind that get to sell content through the Windows Phone Store. As if all that wasn’t impressive enough, Microsoft also slashed prices on that full-blown developer registration, hoping to attract more serious devs to the platform. That was only supposed to be a limited promotional offer, but Microsoft’s decided to let the price stick, keeping the barrier of entry for WP8 development low.
Instead of the regular $100 for a year of dev access, the promotion offered the same benefits for just $19. The deal was supposed to end yesterday, but Microsoft’s Todd Brix took to Twitter to announce Microsoft’s intent to keep the price at $19.
We’re still not clear if Microsoft intends to stick with that price in the long term, or if this might just be another few months at this promo rate, but it’s good news in either case. The very last thing Microsoft needs to do is to be discouraging curious developers, and if that means taking in a little less money from this revenue stream, so be it.