Rumor: Windows and Windows Phone developer accounts to be merged today

There have been rumors for months that Microsoft is working to merge its Modern UI app development efforts into one unified platform for Windows 8.1, Windows Phone and Xbox One devices. While those plans may still be a couple of years away, today brings a new rumor that suggests the first phase of that undertaking is in progress.

The Chinese language site WPDang reports, via unnamed sources, that Microsoft will be merging its Windows and Windows Phone developer accounts and communities, with an official announcement expected to be made today. The report claims that after the merger, app developers will only have to pay one fee to submit apps to both the Windows Store and Windows Phone Store. We have emailed Microsoft for comment.

Even if this rumor is correct, this still means that developers will have to keep making their apps separately for Windows 8.1 and Windows Phone platforms, with a different code base and API for each OS. However, it does show that Microsoft is slowly making the move to a truly merged platform where, in the future, apps will work for all of Microsoft's Modern UI devices with no need to make any changes to their code.

Thanks to answer1626 for the tip!

Source: WPDang | Image via Microsoft

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17 Comments

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I have trying to renew to Windows Phone Dev account for the last few days without luck because the options is missing on the Dev Center/Dashboard/Account info or even on the Billing section of my Microsoft account.

I guess this merge could have something to do with the missing renew option.

"with a different code base and API for each OS"

A bit misleading -- the code bases and APIs are very similar, and Visual Studio makes things even easier.

You can't write once and run anywhere yet, but it's not like you have to write your app twice either.

Whatever man. Try making an App with mapping API (which is Bing API in WinRT and Nokia HERE in WP) then convert it to the other platform.

Emon said,
Whatever man. Try making an App with mapping API (which is Bing API in WinRT and Nokia HERE in WP) then convert it to the other platform.

Didn't Nokia introduce their HERE maps app for their Windows RT based tablet? And I guess with Nokia devices and services being aquired by Microsoft, Bing maps will be replaced by HERE services across all Microsoft solutions.

Emon said,
Whatever man. Try making an App with mapping API (which is Bing API in WinRT and Nokia HERE in WP) then convert it to the other platform.

It's straight forward if you're following the MVVM pattern. The XAML is different but not by a major amount. I've done a number of projects where the view models are reused between Win8 & WP8 apps.

What MS are trying to achieve is to allow you to use the same Xaml markup (which should be easier although Win 8.1 is still missing some of the nicer features carried into WP8 via Silverlight).

Emon said,
Whatever man. Try making an App with mapping API (which is Bing API in WinRT and Nokia HERE in WP) then convert it to the other platform.

I shouldn't even respond to this, since you're cherry-picking exceptions. But I will just to point that out.

Great news, I'm not a developer but it's a struggle having to go through a bunch of different sites to submit or edit the apps.

They'd better name this TileOS, or SurfaceOS etc. 'cause this is not Windows, but something mobile-oriented.

The "old" Windows paradigm died with Windows 7. The leftover desktop bits from Windows 8+ will increasingly become deprecated **** and less and less supported/recommended.

See WPF/Silverlight/.NET.

Now, WinRT and JS is the new ****.

"Even if this rumor is correct, this still means that developers will have to keep making their apps separately for Windows 8.1 and Windows Phone platforms, with a different code base and API for each OS."

P.S. Most likely there won't be one of them surviving, but a new API based on the two of them.

I hope they add phone features to Windows RT and bring it to phones since its clearly dying on tablets. Then app developement for both platforms would be same except for some additional API for accessing phone features on RT. Apps designed for Windows 8.1 can show their snapped versions on the phone.

Lamp Post said,
"Even if this rumor is correct, this still means that developers will have to keep making their apps separately for Windows 8.1 and Windows Phone platforms, with a different code base and API for each OS."

P.S. Most likely there won't be one of them surviving, but a new API based on the two of them.

If I had to bet I think it'll be the full WinRT API we have on Windows RT/8.x Store apps right now with some phone specific things as well. All the rumors seem to point to Windows RT taking over and being the core of Windows Phone down the line. But who knows?

It's not a rumor, whether it's today, I can't say, but MS is unifying their platforms for their developers and Xbox is coming down the line too.

Thief000 said,
It's not a rumor, whether it's today, I can't say, but MS is unifying their platforms for their developers and Xbox is coming down the line too.