Microsoft launches Windows Phone App Studio to simplify development


Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) unveiled Windows Phone App Studio, a free, Web-based mobile software development tool enabling users to build applications without coding expertise.

Windows Phone App Studio lets aspiring mobile developers apply text, Web content, imagery and design concepts to customizable application templates. "Getting started is easy--just create a Microsoft account, choose your template and begin adding your content," explains Todd Brix, senior director of Microsoft's Windows Phone Apps Team. "Windows Phone App Studio does the rest. When your app is ready to go, you can download the app to your own phone, or share it with others by publishing it to the Windows Phone Store."

Microsoft recommends that Windows Phone App Studio users test their apps on a Windows Phone device before publishing their work, and is taking steps to simplify the developer registration process. "Now, any developer can unlock and register 1 phone to load up to 2 apps," Brix states. "Registered developers with Dev Center accounts continue to have the option to unlock up to 3 phones and upload up to 10 apps on each." Microsoft is also offering a 12-month Dev Center account at a discounted price of $19 through Aug. 26.

Microsoft additionally trumpeted six new Windows Phone Store payout markets-- Costa Rica, Cyprus, Kazakhstan, Lebanon, Malta, and Trinidad and Tobago--enabling developers to offer premium apps across 191 international markets. Windows Phone Store also continues adding carrier billing connections, expanding the option to 35 operator partners across 23 markets. "On average, developers are earning 3 times more revenue per active user in markets where carrier billing is offered," Brix said. "This increases to 6 times more revenue on average in emerging markets where credit card usage is more limited."

Microsoft is looking to Windows Phone App Studio to galvanize developer interest in its mobile platform: Windows Phone Store offers roughly 150,000 apps, far off the pace established by Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) App Store and Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) Play. Nokia (NYSE:NOKrecently called on Microsoft to accelerate Windows Phone development to more effectively compete in the fast-moving mobile marketplace, stressing the importance of nurturing an app ecosystem on part with iOS and Android.

"People rely on applications for their day-to-day life and if you don't have something which I use in my day-to-day life I'm not going to switch [operating systems] because I don't want to compromise the way I live my life just to switch to a phone," Nokia Vice President of App Development Bryan Biniak told the International Business Times late last month. "It's not just about the hardware--it's about the tools that are on the hardware. You can't sell a phone without the apps. You just can't."

For more:
- read this Windows Phone Developer Blog post

Related articles:
Microsoft expands Fresh Paint digital art app to Windows Phone 8
Report: Windows Phone 8 adding notification center, improved multitasking in early 2014
Microsoft's sweeping reorganization shifts focus to services, devices
Microsoft: Windows Phone is 'growing faster than anyone else'
Microsoft licenses Xbox franchise Age of Empires for iOS and Android
Halo game franchise coming to Microsoft's Windows Phone this summer