Microsoft limits in-app purchasing to Windows Phone 8

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Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) will limit the introduction of in-app purchasing to its forthcoming Windows Phone 8 operating system upgrade, declining to extend the feature to devices running the intermediate Windows Phone 7.8.

Microsoft first announced plans to introduce in-app purchase capabilities to Windows Phone 8 in late June during its annual Windows Phone Summit event, enabling developers to sell both consumable products (e.g., virtual currency) as well as durable products (like new mobile game levels) directly within their applications. "You can only add in-app products to Windows Phone 8 apps," reads new MSDN documentation, indicating Microsoft will not offer the option to devices running Windows Phone 7.8, which is designed to offer some key Windows Phone 8 features across legacy devices.

Microsoft has already stated that apps written for WP8 will not be backwards-compatible with earlier Windows Phone products. The Verge goes on to speculate that pre-Windows Phone 8 devices also will not adopt Microsoft's new Wallet Hub functionality, which combines support for Near Field Communications-enabled m-commerce services including contactless payments, deals and loyalty cards in addition to in-app purchase mechanisms.

In addition to Wallet Hub, Windows Phone 8 touts multi-core chipsets to bolster smartphone performance and optimize battery life, a choice of three screen resolutions, integration of VoIP and video chat, and a customizable start screen. Microsoft also will integrate remote access features integrated into its forthcoming Office 13 productivity suite to mobile users. Windows Phone 8 devices are expected later this year.

In related news, Microsoft launched its new Windows Phone Dev Center, which replaces the retired App Hub. Designed to make Windows Phone app development both faster and more profitable, the online resource touts a streamlined set of menu options and quick links as well as a series of infrastructure upgrades to enhance overall site performance and reliability.

Windows Phone Dev Center also brings support for PayPal--developers can use the digital payments platform to receive proceeds from sales of their apps and content and pay any fees related to their account. The Dev Center additionally offers expanded seller tools for international markets, enabling developers to enter unique pricing for each country or region and view ratings and reviews for each market in a single glance. Also new: Integration with Microsoft Advertising's pubCenter, improved analytics tools and more flexible signup and submission.

For more:
- read this Verge article
- read this Windows Phone Developer Blog entry

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