Getting to windows tablet development: dev as well as users have to pay twice?


New member
Feb 14, 2013
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Hello all,

Being a happy Windows Phone user for a while and a happy amateur Windows Phone developer too, it made complete sense for me to get a manufacturer refurbished Surface RT. I was thinking I could enjoy that great Metro design on a tablet too, and could port my own Windows Phone applications to tablets. I was dreaming of having users pay once for my apps and get it both on their phone and their tablet.

I've been playing with my new great new tablet since yesterday and have started setting up my development environment today. First, I realized users would have to pay for both the windows phone and windows RT versions. Bummer I thought. But OK, it is what it is. Then, I was surprised to see I had to install a completely separate IDE... even though they look exactly the same and are pretty much named the same. But meh, OK, moving on. Then, I created a quick test app and had it run on my tablet. So far so (mostly) good. Then I noticed in a menu in Visual Studio 2012 for Windows 8 an entry saying "reserve application name"; "Hey! Good idea!" I thought. It asked me to register as a Windows Store developer, OK, no problem. It pulled my Windows Phone developer account details automatically, OK, normal. I click next. And then, bam! "Price: 49 USD".

So quickly, before bursting into flames, I wanted to check with you: do you really have to pay TWICE to develop for both platforms, or did I misunderstand something? I thought they understood that now that they have a great OS and great hardware all they needed was apps, and therefore needed to attract developers. But apparently no? Do they really think phone and tablet developers are so completely different people that it requires:
- 2 distinct EDI installations
- 2 distinct developer accounts with distinct registration fees
- 2 distinct payments for the tablet and phone versions of my apps for the users

And to think an Apple developer gets to develop on every Apple platform for one fee, in one IDE. Looks like Apple understood something that Microsoft still doesn't fully get years later: that they need developers. Or, simply, it's the same plague that has been MS's problem: its multiple personality disorder. Windows Phone team and Windows 8 / RT team might be completely different. And as long as that's the issue, i'm afraid they sill won't win their battle against Apple. They might be talking about "One Microsoft" but we still don't see it coming.

So anyway, rant aside. Is there any way to get the Windows Store developer's registration fee waived when you're a Windows Phone developer already?

*Edit:* found a thread on MSDN forums from freaking 2011 that deals with the same exact issue. Nothing has changed. Here's what I added to the thread:
As others, i'm adding my "+1". I have been developing for Windows Phone for a little while with great pleasure and bought a Surface RT so naturally was very excited to start developing apps for my new great toy. But ONLY after I downloaded all the tools (which seem completely redundant with the WP ones by the way), then created my first "hello world" kind of app and running it on my tablet, then went to try to reserve my app name and went through filling all the details to link to my WP dev account, was I surprised with a "Price: 49 USD" screen. NOWHERE in my research this had come up. That's the MS experience.

Now, google "Apple developer program". You end up on a very clear web page with 2 big buttons: "IOS developer account" and "Mac developer". It's crystal clear from the start that you have one account for developing on iPad + iPhone, and one for developing for computers. It makes MS and its products look bad. Which is a shame because I find Windows Phone and Windows 8 / RT *much* superior to iOS, and it's precisely a problem of image that is slowing down adoption. It's sad to see to see that the above question is date 2011 wile we're now in 2013 and the situation did not evolve a bit.

Dunno if anyone at MS will read it, or if they do, if they'll care at all. I'm guessing no since multiple people have been replying to it starting in 2011.
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May 14, 2013
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If you can get into the Bizspark program you can get your dev license for both app stores for free (as well as a ton of free software and cloud services)


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Mar 14, 2013
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WP and RT are different operating systems. IPhone and iPad are same OS just minute changes for screen size and such. I mean it makes sense but I still don't like it.

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