As the October launch of Microsoft’s Windows 8 family of operating systems approaches, more and more changes are being made to the ecosystem surrounding them. Not only are people discovering changes in the pirated RTM version of Windows 8, but information is emerging from Microsoft’s developer sites as well.
The latest is that Microsoft has updated its developer focused App Hub, renaming it the Windows Phone Developer center. Alongside this come several features that will make developers happy, like a massive increase in the number of countries they can sell to and support for PayPal transactions.
Developers can get started creating Windows Phone 7.5 apps with the new site now, but there are some caveats. The biggest is that, while there is now support for in-App purchases, they will only be available on Windows Phone 8 devices.
While this may seem small, and maybe even beneficial for those who hate such monetisation models, little things like this will make it harder and harder for developers to target apps at both the Windows CE-based WIndows Phone 7 and the Windows-NT based WIndows Phone 8 platform.
Considering that the major weakness of Windows Phone is app support, it makes it tough to recommend Windows Phone 7 devices. Rumour is that the first Windows Phone 8 devices will be announced at Nokia world in September, but it will likely then take a few months for handsets to actually appear in stores.