Microsoft Launches Windows Phone 8 Developer Platform

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Since early September, Microsoft has opened the Windows Phone 8 SDK to a small number of developers. Some indie developers, who had already signed up for MSDN, felt they were being snubbed when the SDK wasn't made available to them. It's been two months since then and now Microsoft is finally ready to open the SDK to everyone.

At the BUILD 2012 Conference, Microsoft announced that the Windows Phone 8 developer platform is now available to all. The new platform includes the new Windows Phone 8 SDK alongside a refreshed Dev Center. That means Microsoft is now open for Windows Phone 8 app submissions from thousands of developers around the world.

Microsoft thinks that developers will flock to Windows Phone 8 for a number of reasons. The biggest reason is that Windows Phone 8 now shares a common core with that of its big brother - Windows 8. Developers can now build native Windows Phone 8 apps in C++ and use common APIs that work across phones, tablets and desktops.

Developers in attendance at the BUILD Conference will be receiving a Nokia Lumia 920 to build apps on. Everybody else will be able to use the Windows Phone 8 emulator that's included in the SDK.

To help get developers on board, Microsoft will offer discounts on Dev Center accounts. In the near future, the regular $99 fee will be discounted to $8. It's important to note that the Dev Center account will still cost $99 upfront, but Microsoft will refund the difference in 30 to 45 days after the transaction.

Interesting developers can hit up the new Windows Phone 8 Dev Center right now. You'll find all the tools you need to build the next great Windows Phone 8 app all in one place. You can grab the SDK here.

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