developers

Today, Microsoft gave more information about Windows 10, including the universal Windows Apps model. Details were presented in the breakout sessions called 'Introducing the Windows 10 App Model' earlier in the day.

One bit of news we can confirm is that all Windows 10 devices, including phones, tablets, and PCs, can be developer unlocked through a toggle switch in Settings.

Sightings of such a feature were noted in the recent 100061 build of Windows 10 for desktop, although it did not work (it was under 'For Developers', see below). The feature just missed the flight for the current Technical Preview, but it should be in the next release.

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Microsoft has announced two new services for developers building products on Azure. The new SQL Warehouse service makes it easy to aggregate and store petabytes worth of data. The service makes it easy to visualize your data, as well as search through it. It also features integration with Hadoop and more, and can use machine learning to create predictive models.

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Microsoft will update the price tier values for Windows Store during the week of April 13, 2015. Windows Store supports 96 tiers that publishers can use to price paid apps and in-app products. These price tier values are updated periodically to maintain consistency across currencies, accounting for changes in foreign exchange rates, taxes, and other geographic pricing considerations. The information comes through an email Microsoft has sent out to developers, alerting them of the change.

Beginning April 13, the price tier values will be updated and while the US Dollar (USD) price in each tier will remain the same, the prices in all other currencies adjusted relative to the USD price.

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Microsoft is showing how valuable the Windows platform is as it tells developers that it anticipates roughly $100 million of Windows Store gift cards will be available this holidays for use on Windows, Windows Phone, and Xbox digital content. The company says that during the holiday season, developers will also generate 2.5 times more revenue than during the rest of the year.

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Microsoft is hoping to help developers increase Windows Phone app revenue by today announcing ad mediation for Windows Phone. Ad mediation lets your app use multiple advertising SDKs. When an app makes a call to one ad control, and that control can't serve the ad, it calls another control. The new mediation control makes implementing and managing this in an app simple.

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A month ago Microsoft gave Windows Phone developers the ability to respond to Store reviews. This was a new feature welcomed by the developer community as it gave them a way to address misinformed reviews or customer complaints. Now a month later, Microsoft has shared some details on the success of the program so far. For example, most developers see an average star rating increase of +1.2 when they respond to reviews.

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Microsoft is rolling out the ability for developers to respond directly to reviews in the Windows Phone Store. Replying to reviews is a feature that we reported on before the Windows Phone 8.1 announcement and was later confirmed by Microsoft. Select developers have had the ability since April thanks to a phased rollout, but a wider rollout is taking place now.

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Windows Phone 8.1 Update 1 is now rolling out to those enrolled in the Preview for Developers program. Enthusiasts and developers can try out the latest version of Microsoft's mobile operating system by participating in the program. This update introduces new features, like Live Folders on the Start Screen, and also introduces support for new device resolutions. Developers will want to grab the new Windows Phone 8.1 Update 1 SDK and emulators to test against those resolutions.

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It's not easy to make it as an app developer. That's the key takeaway from the latest State of the Developer Nation report from Vision Mobile, pulling together data from more than 10,000 mobile developers (including some of you) across 137 countries. With that many developers they were able to get a broad view of what's popular and (more importantly) what's successful in making great apps.

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Starting with Windows Phone 8.1 users can select a background wallpaper for their Start screen. The trick only works with apps that have a transparent Live Tile, which has resulted in a massive push by fans for more apps with those see-through Tiles. But like all things in life, sometimes it goes too far. For instance, many people have – rightly – complained that they liked those 'signature' colors for certain apps because it made finding them easier. I agree.

What's the best way to rectify the situation? Give users a choice. Here's how to do it.

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Internet Explorer is getting a dev channel! Like Google's Chrome browser, those interested in trying out the latest bleeding-edge features in Internet Explorer will now have a developer version that they can use. The Internet Explorer Developer Channel offers numerous updates to the F12 developer tools, allowing those coding for the web to test their stuff on the latest and greatest version of Internet Explorer. Think of it as an opportunity to prepare for the future.

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Vserv.mobi, the global mobile advertising exchange, has shared an interesting infographic that puts together the milestones and elements of the journey of Windows Phone platform across the globe. The company has been helping Windows Phone developers monetize across emerging markets and the number of requests on the exchange, especially for the Windows platform, grew by 18.2X last year.

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The best thing about being a developer in the Microsoft technology ecosystem is the terrific support that the company offers to the developers. From dedicated forums and learning resources to public events, the community feeds off this support and grows further.

Microsoft has just launched an Windows Phone app for developers that aggregates official Microsoft resources related to building apps for the Windows Store and Windows Phone Store. The app is titled ‘#wpdev’, picking up from the popular Twitter hashtag that Microsoft and the developer community use on Twitter for sharing development resources and insights.

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Ready to find out how the Windows Phone Store and Windows Store are doing? Microsoft has just published a report showing trends for the two platforms. We learn a lot of interesting things in the post. For example, did you know that low-memory devices, like the Lumia 520, lead in app downloads? Highlights after the break.

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Last summer we told you boys and girls about this really great video series up on Channel 9. The series was called ‘Windows Phone 8 Development for Absolute Beginners’. It was an 11+ hour series that taught absolute beginners how to develop for Windows Phone 8. Now there’s a sequel up on Channel 9 that will do the same for Windows Phone 8.1.

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We’re very excited to see what developers can do by integrating their apps with Cortana. It’s a very promising future for those on Windows Phone 8.1. One developer has already started to play around with Cortana. Matt Cavanagh, a guy from South Africa who is well-known in the Windows Phone developer scene, has hooked up Cortana to control his lights. Check the video after the break.

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