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Microsoft's Todd Brix announced yesterday new developer tools to further expand the opportunity for those who wish to produce content for Windows Phone. As well as new capabilities for developers, the official blog post also goes into detail about new payout markets, as well as expanded payment options and how the store is growing. If you're considering whether or not Windows Phone is worth it, these changes may sway your mind.

The Dev Center team will be adding developer payout support in 6 more markets this week, bumping the total to 128. These new markets include Costa Rica, Cyprus, Kazakhstan, Lebanon, Malta and Trinidad and Tobago. Should you reside in these markets and be a developer, you'll be able to submit both free and commercial content to the store.

Microsoft is also working hard to add more mobile operator billing connections. Offering 35 in 23 markets so far, developers are reportedly earning (on average) 3 times more revenue per active consumer in markets where the payment gateway is supported. That's not a bad jump, but it's as high as 6 times more revenue in emerging markets where there's less credit card usage.

We've covered multiple mobile operators beginning to support Windows Phone and contract billing in the past, but we're sure many will follow.

WP Store Downloads Climb

Brix wraps up his blog post by showing just how rapidly downloads are being accumulated. Check out the above graph. The platform has recently added another billion transactions in under six months. That's a massive step in the right direction and shows just how far Microsoft has come with Windows Phone since launch. 

Source: Windows Phone Developer Blog