A single app store for both Windows and Windows Phone now seems inevitable as Microsoft has taken the first step by unifying the registration process of both platforms for developers.

Microsoft announced it brings Windows and Windows Phone developer programs together “at a lower cost.” As a result of these changes, the Redmond software maker welcomes all Windows and Windows Phone developers at the center of stage for $19 per year an individual and $99 per years for a company account while students will be benefited for free. It will surely increase the number of apps available on both stores.

As of November 6, developers will have to register only once to publish apps on both digital stores; hence that being said that it clearly represents the first step towards the creation of a single store for all platforms, anticipated in late September by Terry Myerson, Vice President of Operating Systems.

Thanks to the unification of the registration process, Windows Phone developers will also be Windows developers and vice versa. Microsoft has detailed the impact of changes on Windows dev blog:

  • Registered Windows Store developers can now submit apps to the Windows Phone Store at no additional cost, using the same Microsoft account.
  • Registered Windows Phone developers can now submit apps to the Windows Store at no additional cost, using the same Microsoft account.
  • New developers can register and existing developers can renew their account using the same Microsoft account. Developers will enter registration information just once and pay a single lower price of $19 for an Individual and $99 for a Company account, providing access to publish apps for both Windows and Windows Phone users.
  • Developers already registered with both Windows Store and Windows Phone using the same Microsoft account will receive a code via email this month, valid for a free one-year renewal when their existing registration is up for renewal.
  • Students continue to be supported through the DreamSpark program.

Microsoft has also pointed out that developers will continue to use two separate dashboards to manage their apps. As Christmas and holiday season are getting closer, the company suggests improving the existing app and publishing it on both stores. An additional incentive DVLUP program is also launched in collaboration with Nokia. Moreover, two new challenges have been announced to convince developers to port existing Windows Phone 8 apps to Windows 8.1 and vice versa.