New Opportunity: Kinect for Windows + Unified Windows developer portal and documentation and 21 additional payout markets

Earlier this week Microsoft released the Kinect for Windows Public Preview which represents a new opportunity for Windows developers, as apps created with the new SDK may be published to the Window Store later this year. We’re making plans to prominently feature Kinect-enabled apps to provide customers with an exciting new Windows experience. I’d like to encourage you to download the preview today and be one of the first to publish a Windows app integrating the Kinect experience.

Today we are also taking the next step in the journey to a single unified Windows platform which began last November with unified developer registration, and continued at Build with universal Windows apps. With this release, we are bringing together Windows Phone and Windows Store online developer resources including education materials, guidance, code samples and reference documentation. We now have a single Windows Dev Center website – dev.windows.com – to aid those of you developing apps and games across phone, tablet and PC.

Finally, this week we’re also expanding the number of payout markets to include 21 new markets from which you can submit paid apps. This includes apps with in-app purchase, the fastest growing Store revenue model, representing nearly 50% of Windows Phone developer payout and over 30% of Windows payout – and growing.

New opportunity: Kinect for Windows

This week we released the Kinect for Windows SDK 2.0 Public Preview. Apps created with this release may be published to the Windows Store once the final, RTM version of the SDK is available (planned for later this year). And, to make it easy for you to leverage Kinect technology within your existing games, the SDK 2.0 release includes Unity support.

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Key enhancements in the 2.0 release include improved skeletal, hand, and joint orientation support; advanced face tracking; simultaneous multi-app support; and enhanced recording and playback features so you can develop without having a Kinect sensor with you at all times.

You can expect to hear more about this new opportunity in the coming months. You’ll want to visit the Kinect for Windows site where you can download the Public Preview and purchase the v2 sensor.

dev.windows.com, the one place to learn about Windows app development

 

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In the unified site you will find the content and guidance for both Windows Phone and Windows Dev Centers consolidated in to a single location. Learn about design, find the tools you need for development, and understand the steps to publish universal Windows apps. We’ve also combined code samples and forums into a single, convenient location.

Unified documentation: You will now see a comprehensive, combined documentation set to help you learn how to build apps for Windows devices (phone, tablet and PC), with API and feature distinctions clearly called out. Documentation is now available in 11 languages: German, English, Spanish, French, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Brazilian Portuguese, Russian, Simplified Chinese and Traditional Chinese.

Single location for code samples: The code samples for Windows Phone and Windows Store apps, as well as for universal Windows apps, continue to be published in the MSDN code gallery. The difference is that they are now easily accessible directly from one Dev Center page.

Single location for developer forums: The Windows Store apps and Windows Phone developer forums have been merged into one streamlined set of forums. The dashboard forums have been combined so that they appear together in one location, while the technical forums remain specialized for each form factor.

The dashboards will remain separate for Windows Phone and Windows. When you first click the Dashboard link in the Dev Center, you’ll be able to choose which one to start with. After that, switching between the two is simple. Just use the link in the left-hand navigation pane.

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21 New Payout Markets

Beginning this week the number of markets in which registered developers can submit paid apps has been increased by 21 for both Windows Phone and Windows Store. The 21 new payout markets include: Albania, Antigua and Barbuda, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Comoros, Dominica, Fiji Islands, Georgia, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Mauritius, Monaco, Mongolia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Tajikistan, Tonga, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan.  This brings the count to 149 markets where Windows Phone and Windows developers can earn revenue through paid apps or through in-app purchase.

 

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Windows App Studio Beta site improvements

And for our novice developers we’ve recently refreshed the Windows App Studio Beta site, making it easier to use in addition to adding new ‘getting started’ training content. If you’ve got an idea for a great app, but little time or coding skills, I would encourage you to try this easy-to-use tool.

I’d like to encourage you to download the Kinect for Windows SDK 2.0 Public Preview and be one of the first to bring Kinect-enabled apps to the Windows platform. And visit the new unified Dev Center portal to start developer universal Windows apps. As always, your feedback is important to us, please continue to let us know what you think at Dev Center user voice.