With Windows 8 inching closer to its October 26 launch date, the pieces leading up to the event are seemingly falling into place. The latest milestone to be reached resides within the Windows Store itself, as Microsoft is now giving all developers in 120 markets the green light to bring their apps to the blocky new "modern" OS.
"At every major Windows 8 development milestone – Release Preview, Consumer Preview, RTM – we’ve added markets toward our commitment to a truly global offering," writes Ted Dworkin, Partner Program Manager for the Store. "We often hear from those who don’t yet have support in their market, and we’ve said we’ll keep expanding. Today’s 82 additional markets more than doubles our support toward enabling developer opportunity everywhere there’s a developer with desire."
In addition to opening the doors to app submissions, all eligible MSDN subscribers (opens in new tab) will receive a free, one-year Windows Store developer account as part of their MSDN benefits – eligible subscriptions include Visual Studio Professional, Test Professional, Premium, Ultimate, and BizSpark. There's also a program for students – DreamSpark – that similarly waives the subscription fee, and an offer for businesses in Microsoft's BizSpark program.
"Getting started is easy," he writes. "Just go to the Windows Store Dashboard (opens in new tab) on the Windows Dev Center and sign up. The dev tools are free (opens in new tab), the SDK is ready (opens in new tab), and we have a ton of great supporting content (opens in new tab) to help you build your app and submit it for Store certification."
Dworkin says that Microsoft has seen "fantastic" interest throughout the Windows Store preview stage from the likes of individual developers, large development houses to component and service providers. The Redmond company also reports a great increase in both the number and diversity of apps seen in Windows Store even before the OS goes live and the first production Windows 8 PC hits the market.
"Sign up now, reserve your app names – we look forward to seeing your app in the Store in time for the general availability of Windows 8," he adds.