Microsoft's success over the years has been the huge developer pool who have built applications for this ecosystem. With Windows 8, Microsoft entered new waters and there is much catching up to do (Apple and Google are leading the pack here). To build excitement within the developer community, Microsoft offers a variety of benefits to developers who want to write applications for the Windows ecosystem.
These benefits, available on the Dev Center website, come in the form of training, software, hardware, and other type of resources. Besides these, Dev Center also offers challenges that developers can take on to redeem for rewards.
How to Sign Up for Dev Center Benefits
Signing up for Dev Center benefits is easy and requires a Microsoft account. Visit https://devcenterbenefits.windows.com/join to get started.
Once you are on the registration screen, select the checkbox to agree to the Dev Center Benefits program agreement, and click "Agree & Continue".
Figure 1: The initial registration screen
Once you accept, you are granted the "Explorer" level of benefits. At this moment, you can apply for a benefits package upgrade to Expert or Master level if you provide the information of your best performing app (including on competing platforms such as iOS and Google Play).
Figure 2: You are now a Dev Center Explorer
If you are providing iOS or Google Play app information, you need to provide additional information for application verification before you can be provided the benefits package upgrade.
Types of Benefits
In the preceding section, we got an insight into multiple benefits packages. Here is a summary view of the benefit tiers.
- Explorer: In this tier, developers can get started quickly with design and architecture guidance from a Microsoft expert, sweetened by Windows Store gift cards.
- Expert: In this tier, developers can reach more users faster with advertising offers, and publishing contracts amongst other benefits.
- Master: In their tier, developers build a direct connection with the Windows Store; this feature enables them to enjoy Store merchandising, priority publisher support, and early SDK access. All this is in addition to the benefits of the earlier tiers.
Here are the various benefits, along with the tiers in which they are offered.
- Free Dev Center account for unregistered developers (Explorer, Expert, Master): Developers get free registration for Windows Dev Center; this enables them to publish apps in the Windows and Windows Phone store.
- Architecture guidance (Explorer, Expert, Master): Experienced experts are available to help with questions about application architecture.
- Design guidance (Explorer, Expert, Master): Developers can get design guidance to make appealing user experiences for Windows and Windows Phone applications.
- Gift Cards for Windows Store (Explorer, Expert, Master): Developers have the opportunity to promote their applications with digital Windows Store gift cards for apps and games.
- 25% discount off localization services by Lionbridge Technologies (Explorer, Expert, Master): This benefit offers a 25% discount of localization services in numerous languages.
- Priority consideration for BizSpark program (Expert, Master): This benefit provides priority consideration for the developer to be considered in the BizSpark program.
- 1 million ad impressions with AdDuplex (Expert, Master): This benefit is self-explanatory.
- Publishing offer by AE Mobile (Expert, Master): A successful game can get a prioritized consideration for a two-year game publishing contract with AE Mobile.
- $225 voucher redeemable for professional localization service from Lionbridge Technologies (Expert, Master): This benefit is in the form of a voucher code worth $225 to be used for localization services from Lionbridge Technologies.
- Priority Publisher Support (Master): This benefit entails exclusive access to the to the Priority Publisher Support team, to help with issues related to app submissions, certifications, and troubleshooting.
- Windows Platform Early Access Program (Master): This benefit entails early access to pre-release Windows SDK to a select group of developers.
- Windows Store merchandising promotions (Master): This benefit entails merchandising promotion opportunities.
In this article, we learned about the Dev Center benefits available for Windows store developers. These benefits allow them to develop, improve, and market their applications.
About the Author
Vipul Patel is a technology geek based in Seattle. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can visit his LinkedIn profile at https://www.linkedin.com/pub/vipul-patel/6/675/508.