Windows Phone 8 to get in-app purchasing; others left out

Microsoft is finally bringing in-app purchases to Windows Phone, but it will only be available on the upcoming Windows Phone 8.

Recent Microsoft guidelines confirm that users and developers working with the current version of Windows Phone - and the upcoming Windows Phone 7.8 upgrade - are out of luck when it comes to in-app purchases.

Windows Phone 8 is expected to debut in the autumn. Microsoft confirmed in June that existing Windows Phone 7 devices will not be eligible for a full Windows Phone 8 upgrade. But they will get a small boost to Windows 7.8, which includes some but not all of the features coming to Windows Phone 8, like a new home screen with more columns, resizable tiles, and new themes.

More details about submitting an app with in-app purchase components are available on Microsoft's Dev Center site. Earlier, Microsoft unveiled its upgraded Windows Phone Dev Center with PayPal support and various infrastructure changes aimed at making app development a smoother process.

In-app purchases have been available via Apple's App Store since October 2009 and via BlackBerry App World since September 2010. Google launched in-app billing in Google Play, then the Android Market, in March 2011 and recently added in-app subscriptions. The Amazon Appstore joined the party in April.