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Windows Phone developers get new digital home & PayPal support

Windows Phone developers have a new home – the revamped Windows Phone Dev Center, announced yesterday via the Redmond-based company's developers blog.

The updated site was born from the retired App Hub developer portal. It offers tools for building, publishing, and managing apps running Windows Phones 7.5 or earlier, and includes new payment options, like PayPal.

Developers can now also register in four times as many countries, and get paid in three times as many regions, program manager Ash Wahi said on the blog.

Demand from devs led to the PayPal integration, Wahi said. In any market in which the online payment system is available, developers can use PayPal to get paid, as well as pay for their Windows account. Unique pricing options have also been added based on geographic location; users can now work with a variety of currencies, from the native dollar to the Kuwaiti dinar by way of the British pound.

Track app downloads and performance with the new analytic tool that shows downloads by purchase type – free, paid, trial, and beta – as well as monthly payouts.

Infrastructure changes, meanwhile, "will help reduce the latency of the app downloads report," Wahi said, adding that developers will start to notice the upgrade in the weeks and months ahead as the changes take effect.

Wahi also touted the new Dev Center's cleaner, more streamlined appearance, including quick links aimed at providing faster access to common tasks.

As requested, Microsoft also upgraded its account sign-up and submission process - making it easier to edit and update an account - and built new time-saving default menu choices.

"Today's launch is just the first step," Wahi said.

In June, Microsoft unveiled Windows Phone 8, which is expected to be released in the autumn, around the 26 October launch of Windows 8. Existing Windows Phones will be not be upgradeable to Windows Phone 8, but will instead get an incremental upgrade to Windows Phone 7.8.

Earlier this week, it was reported that Nokia may announce its next-generation Windows Phone 8 handsets as early as next month.