04 November 2012

First day with Windows Phone 8

This week, Microsoft made Windows Phone 8 public.
After a private WP8 SDK which was badly received in september, the official public SDK is now available.

I so thought it was the good time to start exploring Windows Phone dev world.
I tried some weeks ago, to be ready for public release but it was almost impossible to find info on WP8.
So, to be true, my first attempt gave me a bad feeling : Microsoft is now ruled by market people, no tech people....else how do you explain they retain information "to generate as much Windows Phone 8 excitement as possible" (cf blog post)...Cool the new WP8 is so much fun but...wait ? where are the apps ? there are coming soon because developers discovered the app at the same time that the normal user/consumer !

Anyway, I tried again...because I learnt from my past bad feeling (iOS), you coud finally find something great under the black curtain.

Step 1 : Register
So I registered as the Individual developer, for only 8$ and using Paypal (great !)
Well..it's not really 8$...it's 99$ and Microsoft will give you back 91$ later ....when ? I don't know ... why not directly pay only 8$ ? I don't know....Why only for new devers and not previous ? I don't know
Ask Microsoft....
I also must be careful because it's seen the renewal is automatic so if WP8 isn't interesting, I should find how to stop this automatic access to my paypal account.
Oh, and if you're looking for the rules about the 8$ registration, follow this link, because it's not easy to find on WP8 home page...

Step 2 : Download the SDK
The SDK is available, as usual with Microsoft, is available like a small .MSI or a full .ISO
It's great because you could download the full ISO to keep it somewhere (keeping older versions of SDK is a must do !)
BUT, like for iOS, you should upgrade your OS...yes, you need Windows 8
And here comes my first problem : like everyone knows, a Microsoft OS is usable only from the SP1 version...so it's just not possible I install Windows 8 beta public release on ly system...and lost all my programs and drivers
But wait, I need a new PC because my old one isn't strong enought for WP8 dev : 4Go RAM, 64bit OS and CPU which support SLAT (for emulation I suppose)
So 8$ to register + 1000$ for a PC ? Better than Apple but still a robbery
So I donwloaded SDK for 7.1 ... but it still waiting for installation since I don't see the point to use it (perhaps to gain at least 8$?)

Step 3 : Create a seller account
If you want to sell app on the WPStore, you have to create a seller account or, to be more exact, submit a tax profile form.
Honestly, I tried...but the form crashes every 2 attempts and, in final, I wasn't able to valid because it asked for a U.S. taxpayer identification number
1 - I'm not from USA
2 - I'm filling a non-US seller form
3 - the 'see instructions' just points nowhere
So I can't sell anything on Windows Phone Store....but perhaps I missed something because this form is just to legal for me (I'm a developer, not a lawyer!)

Step 4 : Create an in-app ads account
It's not clear if you could only use Microsoft Ads systems or not (will my apps be refused if I use Adfonic ?), so I tried to register to pubCenter.
This was easy but I soon discover another no-go details : while you can pay using Paypal to register as a developer, while you can receive your money using Paypal if you're an app seller...you can't receive mony throught Paypal using Microsoft's pubCenter.
Only check and bank wire...sorry but check don't work in France and I hate giving my bank info to someone like Microsoft or Apple.

So....I paid 8$, I downloaded a SDK I can't use to make app I can't sell or earn money from....
VERY VERY VERY bad start !

note : I make it late at night so perhaps I missed some points but, in that case, there were none clearly available

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