If you want to publish a Windows Phone app, the best place to start is of course the official Dev Center for Windows Phone Development from Microsoft. You need to join Microsofts Dev Center which has an annual subscription fee of currently $99 USD. But before joining at Microsofts page you might also have a look at some other programs which include the Windows Phone Developer membership:
Nokia Premium Developer Program
A tip for Nokia users: Nokia has a “Nokia Premium Developer Program” for just $99 USD. It contains one year of Windows Phone Developer membership which is already worth $99 USD. As you cannot deploy any apps without this Windows Phone Developer membership this is really a good deal, because you get all other goodies on top FOR FREE:
- Telerik RadControls for Windows Phone (worth $99 USD) with more than 40 custom controls for Windows Phone development.
- 1 million API calls per month at Buddy.com (worth $100 USD per month)
- 2 free tickets for Nokia technical support service (worth $198 USD)
So you pay $99 USD and get values worth around $1500 USD. Even if you don’t need them, you definitely need the Windows Phone developer membership which is worth $99 USD so you get all other things on top for free. Therefore I’ve registered at the Nokia Premium Developer Program. Maybe I need the Telerik Controls some when, or the tech support.
Microsoft DreamSpark is a program for students with lots of benefits, like Visual Studio Professional, Windows Server, SQL Server etc. And for Windows Phone development, the Windows Phone developer membership is also included for 1 year! So if you are a student you could easily save the $99 USD for Windows Phone Developer membership.
If you are not a student but a startup, Microsoft has another program which might help you: Microsoft BizSpark. It contains lots of software, e.g. Visual Studio Ultimate with MSDN Subscription, MS SQL Server, Windows 8 etc. And similar to DreamSpark, it also contains the Windows Phone Developer Membership for 1 year!
Microsoft Special Offer
On release of Windows Phone 8, Microsoft decreased the license fee from $99 USD to just $8 USD! Unfortunately only for 8 days, so that period is over. Maybe the have special offers somewhen again?