Microsoft this week announced a set of developer-oriented initiatives that are part of the ongoing unification of the previously separate Windows 8.x and Windows Phone platforms. Key among them is a unified developer portal, 21 new payout markets, and an update to the Windows App Studio Beta.

The firm noted some previous milestones in this march to unification, including unifying the previously separate registrations for Windows and Windows Phone developers, and the release of a Universal App platform that developers can use to create apps for both Windows and Windows Phone (and, soon, Xbox One).

Here's what's new.

Windows Dev Center

The Windows and Windows Phone Dev Center portals for developers are now combined into a single entity, giving developers for both platforms a single destination.

You can find the new consolidated Windows Dev Center at dev.windows.com, which is obvious enough.

As was the case with the previously separate Windows Dev Center and Windows Phone Dev Center, the new site contains everything you need—links to the free tools, the documentation, code samples, forums, and more—all in one place. Documentation is available in 11 languages: English, Brazilian Portuguese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Russian, Simplified Chinese, Spanish, and Traditional Chinese.

The Windows and Windows Phone dashboards are still separate, so those who have created apps for both platforms will still have a little bit of work to do. But you can switch between them easily enough.

21 new payout markets

Microsoft also added 21 new payout markets—that is, markets in which developers can submit paid apps—for both Windows and Windows Phone. These include Albania, Antigua and Barbuda, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Comoros, Dominica, Fiji Islands, Georgia, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Mauritius, Monaco, Mongolia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Tajikistan, Tonga, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan. This includes apps with in-app purchase, which now accounts for almost 50 percent of all Windows Phone developer payout and over 30 percent of Windows payout.

There are now 149 total payout markets for both Windows and Windows Phone.

Windows App Studio Beta improvements

The beta version of Windows App Studio, Microsoft's free web-based Windows and Windows Phone developer tool, has improved this week with new "getting started" training content. So if you're new to programming, or to the Windows platform, you can check that out to get up to speed quickly.