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Nokia Phases Out Free Developer Programmes

Steve McCaskill is editor of TechWeekEurope and ChannelBiz. He joined
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Nokia suspends and retires two of its free programs in favour of a new premium service

Nokia has announced changes to its Nokia developer programmes, replacing its free offerings with a new paid-for Nokia Premium Developer Program.

The Finnish manufacturer has suspended the Nokia Developer Launchpad Program and is in the process of retiring the invitation-only Nokia Developer Pro Program.

It hopes to entice members of the Nokia developer community to create applications for Windows Phone 8, but interested parties will now have to pay $99 a year to access a range of benefits.

Nokia developer programs

Nokia Lumia 510 smartphone“Nokia is announcing that we are in the process of refreshing our developer programmes to focus more tightly on our core platforms, Windows Phone and Series 40,” said Nokia. “As a result, we are not currently accepting new applications for Nokia Developer Launchpad and Nokia Developer Pro programs.”

As a result, applications to the Launchpad Program which have not yet been processed will not be processed at all, but those entitled to a developer device have until 30 November to request it. Tech support cases will be available until April 20 2013. Nokia adds that it will continue to seek out qualifying developers and work with them, despite the closure of the Developer Pro Program.

“While we can’t comment on unannounced programmes, our commitment to our developer community remains strong,” it said. “You can expect to see new programme offerings in the near future that will be of even more value to our developers than the current programmes.”

Are developers optimistic?

These new programmes include the Nokia Premium Developer Program, which was announced at Microsoft Build 2012. This costs $99 a year, but promises $1,500 worth of tools and services.

If you want help with creating high-performance apps for Nokia Lumia smartphone, then sign up for the Nokia Premium Developer Program,” said Adam Fraser of Nokia. “Nokia has put together this package of Windows Phone related tools and services specifically designed to help you create amazing looking apps or games.”

Included in the programme is a one year membership to the Microsoft Windows Phone Dev Center, essential if you want to submit apps to the Windows Phone Store, a license to Telerik RadControls for Windows Phone, 1 million API calls a month with Buddy’s cloud API offering and two Nokia tech support tickets.

Developer have been reportedly optimistic about the chances of Nokia and Microsoft succeeding with Windows Phone 8, which launched in the UK last Friday, but it remains to be seen what impact, if any, that the changes to these programmes will have on that outlook.

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