Over on ZDNet earlier this week, I made the argument that Microsoft
needs to do something to invigorate its Windows Phone ecosystem to prevent it from being ignored by the developer community.

That something, as I see it, would be a common, unified runtime
that would allow Windows desktop developers to be Windows Phone
developers, and vice versa.

Microsoft continues to lay the groundwork for such a move, as the company announced today that it is merging developer accounts across its Windows Store and Windows Phone Store.

In concert with the change, Redmond is lowering the annual price
of an individual account to $19 for individuals and $99 for
companies.

Developers that already have an account on both stores that is
linked to the same Microsoft account will receive a code for a free one-year renewal.

While the accounts are merged, developers will still need to use the dashboards connected to each store in order to manage apps.

It’s a start from Microsoft, but there is a long way to go before
developers can seamlessly publish one app to both desktop and phone
environments.