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In-App purchases coming to Windows Phone 8

In App purchase has been present in iOS for quite some time now. With Microsoft trying hard to give a strong answer to its competitors in the smartphone market, the company has extended support for Windows Phone developers who want to include in-app purchases to their products.

In app purchases essentially allows customers to purchase upgrades, new content, and complementary features directly within the app. According to the guidelines that were posted by Microsoft recently, in-app purchases will be available exclusively on Windows Phone 8 and hence developers can include in-app content only in Windows Phone 8 apps. In-app purchases won’t be supported in Windows Phone 7.5 or the upcoming 7.8, thus both users and developers are pretty much out of luck.

App developers wanting to exploit the new in-app feature are required to explain the “fundamentals” of the in-app product, such as alias, price, type, and languages. They are also instructed to make available the details and image of the product along with an appropriate description.

Microsoft had previously confirmed back in June that all the existing Windows Phone 7 devices won’t be capable of upgrading to Windows Phone 8, however, the company did promise to upgrade the existing devices to Windows Phone 7.8 which aims at bridging the generation gap and will be bringing selected features of Windows Phone 8 to older devices. Few features, like a new home screen with more columns, resizable tiles, and new themes, from Windows Phone 8 will be ported back to Windows Phone 7.8.

The lack of support for in-app purchases in Windows Phone 7.8 is connected to fact that Microsoft’s wallet hub is slated to debut on Windows Phone 8 as an in-app purchase management system. Microsoft should make sure the system is secure so that it isn’t hack-able, unlike Apple’s in-app purchase system which was recently hacked by Russian hacker and as a result allowed the users to purchase in-app content free of cost. Apple still hasn’t fixed the issue effectively and has promised to address it in iOS 6.

Windows Phone 7.5 in its current state has many basic features that one would expect from a smartphone missing. Windows Phone 8 will sport tons of new features, including higher screen resolutions, support for Near Field Communication, multicore processors, and expandable memory. Recently leaked pictures indicate revamped start screen with new color schemes and resizable tiles.

Windows Phone 8 devices such as Nokia Lumia 910 and 920 are expected to debut in September. These Lumia devices will have multicore processors and 720p HD displays. Apart from that, Nokia is also anticipated to include PureView technology that was seen in its flagship device, Nokia 808 PureView. The technology is basically a pixel oversampling technique that essentially decreases an image taken at full resolution into a lower resolution image, achieving higher definition and light sensitivity in the process, and also enabling lossless zoom, which is a pretty nice feature to have on your handheld. Nokia 808 PureView incorporates a monstrous 41 megapixel sensor. A Windows Phone 8 device with PureView technology would be a dream to have and will surely give competitors a run for their money.

Recently, a yellow color Lumia device running Windows Phone 8 was spotted in China. The smartphone even had a signing on the bottom which reads “”, indicating that it’s a prototype (more on this can be read here).

Windows Phone 8 is a major upgrade over Windows Phone 7.5 and it definitely looks promising to me. Share your thoughts on WP8 using the comment form below.

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