Windows Phone App Studio makes it easy to build WP8 apps

Say what you will about Microsoft's ecosystem struggles, but no one can fault it for trying. In an effort to get more developers to give Windows Phone 8 more than a passing glance, the outfit has just launched a beta version of Windows Phone App Studio -- a web-based dev environment that's "designed to help anyone quickly bring an idea to life by applying text, web content, imagery, and design concepts to any one of a rich set of customizable templates." Moreover, Microsoft is now allowing any dev to unlock and register a single phone to use with up to two apps, and it's also offering a $19 "Summer Break" Dev Center registration offer for those looking to actually publish software to the store. Finally, a new "Click To Chat" support program is being instituted to help those who can't quite seem to overcome a programming hurdle. Take a look at the company's blog post for the full skinny.