A developer account on WP7 app hub allows you to publish 5 free apps for free, after which you need to pay for every new free app you publish. Here is some additional information regarding the quota.
- You can publish unlimited paid apps to the marketplace.
- You get to publish 5 free apps to the marketplace, after which you pay $20 per app.
- When it comes to updates to your published app:
- They are always free and never ever count towards your free quota of applications.
- Even an update that fails certification does not count towards your free quota.
To me, the above is an extremely reasonable cost of publishing apps to the market-place because if you think about it, this is what you get for $100 from Microsoft:
- An excellent app-store via the Zune.
- Management and reporting of downloads of your apps
- Free QA team that makes sure that your app performs to a minimum set of requirements (performance, appearance and behavior).
- Publicity via Bing’s Visual Search tool.
- Free development IDE – that is better than any other IDE out there.