Microsoft released a nice update to the Windows Phone Dev Center (formerly known as the App Hub developer portal) a few minutes ago, enabling support for a whole host of much-requested features and improvements.

Developers will be pleased to know that the Windows Phone Dev Center’s updated interface isn’t the only thing that’s new. App analytics have become faster and more robust, allowing you to discover the latest information about your app within minutes or hours, rather than days (or as much as a week). This will only get better over time, too. In short, Windows Phone’s analytics have been brought more in line with Windows 8′s.

Another fantastic feature is the ability to change your publisher name. This might seem minor on the surface, but many developers (including myself) accidentally used their regular screen name instead of a “nicer” publisher name, and there was previously no way to change it once the account was created. In fact, account updates as a whole have been improved.

Then there’s the new PayPal integration for registration fees and payouts, along with a much larger pool of beta keys. While Microsoft didn’t provide the exact number of available keys, the company did say it was in the thousands, rather than a mere 100. Finally, developers will be able to add in-app purchasing to Windows Phone 8 apps, set a unique price for each country/region, and much more.

Overall, the Windows Phone Dev Center is a great improvement over the old App Hub developer portal. The full change log can be found on Microsoft’s website.

[Windows Phone Developer Blog]