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Posted by ChrisA | about 3 years ago

There is an interesting piece on ArsTechnica today about Microsoft's attempt to get iOS and Android apps on Windows. It will be intriguing to see if Microsoft can get it's aging desktop population upgraded to Windows 10 in order to provide a decent market for developers. With Windows 10, they are planning to tie all of their Operating Systems together with the Universal Windows Platform in order to get back in the mobile game. Develop one app and deploy to IOT, phones, tablets, PCs, Xbox, or Hololens devices. Their "Universal Windows Platform Bridges" are a way to make it easier for developers to leverage work they've done for other platforms to get Apps into the Windows Store. The big question is will it work and is it worth the effort for developers.

Project Astoria will make it relatively simple with little to no investment to get your more basic Android apps in the Windows Store, but it's only for Windows 10 phones and that market is sure to be small for quite some time. Their iOS strategy seems to be the better option as it will result in a full universal app.

Project Islandwood allows you to import your xcode project right into VisualStudio and compile it to a Windows executable. While it looks like it's far more advantageous to modify and compile your Objective-C in VS to get the greater reach on phones, tablets, PCs, and XBox, is it going to be worth the effort to your students and users? Will this open up more opportunity for differentiated experiences on PCs with little effort or is your web app sufficient for laptop and desktop activities?

For web apps, they also announced Project Westminster that will be available later this summer. This will allow you to turn any website/web app into a Universal Windows App with little effort. This might be the simplest way to test if your users will find using an app on the all devices instead of the browser a more effective or cohesive experience.

This is fairly big news for a company like Microsoft that has a reputation for being less than open. I think we're going to see if this new and more open Microsoft can keep it's relevance in the consumer market in the next couple years while their Windows 10 strategy plays out.

Sources: ArsTechnica, Windows Dev Center

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