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Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Microsoft's universal Windows apps will run on phones, tablets PCs and even the Xbox


Microsoft's universal Windows apps will run on phones, tablets PCs and even the Xbox

Microsoft has been clear since the announcement of Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 that its plan for the platform was in convergence. It started out by making sure that all of its mobile and desktop platforms were transitioned to the same kernel, and with today's announcement of Windows Phone 8.1 and Windows 8.1 Update 1 offer universal Windows app development, which should have huge implications for the Windows ecosystem.

With the upcoming improvements for developers, they will be able to reuse quite a lot of code in order to create apps for phones, tablets, and (Modern) desktops. For the UI, developers will be able to choose whether to have the UI dynamically adapt to the screen size/resolution that it is on, which would mean that an app would look the same on all devices; or, developers can specifically tailor the app design for the screen size used. This second option would require a bit more work, but would offer a UI that works best on each screen size while the majority of the code would stay the same.

This should be huge for the ecosystem, which just passed the "combined" total of 400,000 apps between the Windows and Windows Phone Stores. Of course, currently apps are available separately for Windows and Windows Phone, and developers will be resubmitting their apps which work across all Windows devices.

These new developer tools should lead to an uptick in the number of apps available across Windows devices, and hopefully help boost the sales of Windows tablets, especially those running Windows RT. As Windows 8 tablets continue to get cheaper, it will be interesting to see if Windows RT devices will reach lower price points or eventually fade out in future.



The convergence of Windows apps wont be limited to smartphones, tablets and phones as Microsoft also stated that they plan to expand Windows apps to run on the Xbox in future.

Windows Phone Micrososft's Roadmap: Return of the Start Menu, Windows apps on Xbox and more
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