Microsoft has long had a vision to unite its stores for both Windows and Windows Phone, as well as content that's populated in both catalogues. This hasn't quite been the case yet, even though it's well known that the company is driving forward in pulling its platforms closer together. The launch of Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8 definitely reflects this.
A recent job offering at Microsoft for a Software Developer Engineer in Test (SDET) reveals that the company is indeed pushing forward with the idea that apps can run on multiple platforms under the Windows umbrella. The listing asks, "Do you wish the code you write for Windows Store apps would just work on the Windows Phone and vice versa?" Quite the direct one, we know.
Here's the full description:
"Are you excited about Windows Phone? Are you passionate about delivering the best possible experience to the developer community? Do you wish the code you write for Windows Store apps would just work on the Windows Phone and vice versa? If so, then this is the role for you! We are the team leading the charge to bring much of the WinRT API surface and the .NET Windows Store profile to the Phone.
We are looking for a highly motivated and technically strong SDET to help our team bring together the Windows Store and Phone development platforms. As a member of our team you will have a variety of responsibilities including designing and automating new tests, adapting existing automation and frameworks to the Phone, and building test framework components that will be used by many teams throughout Windows Phone.
You will have an opportunity to sharpen your cross-team collaboration skills by working with many people in the Windows and Phone orgs. You will work closely with your developer and PM counterparts to solve the technical challenges of bringing a platform built for desktops and tablets to the phone form factor."
That really does say it all. The company is homing in on the goal to bring its Windows Store and Phone development platforms together. The only question remains is when can we expect to see this happen? For the time being, apps created for Windows Phone cannat be released on Windows without some modifications being made. The mobile platform has over 150,000 apps available.
We believe that the set of "Blue" updates set to arrive this year will create the bridges required for apps to be loaded on both laptops / desktops as well as Windows Phones. It'll certainly please developers to see their app available to a wider audiences, especially a platform as popular as Windows. We'll be keeping our eyes open in the near future for anything that pops up.