Microsoft will focus on desktops with UWP — here's why you should care

Microsoft's UWP is going to be a major focus at the forthcoming Build conference in two weeks. Expectations of new tools, improved Xamarin support, and cross-platform capabilities should be all at the forefront at the event.

Interestingly, Microsoft may change its messaging around UWP as well. With Windows 10 Mobile waning fast, here is why Microsoft could be looking to double down on the desktop.

Confusion about UWP

Microsoft's UWP has always created misunderstanding especially amongst consumers. Some have thought it meant that all apps built with the platform could just run anywhere – so the "universal" here is referring to the hardware endpoint.

That's not accurate, however.

Microsoft means "universal" to refer to the tools that let developers get their product to the Windows Store. That's why all apps listed in the Store are technically UWP yet not all of those apps can run on Mobile.

Universal also refers to non-consumer features like shared pricing structure, joint in-app purchases, the ability to install across multiple devices, and unified ad-units.

We can chalk this confusion up to Microsoft's bad naming and poor messaging. A familiar theme, no doubt.

It's not just consumers though that are having a tough time understanding UWP – at least conceptually.

Some developers also believe that that UWP is for creating simple phone apps that can run on your PC and not the other way around. I've written about this before as the "app model" is very phone-centric. Developers see UWP in the light of Microsoft's biggest failure to date. That's not good.

Microsoft sees UWP as someday displacing Win32 apps a.k.a. "classic" desktop programs. That time is still far off, as UWP is nowhere near as powerful as Win32, but for Microsoft, the goal is to edge towards that reality.

Each year that UWP grows, more features are added, and that goal is within reach. But developers are still reluctant to embrace UWP partially because of the stigma – yes, stigma – of Windows 10 Mobile.

Pivot away from phones

Microsoft's Q3 2017 earnings report solidified the company's intent to move away from phones – at least for now.

Part of that distancing in the consumer space may help Windows 10 and UWP. Here's how.

Sources familiar with Microsoft's plans tell us that developers were more receptive to UWP once mobile – and specifically phones – was dropped from the sell.

That result may seem surprising, but if UWP is meant to be a long-term replacement for Win32, having it appear analogous to tweaked phone apps is not the way to do it. And evidently that is the current perception: UWP creates phone apps for your PC.

Microsoft believes for UWP to be successful it needs to do a few things:

  1. Win on the PC and desktop first.
  2. Demonstrate how it will be better than Win32.
  3. Convince developers that these are not just phone apps.

The first point about "winning" on the desktop refers to having successful apps and games appear in the Windows Store. Developers and consumers need to shift their perception of the Store from a collection of applets with semi-functionality of full desktop apps to true desktop alternatives.

Adobe Photoshop Elements 15, which uses the Project Centennial Bridge, is one example. Another is the recently released djay Pro, which was ported over from iOS using the Project Islandwood Bridge.

For gaming, high profile releases like Fallout Shelter, Minecraft, and Resident Evil 7: Biohazard represent what UWP is supposed to do.

Fallout Shelter is on Windows 10 and Xbox. It's an example of what UWP is supposed to do.

Fallout Shelter is on Windows 10 and Xbox. It's an example of what UWP is supposed to do.

UWP needs those types of releases for developers and consumers to see value in the platform and Store.

Those software achievements mentioned above demonstrate the power of UWP when done correctly.

The app djay Pro is a massively complicated release with support for location-aware Surface Dial functionality, complex UI elements, timed audio synchronicity and more. The company behind the Windows 10 version of djay Pro gushed about how amazing it was to be able to bring their app – no limitations – to Windows 10 without having to hire a whole new team.

The music creation app djay Pro is a monumental achievement for Windows "Bridges".

The music creation app djay Pro is a monumental achievement for Windows "Bridges".

These are the kind of stories Microsoft wants to highlight, and my gut tells me you'll see the company heavily promote such releases at BUILD and in advertising.

Succeed on the PC, then go to Mobile

If you think about it, the whole concept of UWP did come across as backward for developers. Windows phone was never a lucrative investment for developers despite Nokia doing their darndest to get it there.

It's the old "putting the cart before the horse" scenario, and it's biting Microsoft hard.

Windows "Bridges" are a key component to the success of UWP. Photoshop Elements and djay Pro are ideal examples.

Windows "Bridges" are a key component to the success of UWP. Photoshop Elements and djay Pro are ideal examples.

If, however, Microsoft can distance themselves for phones and make UWP successful on desktop things shift. Now, the model looks like you are taking powerful and robust desktop applications and magically getting them to run on mobile devices. Technically, that was always the truth, but it's an easier sell to everyone once you prove it.

This strategy is not speculation, either. Microsoft is going to position UWP first and foremost as an actual desktop development system for high-end games and apps going forward. This attempt is one reason why Phone is being deprecated for now.

If UWP can't be successful on the PC, Xbox, Mixed Reality, etc. it has no hope for mobile either.

This rationale differs from what I previously argued, which is UWP cannot succeed with phones. While Microsoft would be in a much better position had they not ineptly destroyed their phone business for the fourth time in a decade the situation is so bad that it was negatively affecting Windows 10 and UWP.

Skype UWP now runs on HoloLens, Xbox, Windows 10, and Mobile.

Skype UWP now runs on HoloLens, Xbox, Windows 10, and Mobile.

All of this, however, is just more unwelcome news for fans of Windows phones. Counterintuitively, instead of putting all their might behind the phone market, it is going to put all their effort into the desktop, tablets, Windows Mixed Reality, IoT, and other platforms. Bring on as many developers into the (currently) successful part of the business and then slowly bring back mobile once they have the hardware is ready and the apps are there for consumers.

As every analyst knows, even if Microsoft released a killer "Surface phone" tomorrow with mind-boggling innovation and design it still has the app-gap problem. It'll just fail. Microsoft needs to solve that, but they are not going to do it by releasing a dead-end phone. Instead, they will put all their effort into making UWP as powerful and as successful as they can and come back to a new device category once the all the pieces are in place.

Microsoft's new push into education is the right move — at the right time

None of this is really good news, but at this time I can't think of another approach either. Microsoft 100 percent needs UWP to succeed for the future of Windows.

Finally, creating more device categories and markets is important. Microsoft's announcement on May 2 will prove the company is serious about entering new segments like education with its full might. Doing so will also greatly benefit developers and the UWP model.

Daniel Rubino
Editor-in-chief

Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft since 2007 when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, laptops, next-gen computing, and for some reason, watches. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics, watched people sleep (for medical purposes!), and ran the projectors at movie theaters because it was fun.

302 Comments
  • Microsoft itself is confused. Seems like they don't plan but take decisions along the way.
  • Yes, It's terrible, we know nothing and Microsoft has been quiet one year. I think more and more they cut us of as consumers, they don't want us. All Surface are terrible expensive, even for business, and the sale also starts to drop there. Microsoft make big mistakes - the future is a 6 inch device, phone, navigator, player and pc funktions, a multi device with all great apps. A device we can use for private and business, we don't want to have two or more devices in the pocket. I'm or was a very loyal Microsoft customer all life, but I start to be extremely angry the way they're treating us, and I'm afraid to buy Microsoft hardware. When people ask, I advise them to buy Android phones, and Huawei or other tablets with Windows 10.
  • You forget. MS is a software company. They have no problem with you recommending anything running a MS OS, like the Huawei, or something that can use MS services, like Android. The sell the S8 in their store. Yea Surface is a bit expensive, but there wouldn't be Huawei Matebooks, Yoga's, without it. I really believe that. MS had to show what was possible to 'shame' OEMs into stepping it up. I have no problem with my MS hardware. My Surface is an excellent machine, with build quality easily equal to any Apple product, or an PC OEM. Nothing wrong with my 950XL hardware either. The problem there the app gap, making support for it a tough sell when the bottom line guys get involved. MS is a business after all. (Hey, I don't like it, but I get it). I actually think it makes sense for MS to start pushing the capabilites of UWP on tablets, laptops and PCs. There are actually enough of those to make it worthwhile for developers. If you can get that message across, and apps start appearing, then it will make sense to develop smaller devices again, i.e. phones, or devices that can serve as both.
  • You just said what i want to say, lol. It's sad to say that but as WM fans are only about 1%, why should a big company like Microsoft who's trying to bring something new on the table should care about us 1%? Do you want 1% of peoples happy or do you a larger market share and upset those 1%? The problem with hardcore fans is they tend to be too emotionals. I'm waiting for a Surface Phone quite a time now, but i agree with what Microsoft is doing, so i'm willing to wait more. For now i'm just considering buying a second hand iPhone 6S for about 250$ or a Xiaomi Android Phone and wait patienly 1 or 2 years more. Be patient...
  • Balmer wasn't a fantastic CEO, but he got one thing right: "Developers, Developers, Developers!" Since development on Windows has all but dried up, UWP is doomed to fail.  Windows isn't even an afterhtought, at this point.  And MS did this to themselves.
  • Translation: I don't get it, so they're doing it wrong.  Move along, dude.
  • I just went to a Xamarin meetup in New York - not one person there thought of deploying code for any Windows device. Xamarin is being sold amongst developers as an iOS and Android tool
  • I don't know what goes on in tech companies and this might be a terrible comparison but from what I've seen on Silicon Valley the tv show, everything in tech companies of all sizes is very haphazard. From Pied Piper to Hooli (Google equivalent)
  • sad...took them 2 years to decide UWP is working....they need to be much more agile...
  • One misstep after another.  This is the biggest and fatal to bury the phone platform in order to change perceptions for developers.  That is absolutely absurd.  Instead of making UWP more powerful to attract developers, eliminating phones will only weaken the argument for UWP.   A Surface Phone definitely can be successful if it comes equipped with a foldable screen.  Otherwise the app-gap problem would remain.  The expanded screen would support running W10 and web apps efficiently.  So we don't have to rely solely on the phone apps.  We can enjoy all the services thru web apps.
  • MS does not have to convince us, it has to convince the developers.
  • What an apologist article. Microsoft doesn't focus on phones with UWP.  That's why we don't care LOL.
  • this will kill MS. devs simply do not give **** about the windows store..
  • Wow this interesting is like not make for mobile do it for the other ecosystems and then the mobile get collateral benefit
  • They entered the Wp market with no confidence in their own product. Had no reference model, presented no basic customization for anyone not into their 'tiles', made apps for other operating systems first, had no clue how to leverage Nokia, nonexistent marketing, confusing naming of phones, no obvious differentiation to the consumer in any models, made a premier partnership with AT&T that did nothing to help Microsoft... The list goes on and on about how poorly Microsoft mismanaged their phone division. So they give up and chase something else. When UWP doesn't catch on they will bail on that too and programmers can already smell that by the lackluster commitment to anything. Good luck Microsoft.
  • Without a phone as part of the Eco system UWP makes very little sense no matter how MS tries to spin it. MS screwed up at the worst possible time to NOT have a viable Phone/Mobile Ecosystem.
  • UWP "apps" may not make sense any longer, but UWP as a platform does, especially for x86 Desktop Apps. -Centralized updates through the Windows Store.
    -Tap in Cortana, LiveTiles, Desktop notifications.
    -Purchase in the store, use the same "licensed" Desktop App on up to 10 different devices.
    -UWP games, Play Anywhere compatibility. I'd love to see Desktop apps like Adobe Photoshop Lightroom added to the Store.
  • I agree. I'd buy all of my Windows software through the Store if I could. I've been using computers since the late 80s and I'm tired of installers and all of the multiple sources for awesomeness. I want a one stop shop that is secure as best can be expected that syncs my purchases and progress and not the 5-10 storefronts and random download managers that I use currently.
  • I prefer getting the software I use from where I want to get it from, not where Ms tells me it should come from. The problem is once this sort of system becomes the norm, the next thing will be a compolsory MS account to even use windows.   
  • Good point. Now that there is a middle man, the prices of some things could go up as developers transfer their MS Store fees onto consumers (if developers have to pay a fee to sell their products in the MS Store). Before i even bought my first smart phone, i never liked Android because i didn't like the closed-in feeling of the Google Play Store. In my opinion, the openness of the Internet should be maintained. I hate feeling like i have to commit to a specific environment where i buy all my music, movies, games, books, etc. I miss being able to use whatever media downloader i wanted and loading it onto whatever media player i had.
  • There is a bit of a difference with getting applications for a mobile phone than for a computer and at the end of the day that is what Andoird is mainly used for as while as tablets, but these are fixed systems, they do basic stuff.  i know a lot of people have gone to Android or IOS tablets instead of computers, but then they are only really doing basic stuff like browsing the net, doing email or mucking around on facebook. While I do know of one person who have an Android all in one system,  what they do with it is more or less what they did with tablets but on a larger scale, true it is easier to write a document with eh larger screen and keyboard.  But don't try doing video editing or photo editing with it.  So a closed system on Android, IOS or even a windows mobile Os is not a problem. but on a full blown computer I do not want it. Music wise I use Skype, but I also buy CD's and also starting to buy vinyls again.  I do not buy Mp3s very often, videos i tend to buy DVDs/Blue-rays and I also stream using Netflix and now Tv. i do not play many games, I do have a few I got from Steam.  Books, I buy paper books and e-books from Kobo.  For my PC, I get my software from different places, I still prefer to be honest to get it on opticle meida, but that is getting more difficult.   
  • Please how do you use your Skype for music?
  • sorry, I meant spotify, this cold is affecting me more than I thought. 
  • Ever notice what torture it is trying to put a CD into iTunes library?  It's painfully obvious they do this so you'll give up and buy it from their overpriced store.
  • I do not use Itunes, I used to years ago, but it is an awful biut of software, anyway I do not normally play music using my computer.  
  • You and MS account again :)) 😄
  • I hate the idea of it,    
  • And I suppose: You want to have to pay an extra 30% on all purchases? You want to have to install a separate version of every program for every user of your PC? You want to lose access to your software when the developer pulls it from the store and you need to reinstall Windows or buy a new PC? You never have a need to go back to an older version of the software if had features or functionality you depended on that have vanished in newer versions? You like having a cap on the number of times you can install even free software? There are definietly things to like about digital stores.  But overall, I think they're a step backwards.
  • I didn't say that I want the Store to be the only place to get software, I said that I'd buy all of my software through the Store if I could, not having to deal with random installers and more. The installer part is separate from the Store itself as UWPs can be installed from outside the Store. I want consistent installation processes that provide clean uninstalls.
  • That sounds like a distinction without a difference, to me. But my point is, given the choice to buy software from the Windows Store vs. elsewhere, I'd almost always chose elsewhere.
  • That's fine, that's your choice and you have your reasons and that's ok and great at the same time. I spoke of what I'd like to do. I never mentioned anyone else or that I would want the Store to be the only option. I'm glad there is choice as not everything works best for everyone.
  • And why would that change??? I buy my XB games on the XBox directly but you can buy them on amazon, or any brick and mortar shop still... Do you really think adobe creative suite will only be available on MS store if it becomes UWP??? What about for PC always offline or remote countries... Do you think adobe will stop selling subscription or hard copies of their software on their own page....
    If anything the store is powerful ally of what you want to keep safe... A really cheap window front for smaller devs that can't have their software in the main channels of distribution... That use only word of mouth through back channels among the nerdiest of the nerdiest...
  • These are all super valid points..
  • I wouldn't mind the store if they didn't take 30% of the profit... Let me give or sell my UWP apps by myself and I might jump in and/or cut the percentage to something no more than 5%...
  • You can already distribute your UWP apps outside of the Store however you want to. If all of the developer benefits of the Store and visibility to all Windows 10 users via the Store isn't worth 30% to you, host and manage, market, distribute and build your own backend, update service and storefront for your UWPs.
  • A while ago WCentral released an article explaining why, in the author's opinion, MS should not take a cut from store sales. I thought that for mobile apps it really doesn't matter anymore. With no notable sales, the cut MS takes is irrelevant. For desktop it would still make a difference however. MS must give developers a reason to choose the Windows Store over all other options, most of which cost far less. For users I agree, a centralized store would be great, but will they make using the store worthwhile for devs?
  • @a5cent, I agree MS needs to rethink​ pricing and it's cut from the Windows Store. Developers of the kinds of productivity software that should be the heart of Windows can't be excited about a 30% fee. Much ink has already been spilled about how the Apple App Store policies are really hurting the iPad.
  • I guess developers should just release the same software on their site without the 30% cut.
    Users then get to choose whether to download a more expensive from the MS store or cheaper directly from developer. Case closed.
  • Actually, the windows store is the cheapest to buy into as a developer. Ive accounts for ms, apple and google..
  • @KillaRizzay Anyone can setup their own online store for just a couple dollars per month. That's a flat rate that is independent of sales volume. Pretty much every established software company already has something like that in place. Given that situation, why would any developer choose a distribution method that requires them to sacrifice 30% of all sales? For games it's a different story, because Steam also takes a huge cut. But even then, why would anybody choose the Windows Store over Steam? I just don't see any reason. As far as I can tell there is, no matter what you want to do, always a better option.
  • UWP apps don't need or have to be sold through the store.... This article is about UWP not the store
  • Except there's no way to access any UWP API from the desktop if it requires permissions. I've been a dev in the MS ecosystem and a fan of WinMo since PocketPC 2002, but Microsoft has exactly zero clue what it's doing right now. It's an utter gong show. I don't see how they plan to get out of this mess after the millions of times they've already tried rebranding WPF/Metro/Modern/UWP/Whatever.
  • And you can't access win32 libraries from Microsoft Basic for DOS either. What's your point? You're upset because you have to use the new framework in order to use the new framework?
  • Why would someone like Adobe want to share their profits with Microsoft via selling through the Store?
  • I agree. It is spin. The definition of UWP presented in this article is a RE-definition and definitely not how MS has always viewed the UWP as a technology. I also find it rude that now everyone else is being blamed for not understanding what the UWP was. If anybody misunderstood the UWP, then it was the folks at MS, as they certainly never defined it in the way being presented here (universal in UWP = tools). It's a shame WCentral is helping MS in their attempt to rewrite history in that regard. At this point MS has no other choice though. They bet the farm on UWP. MS must do something to save it and obviously can't rely on smartphones to help in that endeavor. It's probably the best shot they have.
  • UWP has always meant this. You can blame MS for not hitting people over the head with the clue hammer about it from day 1, but it's always been about replacing Win32, even back before UWP, when we had Metro Windows 8 apps.
  • Agreed. That UWP is intended to eventually replace Win32 is definitely nothing new. That's just entirely unrelated to the point I was making, nor is it what this article is saying. According to this article, "universal" refers to the tools that let developers get their products into the store. Nowhere can we find a previous document where MS defines "universal" in UWP in that way. We can in fact find many documents defining it differently .
  • Just look at the "Universal Windows Platform" picture with all the devices on top and all the benefits underneath, including "app SDKs and tooling". This picture made by Microsoft, along with the app bridge diagram, has been around for a couple of years now, and if anyone missed that part they simply weren't paying attention.
  • @Zachary Wilmes *Cough*. Okay. If you want to claim that it was always obvious that the "Universal" in UWP refered to either: the tooling that enables software to be deployed through the store, or the ability to be deployed from the store then be my guest. If you can show me any six month old statement, from MS or anyone else with a shred of credibility, defining "Universal" in that way (rather than the ability to run across form factors), then I'll instantly cave and admit defeat (and that I wasn't paying attention). The pictures you refer to are fine, but I've yet to see one that would be useful in terms of defining what UWP means. I'm looking for a definition. Not an arbitrary conclusion someone jumped to based on a picture.  Until then it's hard to take such statements seriously. It really just looks like people who are trying to seem smarter than they are.  
  • Any internet search will tell you what an SDK is if you're not familiar with that term. It's not that hard to understand
  • UWP makes sense as a Win32 succesor, just not with the phone API limitations in place.
  • Problem with UWP is you can only do what it is designed to do (kinda the point, I know). With Win32, there are more possibilities, for both the developer and user. Majority of applications could be fine with UWP though, although I'm still not a fan of the phone inspired navigation stack / lifetime management.
  • I agree.. Mobile should be the most important part of UWP. Mobile runs on very slow processing so if they make it run fast on mobile, it'll be blazing fast on PC. On a Celron PC all Universal Apps are slow, normal app takes more than 3-5 seconds to open and choosing a song in groove music also takes 3-5seconds to start playing each time, Windows Media Player opens everything in a second! Universal Apps lack the performance! They have to focus on mobile.
  • No good, though.  Using mobile apps on a PC is painful, because they have a touch UI, and a PC has a mouse and keyboard (and usually not a touch screen). Yes, you can do it, but it's horrible. As a workstation user myself I hate having Microsoft's touch-friendly UI forced upon me (eg Office 2016 and W10 common controls now take up the entire window, on a PC screen!).
  • I only use my laptop 2 times a week. So, PC store doesn't mean a lot for me. I don't see a future for UWP if Microsoft is going to double down on the PC. Windows store History speaks, W8, W8.1, W10 and no great apps.
  • I disagree. I have a mini PC connected to my TV all time, running full Windows 10, so that's what I use at home. I also have a 2in1 (currently in repair), so that's what I use on the go. My phones are just like accessories now, and use them as a small device to enter the Windows 10 ecosystem when in need, like listening to podcasts on the go, checking WC, making a mobile hotspot for my 2in1, etc... They're becoming less and less important in my like. If I could have a 7 inch device running full Windows 10, like the GPD Win, but with cellular connection and telephony stack, my phones would be even more useless 😁 I'm not saying I don't like my 650 or 535, I love them indeed. But they're just not as important as they were for me.
  • This!!         We just may get it by accident when the arm PCs come out.
  • Honestly how many people on this planet do you think do this... I can confidently say that, that is not how people use computers.  
  • Personally I think Edge, Groove, Mail and Calendar are brilliant UWP apps for desktop. But that's about it.
  • Meh, mail and calendar are mediocre at best. Completely unusable in a professional environment. Don't use Edge so I can't comment. Groove is good though. Agreed.
  • Mail and Calendar were never designed to be used in a professional environment, Microsoft has the very much paid Office Outlook for that.
  • I have Office 365 installed on my desktop and I still use the Mail app instead of Outlook because it's simple, easy to find on my Start screen, and starts really fast.  When I want to send a quick email or attachment or even check my mail quickly, that's my goto mail app. I also use Edge 99% of the time on my desktop and my phone. It works for me, and I like earning those free points for gift cards. I like free when it works for me.
  • Okay, a "professional environment" isn't the term I should have used. You likely equated that to "corporate environment". I meant for use by anybody who wants something more than a Y2K like e-mail client. It's very bare-bones compared to almost anything else out there, including the free stuff.
  • Just so you know:
    Edge is worthless. When I play a video from Youtube, its awful. All kinds of problems and you dont get to enjoy the video. If I open it in Google Chrome, video plays perfect. That is on my PC.
    In my 640, any random page reloads every 2 or 3 minutes, soy reading an articule is nearly impossible. Edge sucks.
     
  • Thankfully, I have not encountered any problems playing Youtube videos on Edge. 
     
  • I had those problems with Edge during some buggy Fast Ring insider builds on my phone, but it runs great on creators update, and I've never had issues with YouTube or really anything else with Edge on my PC.
  •   I tried playing a YouTube video with iPhone Safari last night and it wouldn't play.  Kept tapping play and it did for like 2 seconds.  Over and over till I gave up.  My Lumia 1520 app for YouTube worked first try.          
  • Foolish decision
  • Maybe, but considering the current situation and the long term goals of Windows 10, what other route is there to take at this point?
  • Do a proper phone selection and stop resetting the mobile platform every 2 years... Pay tons of money to app devs to have apps people want. Stop ignoring own platform in favour of Android and iOS.
  • At this point, they almost have no other choice than to reset their phone OS again.
  • Well, then good luck to them, with the speed they doing stuff they will release a bicycle when we all be flying cars...
  • They do have a choice and have made it, they are not bothering with phones for domestic customers.
  • A phone 'reset' is what Microsoft have been working toward for the last couple years. - Buy Nokia division to remove the Frankenstein that was created and made the other OEMs run a mile (some decisions by Nokia were counterproductive for Windows Phone)
    - "Lumia" branding removed - licence expires now or very soon
    - Reduce any form of Windows phone to the market using pure atrophy
    - With the slate clean, rebuild Windows mobile with true OneCore Windows 10/UWP/Windows on ARM (ie new hardware)
    It was a plan in the making for a couple years at least because the current model at that stage wasn't working as it should have.    
  • They make more money off Android than they do Windows Phone.
  • Yes, remove any fees and royalties from the stores and shovel money at carriers to actually promote their phones which has never really happened. Yes, these methods will show short term losses and a few down quarters but their wishy washy toe in the water technique will never and has never worked. It may be even too late for this strategy now, but if they had done this at anytime over the last 2-3 reboots, there wouldn't be a 1% market share. By the time the current strategy "pays off", apple and android will have fully converged their pc and mobile offerings. At that point, ms will see their desktop number plummet as well.
  • Without quality first party apps all you have is a phone no matter how many devices they sell. Without those apps people aren't going to leave the platform that they are on. Microsoft threw money and those companies to bring thier apps to the Windows platform.  Even with those app Microsoft would be hard pressed to get someone to abandon their current platform.
  • They have good mobile solutions on ios and android
  • " Pay tons of money to app devs"
    They did that. It was called WP8 and 8.1. Did it work? No. I realize the easy solution for people not in this business is to just throw millions away expecting it to magically work, but COMPANIES TURN DOWN FREE MONEY and have in the past e.g. Dunking Doughnuts in 2014.
    "Do a proper phone selection "
    Sure, that advice would have helped in 2014. We're talking TODAY. We all know the bad history of WP, I specifically call it out here. Tell me something NEW.
  • Well, maybe they need to have some balls and admit there will be no mobile at all.
  • They likely CAN'T say anything about mobile, even if, internally, they've obviously given up on it, due to long term contractual obligations with partners.  If Microsoft were to publicly EOL their mobile OS,  everyone from, HP and Alcatel to Blu to carriers around the world, could potentially slap Microsoft with breach of contract lawsuits.
  • Microsoft should pay devs when their store revenue is under a certain amount, and only ask for percentage once an app reaches a certain revenue. So that would mean guaranteed revenue when developing an UWP app and would certainly draw developers attention.
  • Isn't going to make people start using the apps. It will just be an expensive embarrassment when use of the store remains non-existent. Engaged users attract and hold developer interest. They need to figure out how to attract users.
  • Well, not doing anything except killing Nokia did not help the matter.
  • Buying Nokia in the first place was a mistake. They should have just let Windows phones die then. They should have went back to the drawing board and built a brand new platform not called Windows. It could have been ready to go by now and fixed all the issues they had with Windows phones. They must have learned so much from those years of failures. Why they never changed anything I do not understand.
  • What is the point of talking what they should and shouldn't have done? The real question is what is next.
  • Why should they learn from the past when they can just keep making the same boneheaded mistakes? Good question.
  • 1. Port the full Win10 to ARM. 2. Make a phone that runs Win10 ARM, and other OEMs follow the example. 3. Make a tablet that runs W10 ARM (a successor to WinRT) and other OEMs follow the example. ...Win10 ARM Popularity will be increasing at this point. 4. The blunder of killing Lumia has been done, however, don't kill the current W10 Mobile for lower end devices, cos the ARM version will only work on Snapdragon 820 upwards, and will likely require more RAM, and more storage for the OS. 5. Don't tamper with the definition UWP. There's no problem with it. Just keep on adding APIs. 6. The more popular Win10 ARM gets, the more developers embrace UWP
  • They did offer lots of money to app builders to build apps for Microsoft's mobile ecosystems....The app developers had no interest in the platform. Microsoft even built apps they wanted for thier ecosystems but the companies they built them for had no interest in maintaining them.... Being late to game hurt Microsoft.
  • When will you all realize this is NOT the way to do things?
  • Give us your idea pls
  • The route for Personal Computing is mobile as the 1 billion and growing number of Androids prove. Microsoft blew it and this whole focus on the desktop is the real dead end.
  • I agree Mobile is the way forward. However if Microsot loses the tablet market to Android then they'll have truly blown it as Andorid is the only competitor that's close to offering a complete PC experience across all devices. Apple is further down the road. If dropping the UWP and mobile marketing approach attracts developers then that's the approach they have to take. They have to continue developing Mobile with Windows though. When the app store is more on par with others, then they can start pushing Mobile again with some sweet hardware. It will be easier to get developers to agree to extend the availability of their app if it's in the store already. Microsoft needs to get the apps in the store, 
  • Microsoft needs to stop working on HoloLens,and build a time machine. Panos can build anything
  • Interesting advise
  • To be honest, they most certainly do have choices.  One would be to support Windows Phone by, I dunno, releasing more Windows Phones.
  • Hi.  Universal aplication is the win32 replacement. Look at Windows Developer Day 2017.  Windows on Phone will be Windows Team Shell (Surface Hub) interactive system tô smartphones and this will replace the Lumia Shell.  Universal Windows App model need just Adjustments on templates tô view born universal and this isn't hard. Then developer will replace win32 by UWP and this need just work on all devices without any adjustment, code one and run on all devices. 
  • Hi.  Universal aplication is the win32 replacement. Look at Windows Developer Day 2017.  Windows on Phone will be Windows Team Shell (Surface Hub) interactive system tô smartphones and this will replace the Lumia Shell.  Universal Windows App model need just Adjustments on templates tô view born universal and this isn't hard. Then developer will replace win32 by UWP and this need just work on all devices without any adjustment, code one and run on all devices.
  • I'm really more excited about what UWP and Composable Shell will do for Windows on ARM. Are there any confirmations that Build 2017 will focus on this topic or will they have a separate on later this year? Or, maybe they'll do it for Build 2018? I'm assuming that if they can get UWP right for desktop then it'll be easier for them to get those to mobile and ARM with Composable Shell (CShell?)
  • If not at Build, we'll be doing a lot on CShell in the coming weeks. Lots of new info we've obtained. It's very, very interesting.
  • Based on your cryptic tweets, I'd say yes. But hopefully it shouldn't turn out like the "disruptive" (not) Cerulean phones.
  • Looking forward to it.   The biggest question is if Microsoft plans on keeping Windows 10 Mobile around or not.
  • You said you have info about cshell .IS anything new related mobile,we are going to see
  • This has already been happening. Many of the newer apps are only being released for pc and updates are heading to pc versions of uwp first before mobile. The problem with that strategy is it ignores the apps that are meant for mobile, like: exercising/running apps, banking w/ photo check deposit, lightweight games, fitness bands, etc.. Maybe if cshell comes to light and we can run apps targeted for desktop for mobile. I still don't see how a developer is going to want to make a Cto5K app that targets desktop.
  • MS could not care less about exercising/running apps, banking w/ photo check deposit, lightweight games, fitness bands, etc, there is no money in it with such a poor market share in mobile. 
  • They should care though, as this effects consumers who are considering an investment into Windows. If they don't turn it around then they will continue to remain stagnant.
  • I don't think Education is a new market. Microsoft has always tried to play in that sandbox and has had varying degrees of success.  Personally, I believe this "Windows Cloud" is another huge chunk of wasted effort.  I believe your point about MS needing UWP to be successful on the desktop is right, but forcing educators to limit themselves to only Store apps (while not really forcing them) isn't going to get it done.  By "UWP-wrapping" some Win32 programs they really aren't fooling anyone.  Those programs were still developed as Win32, so where's the incentive for developers to actually write something in UWP? I think it's a mistake to give phones the finger, quite simply. Microsoft absolutely should develop it all TOGETHER.  If they abandon phones now, then IF they ever get back into phones, they'll have to basically start all over again.  I can PROMISE that they will have buried themselves so deeply in a PC-centric world that they'll have to re-invent how to make all this garbage run on phones again.  And it won't be just about  making it run on phones...it has to be a desireable experience using their OS on phones.  Quite frankly, the bottom line is that they can't say they actually care to be involved in "mobile" if phones aren't a part of it.  Redefining "universal" to fit your failure isn't any way to actually succeed in "universal".  Politicians try to do that.
  • @ScubaDog, I generally agree with the sentiment that they should do these together and think it's flat bad strategy to have paused on mobile (5% market share, even if losing a little bit of money, is vastly better than .5% without the financial losses when the goal is to build an ecosystem that ultimately must include a mobile device, because getting new customers is much more expensive than keeping existing fans). That said, I do think there's potential merit to the plan, given where they are. The incentive to developers to create UWP apps rather than Win32 apps is access to the Store, access to UWP-only API calls (more and more of these keep coming), and simplified cross platform development. The appeal to education is that IT administrators can easily (and that word, "easily" is really the most important part of this) lock down installations so that only approved Store apps can be installed. To the school IT department, the fact that a nearly identical version of the app was a Win32 app yesterday doesn't really matter. Win32 apps are much harder to control than Store apps. And of course, Windows S (Cloud) fits in the strategy like this: increase the number of systems that only get apps from the Store and it massively increases the incentive to developers to create Store Apps.
  • I agree that they should do what it takes to keep the customers that they have. It will cost them twice as much to flip a customer than to keep one.
  • I've found Windows Cloud really useful for transferring things like music between various devices I own.  You are not able to do this with iOS.  Their cloud is useless.
  • MSFT with a messaging problem to consumers?!?!  Blasphemy! It sounds like MSFT must have made a strategic hire who used to work as a political consultant to come up with this pivot. W10M is dead.  No big relevation there.  MSFT probably wants it to die a quick death, wait 6 months and then have their next thing rise from the ashes.  All mellow-dramatic and sounds like a great story.  And whatever does rise from the ashes will be amazing.  Just like so many things that MSFT does that blow the fricken doors off of everyone else.  The problem will be that this new amazing thing by MSFT won't be promoted by MSFT and will crumble under its own weight if it is a consumer focused product.  If it is an Enterprise product, it may very well have a good chance to succeed. Can my 950XL last long enough until the Phoenix rises? Will MSFT bungle the Phoenix by focusing on the consumer? To amuse itself, will MSFT purchase another consumer focused company just to burn up its cash? So many pressing questions but I'm most worried about the 1st.
  • Can we just stop doing random speculation articles until Microsoft actually says something real?  This is just getting old.
  • It's not old. It's just that the writing is on the wall. Their last solid effort was WP8.1. They completely dropped the ball afterwards.
  • If WP8.1 was a solid effort, then they need to close up shop. Building platforms just isn't Microsoft's strong point these days.
  • I totally agree...
  • Well, I'm not sure it's random speculation. Windows Central, under Dan's direction, is making it clear what to expect in the very short term. News will pour out of build on 10 May. The news will most likely make it clear that there are no intentions of a phone investment or a new device category before UWP can be seen as successful. Now, this does feel somewhat of a turnaround for Dan that argued a phone or new device category was essential for UWP to succeed. The question for me is, what drove the epiphany -- reading the tea leaves, or MS knocked on WinCentral's perverbial door to ask for a more nuanced message from this site?
  • No. Requested denied. Also, it's not speculation.
  • If is not speculation, then you must have sources, and you didn´t mention even one. As I can read, this thing is just pure speculation.
  • Unfortunately ... Microsoft has no stable strategy which make it's audience always confused in desktop and mobile category And people sooner or later will leave it totally for example developer and users and this unstable strategies will make it fall 
  • I sit behind my pc all day and I never use any of the apps from the store. My browser works just fine. On my mobile and tablet however its the opposite, I use apps if they are available and my browser only if there is no app. I see the same thing happening with people around me. In conclusion, this UWP strategy is nog going to work unless MS manages to get its OS on Microsoft tablets and windows phones in large numbers. With MS its current strategy neither is going to happen and therefore this UWP strategy is going to be a big fail (to quote a certain president).
  • Oh, MSFT has it covered, they making most of the websites unusable on Edge so you have to use apps.
  • Nextgen UWP informed me today that they are dropping the UWP app in favor of the older app for PC and phone. How does that conform to this? Or did I misunderstand the message?
  • They're merging them. Ie. the UWP app is the only app, but they're tired of the confusion and going back to the original store app that upgrades legacy users easily.
  • Maybe I deleted it too quickly, but I read it the other way around. They launched "Nextgen Reader" first, then "Nextgen Reader UWP". But that just looks weird in your app list. I downloaded "Nextgen Reader" today after that message and as far as I can it's the UWP app, just without the UWP in the name. I think they just updated the old one to be the UWP version and shut down the separate UWP branch to avoid confusion for people looking in the Store. This also has the benefit of forcing users on the old one to be up-to-date without having to get a different one from the Store.
  • So far seems to work the same. I haven't posted from it yet. Phone app says version 6.5 whereas current PC app is 7.0.20.
  • Microsoft needs to align Xamarin and UWP big time very quickly.  The whole point of UWP was 'write once, run on any platform'.  But of course the platforms people write for these days are Android and iOS.  Xamarin has a big focus on those platforms, but does Windows all a bit differently from pure UWP. The Xamarin.Forms is a very different XAML that has less powerful and different controls than pure UWP.  Sure, you can write a Xamarin app that runs as UWP on Windows, but its not as clean at managing different device profiles. Write once, run anywhere is still the developers dream and I think Microsoft could in theory get apps on Windows using their tools if released for free, but they need to fix these disconnects to make life simpler for developers.  As well as enhance the Xamarin libraries to add more hardware support generically (Bluetooth, cameras, networking etc.)  Maybe BUILD will bring some of this, but apps are now the problem for formats other than mobile... mixed reality etc.  Why would an app developer support Windows Mixed Reality when they can target Android and access to many mobile devices - the number one computer people interact with these days?  The only reason is if Microsoft's tools allow a developer to hit many platforms for free.
  • The whole point of UWP was 'write once, run on any platform'.  But of course the platforms people write for these days are Android and iOS. Disagree. The point was write once, run on any Form Factor. It always had to be Windows.Maybe naming and messaging was bad/unhelpful, but at nbo point did MS suggest a UWP would run on iOS or Android, or for that to be any sort of goal. Sadly, they barely talked about Xam,arin and UWP together and how to an universal formfactor and universal platform app so stratgies for doing UWP and Xamarin in the same app were not well promoted (I assume portable class libraries with both as targets, is the basic bit, but then there are other questions about how you structure those solutions and how much should go in the Xamarin/UWP UI projects and how much should be in the PCL libraries that back them).
  • If they at least will keep W10 Mobile alive until that time in the future, when they return to the then "mobile" scene - I'd be grateful! I simply cannot imaging starting using either Android og iOS as a daily OS...
  • Yeah. Though I moved my primary 'driver' to an Xperia X Compact (Android), I keep my Lumia 950 around because I still like W10M and am still able to switch on a whim. I'd love it if they kept updating!
  • me neither....I'll go back to a flip phone
  • They make 'keep it around', with bug fixes and such on occasion, but as a competitive mobile OS with new features and support from third party developers that ship has sailed. And without new hardware to run it on, the whole thing is moot anyway.
    Even hard core fans will eventually run out of second hand Lumias to buy on eBay.
  • Yup confused because i thought the message after all this time and watching the presentations was that developers can build an app that can work across all platforms using UWP. Regardless if they build an app for phone, if they build it one for Desktop or tablet, it shoudl work on phone/xbox etc. So the confusion now is that MS is trying to convey the mssage the UWP part is just the tools people use, you can use the same tools to develop all in one place instead of the original message i thought they were trying to convey which was build a UWP app and it shoudl run across all MS platforms. MS is all over the place, but i do think and thought that they needed to build the apps for desktop/tablet and get it on mobile thereafter, but i assumed if they built one for desktop/tablet, it works on mobile too. I guess it doesnt, without the tweaks.
  • "can work" not "has to work". This means that developers had the choice of whether to include the phone part.   According to some devs, even including phones into the equation was discouraging to them.
  • And yet I still cant share an image from Photos to Outlook 2016/365
  • I thought the UWP would replace the windows phone apps to gain more apps in the market place, not strive away from the mobile platform. WP is a part of the family, your not gonna leave that behind? "What about Ohana?"
  • windows is closing day by day...id get something mobile out before the iphone 8 kinda like what lg did ...they surprizing sold alot of g6's with a year old processor and all the bootloop bad mojo. I bet if they had waited after the galaxy s8 came out they would'nt have sold hardly any.
  • It makes total sense if you think about it. If the UWP becomes successful on the Desktop & Tablet it'll definitely do well on a mobile Surface Phone device. Microsoft just need to actually say something about mobile to give us some hope. Lol.... Damn!
  • Sorry but it can't do that. You can build 99% of the LOB apps in a web browser and not have deploy or windows store and share your html/javascript knowledge and skip windows entirely. There is absolutely not reason to build new desktop apps at all. Games sure. Apps? Nope. The ONLY way to get developers developing on Windows again for windows apps is to make UWP a single development tool for Windows, IOS and Android. It must compile seamlessly to all 3 platforms so that a windows dev can build on windows and run on Android and iOS and MS must GIVE AWAY compile time on Mac machines in the cloud so that devs don't have to own a mac to compile for the mac.
  • Bridges in real life go both ways. It's not crazy to assume that OS bridges won't either. They will, in due time.
  • LOB apps are still also done win windows forms and wpf. It's not all web. That said, Web is huge and MS didn't help themselves here in some ways, with the amount they courted web developers. When Windows 8 cam out they started off promoting app development to web developers to the extent that it wasn't even clear initially that you could write store apps in C#. More recenltly, ASP.Net core has been very well recieved, as has VS code and they have heavily promoted VS and ASP.Net to web devs, with semi-celebrity folks like Scott Hanselman doing demos on his mac, deploying docker containers and barly touching anything associated with client computing. Of course, all that has an important place in microsofts developer ecosystem and I don't begradge them that, but they do need to be siilarly bullish about client computing. MS needs to push the role in the world for desktop applications and why they can be better than websites for various tasks. And Why UWP is the better choice than WPF or Windows Forms (which I think should be moved from the project template selection innvisual studio). Some reasons could be that it's .Net core, that it compiles to .Net Native and that this, in additional to XAML imporvements like compiled bindings, and a more asynchronous SDK, give it better performance than Win32 UI frameworks. Plus the various integration points to windows 10. The biggest mess they need to fix is corporate deployment as i still don't know why IT departments want to set up internal stores, not do i get why software departments would want to be hamstrung by having to deploy through the internal store. For some companies, sure this will work great, but often internal software is though click-once dploy, or intranet links to a locations on a shared network drive where you click the exe. As for "UWP a single development tool for Windows, IOS and Android." Surely this would rely on a partnership with Apple and Google to make this work in any trusted way, and Angular2 aside, i'm not sure how often those 3 partner on much of anything.
  • Multi-Platform was the direction UWP needed to take and they needed to do it when they introduced Windows 8. Microsoft took too long to buy Xamarin and now there is really no reason to build a Windows App when there is an even larger user base on Android + IOS. What we needed was free cross platform tools back when Windows Phone 7 was introduced so that developers would see Microsoft's tools as a place to reach all customers. They've lost the future developer and UWP only running on Windows isn't going to win them back. Therefore Windows has a murky future when it comes to consumer computing space.
  • Which is why they need to subsume Xamarin (all of it including Forms) and make UWP run natively on Android and hopefully compile to iOS. Further they need to run an iOS compiler as a service in the cloud for free for developers. By doing this UWP would be a serious language that can do all of your mobile dev in one spot that isn't horribly slow javascript/phone gap crap and people will write for it and stay on Windows. If they fail to go this far all in then Windows is toast because no one will waste money building apps that work fine in a web browser for Windows and since you need a mac anyhow to build for iOS you might as well dev on a mac. It's really that simple. This is their only avenue to continued relivency. All other avenues result in Chromebooks and Macs used for dev and MS as a server only company working its way into IBM land.
  • Couldn't agree with you more.
  • You don't need UWP to make Xamarin a success. Porting APIs like PDF or OCR to .NET Core would help, but it's surely no show stopper.
  • The problem with further integrating iOS (Apple) development into Microsoft's PC-based development tools is Apple's insistence on involving itself in as many of the aspects of developing software for Apple devices as it can.  Even Xamarin, as useful as it is, still (officially) requires access to an Apple machine to run build tools provided by Apple that only run on an Apple OS that only runs (officially) on Apple hardware, etc.  To develop software for Apple on Microsoft platforms and tools, even with Xamarin, still requires a significant investment that is often beyond the means or desires of smaller/single/casual developers.  Sure, there are unofficial options like a hackintosh, but I don't see Microsoft providing instructions to Visual Studio developers wanting to write iOS apps on how to set up a hackintosh as a build platform!  Neither do I see Apple being agreeable any time soon to the idea of Microsoft trying to otherwise provide an official avenue for the essential build tools and components currently required for developing Apple software, given how tightly Apple currently control the development process.
  • Even though WP's position is depressing, Microsoft does at least have a plan to rebuild it's mobile amitions (first-party ambitions, that is), but first they need to build an ecosystem that can be relied on by the everyday person. This is a long-term play and I'm glad that they are doing this in the very least. If they didn't AND they were screwing up in the short-term for mobile then I might have jumped ship. But they do have a plan - just wish that they would release SOMETHING along the way..
  • "Better messaging needed." That about sums up Microsoft right there. But of course, clarity of message only stems​ from a clear purpose and strategy.... 
  • UWP was never good enough as a Win32 succesor with the limitations for phones in place. They need to either get rid of the phone elements or refactor the APIs heavily. And honestly? They'd need to be able to make Visual Studio 2019 a UWP to prove a point. It will only run on the latest version of W10 anyway.
  • Quite frankly, the bottom line is that they can't say they actually care to be involved in "mobile" if phones aren't a part of it.  
    Nail... Head... BANG!!! 
  • Proper attribution -- ScubaDog
  • Store apps do work well on desktops, and with live tiles and notifications, are more useful than just using websites.
  • I don't care for them at all on my desktop, but it's old and doesn't have touch. I do enjoy what few apps are available on my Windows 2 in 1 devices.
  • For UWP to succeed it needs to write on Windows and compile at least to Android. An I'm not talking Xamarin or Xamarin Forms, I'm talking directly compile and run on Android as apks as is. Best would be if it would also let you compile that on a mac to iOS as well. UWP suceeds only when they capture the people developing new applications not not just websites. Why would you create an app when you can get all platforms with a web application? Answer: You don't. But if you can build an app and it just works on android and hopefully iOS with all of the power of UWP that Android certainly can't muster with it's bad rip off of WPF and horrible java you have a winner. They MUST target that, and subsume Xamarin as legacy while using it to build their compiler tech to work on Android and iOS. If they don't there will be 0 reason to ever write a UWP app until windows 10 gets well over 50% adoption on the desktop. They had two choices: Either make Android apps work on Phone (which would have saved Windows Phone) and then bring UWP to Android so that it became the primary dev enviornment for Android and fewer and fewer bridge apps were needed.   Or bring UWP to Android and iOS and Windows Desktop and later once you've got adoption bring back Windows Phone.   The ship sailed on the former, so they're left with the later. If they do anything less, Windows is toast because everything will be in a web browser except development and since you have to compile on a mac anyhow for iOS why would you use a windows machine?
  • For UWP to be successful it needs users. Period. Who cares about the tools when no one is using the store? Microsoft needs a solid plan to attract users. Developers will then come naturally.
  • What you are asking is pretty much impossible. UWP doesn't work on the other platforms because the app model is different. At best they could hack it to "kinda work". While MS could make an Android version where that would be possible, it would also need some manufacturer to start using it (and that manufacturer would need Google's permission for that version, to get access to Play-services). For iOS there is no hope, it is too different, and Apple is too much in control.
  • Why does Windows have to be the future for Microsoft? Why aren't they building something to replace Windows? It won't last forever, they need to be ahead of the curve. It is time for them to build a mobile platform that isn't hindered by Windows. Windows phones will never succeed.
  • UWP is the mobile (and desktop, and holographic, and Xbox, and more) platform that isn't hindered by (legacy) Windows. That's the entire point!  
  • Not going to be a good idea for anyone that frequents this site. For the layman though, having legacy apps through the store makes life a lot easier. Knowing that you haven't got to go through the rigmarole of finding the disc or the download page, install it, register it etc etc. Having everything install through the store and being able to install everything from a list makes the whole process a lot less time consuming and simple. All they really need to do now is push the store and get it properly organised. There should be a "ready to install" section in the start menu, rather than having to go into the store and find your library. Much like the Xbox One.
  • lol this is not going to work, at least not for enterprise software. For desktop its going to be the browser with MS stack, or some JS framework. When I looked into mobile that's when xamerin comes into play, but then i thought none of my customers uses windows apps, so NativeScript or ReactNative it is. Games this makes sense, but i dont see anything else
  • Who cares any more!
  • Says the guy reading this site and leaving a comment.
  • I think it's more the antipathy yet another refocus causes.
  • Just to help you out Jozef Jurcisin, Dan when he repleid "Says the guy reading this site and leaving a comment" infered that you do care due to the fact that you are reading it and leaving a comment. Just thought that might help you understand what Dan was saying.
  • 👍
  • Interesting. I had always thought of UWP in those terms: make a desktop app, then toss it to Mobile and Xbox as a bonus. Maybe that's just because I'm new to Mobile plus as a tech-curious person I did immediately try out Store apps on Windows 8 and 10 even though I can do a lot of it through a browser.
  • Step 1 - Kill your smartphone business with nearly ten years of bad decisions. Step 2 - Refocus on PC's, a dying category, with the same idea that failed on phones. Step 3 - Wonder how it all went so wrong.
  • It is so frustrating. Microsoft doesn't learn from their mistakes. The lack of vision from such a large company with so many smart people should be criminal.
  • Once UWP is mature and has all important apps, it doesn't matter when MS starts to invest in new device categories. And that's a real benefit against the competition. The competition has to start from zero on new categories. Lets take Android TV as an example. It doesn't make sense to run normal Android apps on a TV. So developers have to create new apps for the TV.
    Windows has the benefit that UWP apps run on TVs running Windows even if there isn't such a device category (maybe XBOX).
    The same applies to the 'phone' category.
  • Why does it not make sense to run Android apps on TV but it does make sense to run Windows apps on TV? https://developer.android.com/training/tv/start/index.html Anyways, you are wrong. Developers just need to create a TV interface for their existing apps. Android apps have been universal since Android 3.0 in 2011. Microsoft is way behind.
  • You are right with your point that Android apps are technically able to run on Android TV. But they are not designed that way. If you want your Android app to run on TVs, you have to adapt it to the big screen.
    The problem of Android is, that most developers are focused on the smartphone. You can see this by running Android apps on the desktop, where they aren't adapting properly. UWP apps are already built to adapt to every screen size. You can install a UWP app on a phone and on a HoloLens and it just works, even if it is not designed to run on this type of device.
  • Android apps will automatically adapt to larger screens, but creating a custom UI for them is optimal. TV really has a different use case and input method. The same UI scaled from phones or desktops isn't going to be a great experience. Google requires a specific UI for a reason. Microsoft doesn't seem to be very worried about the user experience. I am sure that contributes to the poor adoption of their UWP platform.
  • Developers will always need to optimize for specific form factors and input options.
  • Microsoft needs to create its own exculsive UWP apps that are not available on other platforms. They need to be apps strong enough to get users to convert from iOS and Android. 
  • That would be a start. Why should developers take UWP seriously when even Microsoft doesn't seem to put much effort it?
  • They need to pick a strategy and stick with it. Changing strategies every 3 months will not help.
  • How often do I read one of these articles and come away wondering if Microsoft knows what the hell they are doing?
  • Sorry but the name is misleading. Seriously was this the strategy from day 1?
  • Total lack of leadership in the Windows team for well over a decade and counting.
  • For UWP to succeed on desktop it needs UI controls suitable for line-of-business app, like the Ribbon and a decent grid that properly supports copy&paste. No wonder why so many LOB apps are still written using WinForms.
  • If google were to introduce a working desktop os Msft will quickly go the way Windows Mobile has gone. Who knows
  • I'm not sure you realize just how wrong this is... But , ok.
  • Check back in 5 years. That is what Microsoft's said about the iPhone.
  • I always thought UWP was desktop/laptop first and mobile second. It was a means to an end (here nor there on what or if mobile would grow) for dev. But of course this also plays into the AR/MR future. Build it for one, adapt it to everything else or vise versa. Guess they do need to do a better job of communicating. good read. Thanks Dan  
  • So they want to replace a mature API (Win32) used in the enterprise for all major line of business apps and IT management with an immature "Fisher Price" set of low functionality apps that only works on Windows 10. Enterprise is still using Windows 7 BTW. Touch centric apps make more sense on mobile and moreover no desktop store, even Apple, has really taken off. I personally think that Microsoft are going to need literally years to pull this off. With no viable mobile platform, where it makes most sense, then it will take longer. I see why they want to do it but the store was launched with Windows 8 and it remains a crazy chaotic mess of low functionality in year 7.
  • The store apps will never get attention from devs until Windows 7 can run them. It will take years before enough/most of users runs Windows 10. Until then, better off targeting Win32 because they run on all Windows version ...
  • though I have been critical of MS, I will like to take their side in this argument. Yes windows 7 still dominate the enterprise space, but for how long? If MS starts winning developers now, the time they will take to launch really good UWP apps is at least an year. In that period windows 10 would have clawed back some more share from windows 7 and in 2-3 years windows 7 will become what XP is right now. So from that perspective it makes perfect sense to focus on windows 10 today.
  • Yes, I think the main problem with UWP is its tight binding to the store. Without Window Store UWP and even Windows 10 could be much more
    popular. Developers need more deployment options than just Store and tricky side-loading for their apps. The Store as a concept is nice for games, small utilities and entertainment apps. It doesn't work for LOB apps which may require sophisticated installers, ClickOnce or even XCOPY deployment.
  • Interesting development. It could work. There's still necessity for desktop, and while they are working on this they could be developing the proper phone to go along with it down the line. Do I like it? Not really, but I admit it may be the only way. Then a bit more down the line they could introduce a phone that will actually replace a desktop for real, not give a desktop-like experience. Im still imagining a phone I can use that will fully replace a desktop/laptop. Plug it into a monitor and run Pro Tools and Sony Vegas. How amazing would that be? They've scratched the surface. I like their vision, I just want them to succeed.
  • "None of this is really good news" Agreed, seems like a dismal mess.  “What else can they do” seems to be something we said a year ago in reaction to MS explanation. So let me get this straight. MS will sell the idea that UWP is for other stuff than phones, more like putting win 32 apps in the store and that’s a long way off. Is there anything for consumers to get excited about. Maybe Monday has me a little more negative than appropriate. Oh well, life goes on. 😊
  • "Succeed on the PC, then go to Mobile" Yes, that would have been a GREAT idea 10 years ago.   Even 5.  But now it is just silly and WAY too late.  PCs are in decline.  That Microsoft is still touting PCs as some kind of force in the market place speaks volumes about how clueless they are, outside of businesses.  They desperately needed to suceed in mobile 5 years ago, and they completely missed the train. Now the train is LONG gone.   Microsoft is simply not going to be involved in the consumer computing space for much longer.  No one could beat MS at MS's game - PCs - so the competition created a new game:   Phones.  The change happened so fast - and Microsoft's reaction was so slow and pathetic - that MS is now reduced to floundering about, looking for a face-saving exit strategy.   "Oh, you misunderstood us.   Universal refers to the tools, not where the app can run".  Uh-huh, right.  "While Microsoft would be in a much better position had they not ineptly destroyed their phone business for the fourth time in a decade...........".   Wow, talk about understatement.    ".........the situation is so bad that it was negatively affecting Windows 10 and UWP."   Windows 10 has it's own problems, not the least of which is that 2/3 of all current Windows users hate it and have no intention of running it.  Throw in the fact of Microsoft's spectacularly inept phone business, and the perception of Windows as only "what you use at work" becomes clear. That last point can NOT be ignored.  Microsoft is not cool.  It is not fun.  It is not sexy.  It is perceived as "your father's computer".  At this point, Microsoft has all the consumer appeal of a Xerox copy machine.   That's not to say that MS will not continue to succeed.   They can even thrive.  But it will be 100% focused on business, like IBM, Cisco, Xerox and Oracle.  The consumer market is a tough place to be.  Microsoft has learned the hard way.  I seriously doubt anyone there has the stomach to jump back into it.  
  • Exactly why Microsoft needs something new to market to consumers. If they haven't been building a totally new platform the last 5-10 years, then they are blowing it. They need something to replace Windows if staying relevant with consumers is important to them.
  • Oh good, another re trenching theme. I want Microsoft to succeed but, I do not think they know how to anymore. UWP would be worth it on the desktop if they would actually make it worth it on the desktop. As it is right now, they have not even made it worth having regular X86 programs in the store. If this is the way MS operating in the 90's, they would have lost, big time.
  • They have become lazy. The past 20 years have made them think they are invincible and do not have to try. That just isn't true with the competition they face today.
  • This is pretty sound, and even of right now it won't help mobile, in the long run it will.
  • How is this sound? It is literally the same thing they tried years ago with Windows 10, but the phone part removed! 2015 - "Hey! You can develop your apps for phone and desktop at the same time with UWP!" 2017- "Hey! You can develop your apps for desktop at the same time with UWP!
  • Off topic: I clicked a link in this story and it took me to another story... In the app! (instead of trying to jump to the web version in edge). Nice work WC.
  • This is total Spin. The UWP was rolled out as a platform that would be available to 1 Billion devices, that included Phone. When it was clear that goal was not going to be meet in the time that they had forecasted they said it was due to Phones. The UWP universal was always a play to get more apps to Phone.  I though and still think it is a good idea to get apps for mobile, PC all devices. If this change in approach works then I am all for it. It just sounds like they are playing with definitions.  
  • Where are the UWP Office apps the last few weeks? Missing from store with seemingly no discussion or reason given
  • So the point about the feedback from developers is interesting and not one I'd read anywhere before. If true, it seems like a rather drastic reaction, that you'd want to shut down your phone platform entirely, in order to eliminate a misunderstanding about UWP being only for phone apps. To me it seems, that if you want to convince developers that UWP is powerful enough as a platform, you make sure to develop a lot of apps yourself on said platform to showcase its power and versatility. You also make sure to demonstrate to developers that they will be able to make the apps that they want, having the capabilities that they need. To me, they haven't done so yet. Skype and Groove are the two apps that are getting the closest, but even those, I wouldn't exactly call solid lighthouses for UWP. There are small gems here and there. NextGen Reader is pretty good. So is Poki for Pocket. But honestly we need real killer apps and it doesn't seem like the platform is yet capable enough of delivering. Maybe I am wrong, but there is little to prove it. Now the other half of the story, of course, is that they also want to shift away from the Windows Phone underpinnings and go with CShell and WIN32-on-ARM. Of those two, CShell is the one that I have the highest hopes for, because that is where the future must lie. The other can really only be a temporary stopgap until the UWP has matured enough. WIN32 needs to go away and UWP needs to become powerful enough to put the final nail in the coffin. To me the WIN32-on-ARM strategy is necessary, but also somewhat of a distraction. The strategy is risky, because if it doesn't lead to more developers on UWP, but only to developers maintaining their WIN32 apps, they won't have gained much in the long run. They are in a race with themselves and hopefully they will win.
  • Yup seems like total BS/spin that writers didn't even push back on. In all reality the phone API is so inadequate removing mobile from the UWP equasion allows better (almost real less gimped) apps and noone will notice. This lets them sell UWP "Games" for xbox & PC which has a chance of sales to casual users on iPhones/Android. The real question to MS is why should devs release UWP apps when MS won't commit to making quality UWP apps.
  • I'm a fan of windows central and enjoy your features Daniel, but I'm calling you out as writing BS on this one. Microsoft categorically meant that UWP was a standard whereby all apps would run on all screens and all versions of Windows 10. They absolutely wanted to send out the message that building an app using the UWP toolkit was all about creating one app trust could be launched across multiple Windows 10 platforms with ease. They've made a huge deal out of the app bridges and Xamarin purchase and put UWP architecture at the forefront of that because they wanted developers to create for Windows 10 Mobile. Just last year Nadella was still talking up how Microsoft would create phones in 3 categories (low cost enterprise and the fan base) then he ditched the idea and killed W10M instead.  Frankly I don't blame him and would have done the same thing given the commercial realities of it. But to say that we all "misunderstood" what UWP was actually about is a bit insulting    
  • Jcmg62 writes: "Microsoft categorically meant that UWP was a standard whereby all apps would run on all screens and all versions of Windows 10.  They absolutely wanted to send out the message that building an app using the UWP toolkit was all about creating one app trust could be launched across multiple Windows 10 platforms with ease." Dead right - that is what UWP originally meant.  And that diagram at the top still makes that clear - devices in all different form factors sitting on a blue circle labelled "Universal Apps". Just how much more unambiguous can that be?
  • MS Needs a new CEO
  • It makes me wonder if MS is too big for one CEO to manage.  
  • Maybe they were just working on something stunning. Let's decide after the Build.
  • Time to call it a day with Microsoft, I obviously chose the wrong platform when I bought all of my equipment. Nothing but obstacles being put in my way after being loyal to MS. Time to get Apple equipment . Get rid of the Lumia 930 & the 925 (shame) and buy an iphone and an Apple Mac.Come back Bill Gates 🙏
  • There is not even a UWP facebook app on Windows, let alone a good app at all. If the biggest Social Network sees no point nor does the provider of UWP themselves, why would anyone else?
  • They can't do both, PHONE AND DESKTOP at the same time? A relatively small investment in phones would keep its most loyal customer base very happy. Obviously all of this negativity about Windows phones is driven and paid for by the company itself to sell a message. So, ok....if they don't want to do phones, why don't THEY just say it?
  • As a developer, if I just want to write a program for myself to do some simple task on PC, I will choose Winform over UWP for sure. Why? Because it's much simpler (much less lines of code), much easier to debug (can easily avoid those data binding or async stuff), more stable (if anything goes wrong, a user friendly exception dialog that you can choose ignore vs. just crash the app and you have no idea what happened or just ignore and continue), less limitation (e.g., directly use the file path instead of forced to use file picker), and if you want to run it on another PC, just copy and paste. UWP is not developer friendly when it's sole purpose is for PC.
  • Very much true.
  • This is old news. Nadella said this 2 years ago when describing UWP. At that time he talked about how developers would want to create UWP apps due to the huge install base of Windows on desktop and "by the way, they will work on phones too". Same old crap. Sad to see MS try to re-message the same message and was to see sites like Windows Central not calling them out on it.
  • There's no confusion about UWP at all. If there is or was any confusion it was about MS itself.
  • Finally! Trust me guys we are all going to see the benefit of this. "Microsoft sees UWP as someday displacing Win32 apps a.k.a. "classic" desktop programs." I'm tired of all those people who still call UWP "metro apps". It's always been so much more.
  • Until they offer something that is less like Metro which can displace Win32, that description will remain appropriate.
  • Adobe XD?
  • "Succeed on the PC, then go to Mobile" (but give your die-hard fans a new device to tide them over before you go mainstream) :)
  • There is no confusion about UWP. They are pivoting and you are helping. ;) Which is not bad. 
  • I disagree with this article. I don't see why developers should care about UWP. Tablets whith Windows is a niche market and no market on phones, Hololens and IoT. And i don't think gamers really care about apps and Skype on Xbox, they just need awesome games, media player and browser.
    It's a waste of time for a dev to use UWP. Everyone's on mobile and no mobile users for the apps i could spend a lot of time to make. On desktop, pretty much everything can be done with a browser and you can find enough legacy apps for all of your needs. I still MS made the worse mistake not pushing UWP on mobile and giving up this market it will even harder to get attention from developers who develop for andriod and IOS. And i bet the same story will happen again when they'll try to push uwp on desktop.
    It looks like Microsoft like to fail.
  • Getting closer and closer to stop caring about Windows.
  • This makes sense. The mobile anxiety is uncalled for...we already know that MS is moving into unified OS strategy aka Surface on ARM therefore desktop transcends mobile and vice versa. The article's attempt to stir the discussion is just that. The dice have been tossed already ;)
  • I dont care anymore. Already bought an Android. Will make the switch slowly.
  • This seems like the soundest vision of MS' future I've read yet. My only concern is Windows isn't ready for everything to be a UWP item yet either. They're in that awkward in between stage where some thigns run from your Start bar in this weird small window and some things remain on your desktop. Their merger of visions is trying to cater to both and it weakens UWP far more than it weakens Win32. We'll have to wait for things to play out a bit more. I feel like developers are hedging their bets these days. As mobile continues to become the dominant platform in the consumer market it's got to be strange to decide how you'll jump between the Web, the Dekstop, and the Phone/tablet. That's a lot of targets to hit.
  • Hmmm... Isn't Android beating Microsoft in the OS dept?  Mobile is key in the 21st century and without it, MS' days are numbered.  It would seen they should be focusing on the mobile aspect more than the desktop? Microsoft kicked itself by not selling and marketing the UWP over the past year or more.
  • I never want UWP to take off on the PC, it goes against exactly what I use a PC for.
  • Even without WP in the mix... Why develop UWAs? Win7 still has more installs. Even when Win10 become the majority... why write UWA when Win32 runs on 100% of PCs? Why learn new systems, tools, APIs, etc. when even Microsoft can't write a UWA as good as its desktop apps? Skype vs. Skype Preview? Mail vs. Outlook? Heck... Win10 has been out for years and settings still relies on control panel, device manager, etc. UWA also have massive limitations on controls, data entry, information density, etc. Apps are not applications. Finally, even if business start switching... most disable the store anyway.
  • You obviously have not done a huge effort researching the strengths and weaknesses of win32 and UWP. Win32 is not best by default.
  • it maynot be, but the point is who or why would anyone want to have the 'best' of windows 10 when it is only limited to PCs? Even among PCs it is still not there in more than half of those. even on PCs where it is present, the target segment i.e. the enterprises, disable the store anyway. Why will anyone have any inclination of developing the UWPs? Answer obviously is Mobile, the word MS dreads so much that it has stopped using it altogether
  • "Microsoft means "universal" to refer to the tools that let developers get their product to the Windows Store. That's why all apps listed in the Store are technically UWP yet not all of those apps can run on Mobile" Thats not true. The store can also have non-UWP apps, like W8/WP8 apps. The real UWP apps need to run on W10 and the W(P)8 apps can run on Windows 10 and are in the same store. UWP uses the W10 SDK's and therefore can't run on W(P)8. So not all apps are UWP apps in the store. From W(P)8.1 the developers could write 'Universal' apps. Universal != UWP  
  • And that is seriously confusing!  "Universal" apps are not "UWP" apps.  What a terrible mess Microsoft have made by having two different meanings of "Universal".  This looks like clunking incompetence from here.
  • Sounds like a plan..make up mature with a proper ODE along with major apps, then re introduce full windows 10 on ARM. Got my s8plus just right after days fiddling around with it...
  • So the big takeaway is, Don't buy anymore Windows Phones (whatever iteration) until UWP starts to succeed. You got it, Big D. That's exactly what I'm gonna do. Good article.
  • Let's just wait and hear what Msft says and not assume and jump to conclusions again and again
  • So i am going to go a different directin from this. As a developer and one that talks alot to other .net / windows developers. the problem was not reallly the messaging of uwp. we all kinda understood what it means. make one app and based on the xaml used you can share the interface across different rendered views. this was not confusing at all. the parts that led to issues was that microsoft was treating .net and uwp as 3rd rate platforms on windows. why should i use .net when i can stay with win32 that microsoft promissed will work. why should i invest in uwp when i am making electron apps that work across platforms or even worse, some developers just choose the java route . The problem with UWP, is that Developers have left the Windows platform. win32 apps are legacy. How many new win32 app can you name. Developers know desktop is dieing, and have moved to the cloud or mobile. With desktop development it was c#, c++ winclr, win 32.  In the new world, you have new languages everyday. as  a developer you have to look at your future, and the future is not .net or C#, its the other million language you need to learn and learn now. and in both cloud and Mobile microsoft is a no show. So microsoft can refocus the uwp to desktop, but that will be the death nail because people have moved on. This is microsoft problem. People have left and microsoft is trying to rail them back in. jus tlike why linux subsytem exists. is to try and prevent the bleeding of developers to other platforms. and once they move to osx or linux, uwp and win32 does not work there and microosft has lost. windows mobile was uwp saving grae but their removal from the market just shows microosft is still trying to find its foot in a world tha thas moved outside the desktop. if the desktop was their saving grace the 1 billion windows 10 devices will have proven that. Windows 10 cloud, for EDU is baiscally the smae problem. and microosft has no solutions. intune is not going to help and mdm is not going to help. Until i can do massive configuration changes accross millions of device from a webpage, the cloud os microosft envisions is lost. that is where chromebooks are eating microosft lionshare. because managememnt is like managing an android app. and those admins are using android and ios devices. 
  • that is called, Hitting the nail on the head. Hope Nadela or any other decision making executive reads this (though this must be apparent anyway to those running a software based company)
  • msanda writes: " Developers know desktop is dieing," No, no, no!!  There is NOTHING to replace desktops when it comes to serious computing.  No professional does 3D CAD, desktop publishing, video editing, software development, photo editing or even serious word processing on mobile devices.  For most of those activities you need one or two big, high resolution screens and a professional-quality mouse and keyboard.   For content consumption, and interacting with content, mobile devices with touch screens are fine.  For the stuff I've just listed there is just no way that mobile devices even get close.  Honestly, have you tried 3D CAD on a tablet?  Have you ever tried writing 5000 words in one day on a laptop?  Have you done any serious video editing on a phone? Let's get real here: desktop workstations are here indefinitely for professional use and content creation.  They are NOT dying.  What is happening is that content consumers are abandoning their desktops for mobile devices.  Desktop is shrinking and consolidating, not dying.
  • The Surface line was made to show hardware developers what could be done. Now that other products are being released, MS have eased off on their surface line. With Lumia MS took the entire WP market share, giving others like Samsung a very tiny part of a already small market giving them little reason to consider new devices. MS need to step back and let others do what they did with Surface Pro, not to push them away. Even so, even if MS keeps focusing on the desktop, they should still release a new Surface mobile device every year, just to keep showcasing what the platform can do. They could be available trough MS store, and expected to sell to those of us who still would buy these phones and knows what we get and whatnot. Even with only a small number of devices, relatively, this would give devs a mobile platform to include while developing for desktop and tablet computers, showcasing what can be done.      
  • So get the top iPad apps ported to UWP and use on 2 in 1's and tablets running Windows 10 on ARM then you have a store full of apps and then reintroduce a phone type device when the time is right. Also convert all Win32 applications to UWP.
  • Don't know if there are any legal complications, but MS can get its own development team to create replica of popular apps on iOS and Android to UWP, so that the users dont 'miss' those. If they actually get popular, maybe the original developer will himself be interested in porting the original. whateer it does it has to be apps first, everythign else later. Right now it is OS first, Hardware next and apps will follow. But the reality was apps started moving out, then harware suffered, and eventually it will hit the OS itself!
  • Balmer one time said. The only way to save windows phone is running android apps. He was right
  • Hybrid PC power by ARM need to be popular and affordable aka window cloud. When people start using windows tablet as daily driver vs Android/iPad, then UWP will go up. Win 10 as of have better features than android or iPad. I am not saying other tablet are missing those features, instead, it's better execution within windows platform.
    1. desktop full outlook and office (office365) are the best
    2. mouse
    3. Pen
    4. Customizability - I can choose to save any file including apps to USB drive, SD, or NAS. I have LGV930 tablet and I couldn't figure out how to save pictures as default to an SD.
    5. Continuum - I imagine using windows ARM to display to any screen
    6. Miracast is better IMO than Google cast (choppy as heck)
    7. Groove is absolute best in streaming speed. I love the gapless playback. I use iHeart or Pandora on my android tablet thinking it would be faster. Same slowness between tracks.
    8. Better memory management - Some say latest android are buttery smooth. I beg to differ, I got LG-V930 with 6.0 and I have to press booster once in a while otherwise chrome just felt sticky. My previous iPad mini are buttery smooth.
    9. Printers, scanning, print to PDF
    10. Build in viewer - why I have to download the PDF so I have to remember deleting it when MS edge give me the option if I want to read it via browser or saving it. Cons are of course no apps such as snapchat, banks, grocery, target, Walmart. Mobile carrier only have cellular tablet like my LG-V930 or iPad instead of windows tablet.
  • Very good article, I agree every word!
  • Agreed apps apps apps need to be centerfocus they need to be as powerful as desktop applications and be able to run on every single device that has Windows it is no longer an excuse for a company the size and with the experience like Microsoft. then bring back mobile once the apps are there. As a web developer in training the one thing I see the most is trying to build websites and applications for all types of devices I will love to see Mobile on Windows return as one app can definitely support all windows devices
  • Hahahahahahahaha no words.... No words.... Microsoft just wants to die.
  • This is nothing new. UWP was designed to be both a replacement for Win32 on the desktop as well as a platform.for mobile development.
  • What's with the knob in DJ Pro photo?  New product?
  • Are you not familiar with the Surface Dial?
  • No developer is dumb enough to exchange the Win32 vendor lock in through a new UWP vendor lock in. This was already the case with WPF,which failed to gain broad traction. Xamarin is the only chance to get a new truly universal platform. But it's not from the Windows division. And that's the best part about it.
  • Re-Spin. I fully expect Microsoft just to throw their hands up in a few months and tells us all "You are holding it wrong!".
  • I loved windoiws mobile 8.1 on my lumia 930 but after so long bringing features we already had to windows 10, after taking away onedrive free storage, after not supporting my 930 after 3 years with creator update, After not releasing a decent flagship mobile phone in 2015 cause the 950 looked and felt cheap, after refusing to guive windows 10 the speakerphone option from gestures, After getting rid of what was in my opinion the best sat nav in here maps amnd with loosing their way by not allowing desktop users to open new tabs in edge to their own default user page I have finally given up on microsft, just like they have with mobile. no mater what you call it a phone is imperitive for a eco system to work in this day and age and without a phone I will not invest any more, I only exist in the windows space because I love building pcs and no other os supports the games like a traditional pc and windows os does, if this changes and apple or android take a presence in the same space I'm gone. And why well because I want to live in a eco system where all my devices are part of it and I want a company I know is trustworthy, that's not microsft and hasn't been for a few years now.
  • any one else agree but if microsf treleased a surface phone and it was the best phone ever I still wouldn't buy it, no apps, fear of lack of support in a timely manor, no android pay equivalent up and running in uk. Microsft I think have to aim for about 3-4 generations away cause the next few are apple and android users and they will not only be tomorrows consumer but also tomorrows business leader, I think they already made their choices and its not microsft windows products.
  • I'm tried of all these "shifts," "paradigm changes," "next bends in the curve", "app bridges," "universal apps" -- none of this ever happened -- let's be honest -- I wasted 8 good years on windows phone hopping it would finally shine. Microsoft is a total failure in mobile technology, no skill in marketing, supporting the developers and reaching the consumers. I don't believe in any promises they make anymore.
  • I mean...good luck, but UWP apps are generally terrible compared to their win32...or, let's be real...their website versions. As for gaming, putting aside games that went UWP because they were basically owned by MS...the AAA gaming industry is absolutely avoiding UWP, and for many good reasons. The "Store" would have been much better to go via baby steps, and allow anything from webapps, to win32, to uwp, to provide a one stop central store, with minimal licensing fees, while MS slowly worked behind the scenes to improve the uwp framework so uwp apps weren't trash compared to their webapp/win32 counterparts.
  • Can someone enlighten me on this? Do companies have the ability to create their own inhouse Windows 10 apps and deploy them on their own networks?  It just seems like this should be a big selling point for Windows 10 enterprise. I don't really hear anything about it. 
  • I guess Microsoft needs to hire a tactician for ideas.
    Sir Alex Ferguson or Jose Mourinho should be able to do the trick
    Or even a chess genius like retired Garry Kasparov
  • This is pathetic and just makes me feel sad for Microsoft. Resorting back to a dying category. Winning that category is not even a victory of any kind. Have fun in your sinking boat Microsoft. Meanwhile people will jump massively to mobile solutions with big screen options. The mobile audience will follow the mobile companies to big screen solutions that will be offered by Google and Apple. It's not the other way around.
  • I think Dan, you are looking at it the wrong way. Instead of building up Desktop apps to then hopefully bring those same apps to mobile, MS will bring the entire Desktop (read: full Windows) to Mobile regardless of the type of apps it runs. Ie Progressive Web Apps. UWP for intends and purposes might be as dead as Windows Phone
  • Part of the benefit of being able to target UWP applications at different device categories is being able to tailor the user experience for the app to something that is appropriate for the hardware form factor on which the app is running.  Even if someday Microsoft produces a "phone"-like or ultra-mobile device capable of running "full" Windows 10, app developers would still want to be able to present their apps differently for the mobile devices than what the user would see of the same app on a PC.  Small screen mobile vs. large screen PC, or touch interactivity on a mobile vs. keyboard/mouse on a PC, etc.
  • Windows mobile is dead no one uses it Microsoft has abandoned it so there not going to release a phone that won't sell heck they haven't even got any decent apps in the store
  • Your blind man there is people using Windows Mobile. And Microsoft haven't abandoned it. It's still gets update.
  • There is No official statement from Microsoft so why are you making such statement
  • I hope that the Secure Windows is ready in 2020.
    Good job Daniel.
  • Even if you take phones out of the equation and focus on PCs/desktops for UWP, that still doesn't explain how UWP offers a compelling advantage for developers over existing development platforms and technologies like "classic" .Net, which is still far more mature than UWP, especially when you have Project Centennial to take advantage of UWP-like features in existing applications (deployment to the Store, etc.), unless you are developing for the XBox.  What makes a UWP app on a PC better than the equivalent "legacy" application (or a "legacy" .Net application with some UWP extensions via the app bridge)?
  • Yeah, it didn't gain traction the past years. "Repositioning" it now is too late. Gamers hate it, developers ignore it, consumers don't use it. Apart from a few die hard MS fans, UWP will never gain much traction because we already have win32 which is very mature and has lots of high quality software. UWP is a solution that tries to solve a problem that doesn't exists for most people. The only one that needs UWP is Microsoft.
  • Was wondering, how many people are viewing this article using the Windows Central UWP? how many are using EDGE? how many are using the other browsers?
  • It was ALWAYS about leveraging the install base of desktop as a way to induce developers to be able to "easily"  develop for tablet and cell phones.  However UWP was not terribly successful on desktop, which was the necessary first step for UWP to be useful for mobile.  So they are refocusing on UWP on desktop.  Really, no surprise there.  If it doesn't work on the desktop, it loses any leverage it might have for mobile.
  • I don't understand all the technical parts, but to me an ideal solution would to allow android apps to run on window 10 on Arm when it is in mobile mode.
  • If Microsoft was serious about UWP replacing Win32 applications in the future, they should be more open towards alternate browsers for example. Sure, in Microsofts world it would be perfect to have only edge based browsers, but in reallity no one will take UWP serious like that.
  • Android is the new Windows, Microsoft should leverage what is already there and allow Android apps to run on Windows 10 with a clear path for those apps to become UPW apps. A foldable Surface phone running Windows 10 on Arm with the ability to run android apps and Existing UWP apps when in mobile mode could potentially sole the app problem. 
  • Google is having issues running Android apps on their own Chrome OS. It may be awhile before they could get it to work on Windows 10 even if Microsoft allowed that to happen...
  • I've moved on. I'm tired of waiting for MS to get their act together on mobile.
  • ^IF they ever do.
  • Perfectly said Daniel! ..and indeed there is no point in releasing a Surface Phone in the current state of Mobile, whether its due to the OS or App gap situation. In for a device such as the Surface Phone to make a splash, they need to let WM die down and hopefully if UWP gains more support through this strategy, then bringing back Mobile through Surface branding might gain headlines and grab peoples attention. That said, just because MS is focusing UWP for W10 doesnt mean it's not focusing on mobile ... for all we know W10 could already be running on Mobile, essentially making UWP apps automatically available for mobile. So pushing it on desktop would essentially benefit all their hardware including mobile ...that's IF they've already got W10 running on mobile ..and more importantly, have their thinking hats on.
  • UWP is low quality , and Desktop Apps is high performance and high quality than UWP , UWP miss mouse interactivity because it target to tablet and mobile then it has miss most functionality unlike desktop apps, I think UWP will fail in the next a few years and windows store apps will fails at all.
  • Do you mean programs for desktops? Unless you talking about UWP apps for desktops that are low quality apps. Don't know what you mean of desktop apps. When i think of desktop programs that don't use the UWP.
  • Yes, our strategy is failing so let's change the words around again. When are people going to wake up and realize Microsoft is a dead corporation walking. They have no vision and don't know how to lead with innovation.
  • "Microsoft's announcement on May 2 will prove the company is serious about entering new segments like education with its full might" I can't believe I'm reading this. After all the segments where Microsoft has entered and got the least bit of resistance and they kill the product or service and run and hide like a little puppy dog with it's tail between it's legs. And you got this guy daring to write phrases like, "full might". LOL! Truly laughable.
  • Really?
    UWP was launch as Windows on all devices, including Phone.
    If that is the "justification" for Windows 10 Mobile dead is absurd.
  • When it first appeared UWP most certainly did mean "Universal" in that an app made using the UWP would be able to run on both Intel and ARM chips and that the app could run on both desktop and phones if the developer decided to publish it to both. I don't think anyone was confused about that. However, along the way Microsoft has changed what a UWP app is. The introduced Centennial which would not work on mobile ever and then they started calling everything in the store "UWP". It's just a natural evolution, but Microsoft did a horrible job at keeping their message clear as UWP evolved. If you go back and look at videos and tutorials even the speakers didn't know what a UWP was.
  • What is really concerning is that Microsoft isn't really going anywhere on PC either.  After Windows 8, people just seemed to quit paying attention to Microsoft.  At work, most people still want to stay on Windows 7, they don't even want to try Windows 10.  And nobody ever uses Microsoft for anything.  They "Google" stuff and they chat on their I-phones.  I really think Microsoft is in much bigger trouble than they are letting on.  They have become a dinosaur that is heading for extinction.  And they don't help themselves when their latest and greatest browser, Edge, can't even handle and print pdf files correctly.  The research tools we use are all geared for Chrome.  You ask their technical support people if it supports Edge, and they don't know what you're talking about.  Not good, not good at all.
  • I am totaly fine with this course as long as I can buy a 6 or 7 inch tablet that will run 10 and make phone calls.  
  • If they really wanted UWP to succeed, then they would allow it run on win7 without the obvious win10 enhancements. Few companies are going to abandon all their users still running on win7.
  • These apps exists for the mobile connected devices! They might be out from smartphone market but they definately wants to build a mobile device;")
  • Sorry Dan, but A) I did not find anything new in your article here and B) MS' strategy of promoting UWP and your justifications/explanation of it is far from convincing. In fact, I see as another showcase of everythign that is wrong with MS when it comes to windows 10. First and foremost in any sphere of life, if you are considered weak in any department, then you must try to work on that weakness. Ideally you should convert it to your strenght or at least bring it upto a level where you can live with it. MS on the other hand is trying to hide its weakness aka mobiles. There is no point in running away, and in the process deserting your small but highly loyal fanbase, from the term mobile. They are doing this just to hide their failure. Can it be hidden, EVER? NO! So best that MS can do is come out and say, "our mobile strategies have nto workedso far. But we have learnt our lesson and are going to acknowledge and rectifiy our past mistakes". The moment it gets into an introspection modeacquisition and then write off of Nokia will be among the very top of its mistakes. What can it do to revive, rechristen the Lumia brand, bring in thos lively colours, best screens, best cameras (and camera button) and price themaggressively in ALL markets. No one gives a damn about one extra mm in thickness or about 5-10 grams extra in weight. Don't Confuse yourself with your own nomenclature. When you say 'Universal' mean universal. And universal means present everywhere. So UWP apps must be present across all devices running windows 10, be in phones, tabs, PCs, gaming consoles, VR or even hololens. Else DO NOT CALL IT UNIVERSAL. MS is not confusing the developers or the users, it is only confusing itself
  • Finally a sensible article about how MS is eventually planning to re-enter mobile by gaining tablet share, and leveraging that and notebooks, PC and console. Glad the penny dropped on how this strategy of unification works form a developer perspective, and equally glad that MS finally get they need "power software" on their UWP platform, as that is where MS can kill the competition.
    Keep fine tuning that UWP platform, we really need devs to warm to it!
  • From the very beginning back in the W8 days, when MS talked about the WinRT API (which is still the core of the UWP ecosystem), in my conversations with MS staffers (and in an article describing WinRT by Peter Bright), it was always clear that WinRT/UWP was about coming up with a more modern development framework to replace the somewhat antiquated and convoluted Win32/COM structure.  Peter outlined some historical attempts (most notably .Net), why they failed, and some of the internal MS politics. It's important to understand that the traditional desktop dev environment is huge, and at the beginning, WinRT only spanned a tiny fraction of the capabilties in the win32/com .Net world.  With every release of the OS since W8, behind the scenes, MS has been adding thousands of new API calls to UWP.  Yet still, even today, there are large parts of the desktop dev landscape that are not handled by UWP. The point is UWP was never intended to be just a phone thing -- it was intended to be a completely new dev environment that would replace all that came before.  In fact at the beginning there were versions of the winrt for phones and for desktop PC's. Much of the functionality was identical, but the namespaces of the two versions were different (???!). The goal has always been to "dev once run anywhere" (phones, xbox, desktop, laptop, HoloLens, Surface Hub, IOT, and God knows what else).  This is a daunting task -- it's nowheres near complete, but I won't be surprised at revised "messaging" (not exactly an MS strong point :grin) at Build next week.
  • with WP almost dead, I am very pessimistic about the future of UWP. MS is the first who must make them, but it does not, obviously. How we can expect that other companies and developers will do them???
  • So why would anybody build a UWP app specifically for PC's, but instead of win32 which would actually work on Windows 10 and any older Windows OS, unlike an UWP app. Nobody cares about UWP without phones...
  • 1 Billion windows powered mobile device - aint gonna happen
    1 Billion windows powered desktop device - a very good chance UWA for mobile - aint gonna happen
    UWA for desktop - a good chance provided, if file manager or edge can play/run UWA on tabs
    there is a very very promising change
  • Android became #1 O/S and they want to re-message this concept and concentrate on the desktop which is dying? Speaking about confusion!!! I am a developer and right now I'm not thinking of leaving... RUNNING is the right word.
  • Look, I realise I'm probably being a bit dim, but we get this statement: "Some have thought it meant that all apps built with the platform could just run anywhere – so the "universal" here is referring to the hardware endpoint.  That's not accurate, however." And straight under that is a diagram with a blue circle labelled "Universal Apps", and sitting on that circle is every type of hardware platform that Windows 10 runs on. So it does look awfully like the diagram is saying "Universal Apps" run on every hardware platform. Now, either the author is reinterpreting that diagram in a very different way, or the people who drew that diagram are extremely inept.  I wonder which it is.
  • People today spend most of their time on smartphones. So do whatever you want, if you cannot complete in the mobile ecosystem, you can't compete at all!
  • Why is MS doubling down on everything BUT mobile? It doesn't matter how much they push Hololens and the next next wave of Windows, people right now are on mobile. My girlfriend's not a techie, and the only time she goes on her laptop is for college papers, eerything else her phone does. I'd wager that a fair share of the population is now like that, and yet MS insists on targeting the desktop, alongside niche tech like AR. Didn't they learn about Google Glass? Look around MS, and actually SEE what people are using. They're using phones. Put something in their pocket, something worthwhile, and you'll be able to grow. Continue insisting on desktop, which has been decreasing in size over the last decade, and you'll become the new IBM.
  • If Microsoft can make Win10S a free version of windows for anyone to download and use, it stands to reason that it could be the most popular/downloaded OS. With the app store limitation and an upgrade price of about $150-200; it’s safe to assume that most people will make the store work for them on the desktop (case in point Android). Basically Now is the time to develop/refresh apps for the store.
  • actually that is a very very good idea. i think microsoft should take another step towards "windows as a service" and make at least windows10s, for personal use, free to download... that would be huge for store
  • As a developer with 2 apps in the store I built for fun and 1 app I built for a company I work for I will not touch UWP until MS starts building phones again. I honestly believe not only UWP but the client Windows itself is going to eventually die if they do not produce a phone even if they lose money on it. Non-phone companies will be eaten by phone companies in the consumer space.
  • Based on this article, Microsoft will probably not get any more of my money. If there is not a Windows phone product when my Lumia 950 is completely paid for in 12 months, or if I know earlier that there are no new windows phones coming, I will migrate to Android, and use generic word, and excel products, etc. I will go back to Google, and use Tango for video chat. I'll use the Sony PlayStation. Anything that does not involve Microsoft. Microsoft is huge. To not market their phones is disgraceful. I have been a fan for a long time now, but I believe the writing is now on the wall. Really, it began while I was waiting to buy Microsoft Band 3 . . . . . . it sucks!
  • Could the same be said about the desktop OS itself? Forget apps. Does the logic in your article apply to the OS itself, because MS failed to port the desktop "success" over to a mobile and IOT......
  • Uwp is pointless over win32.
  • UWP makes little sense in the desktop outside of Some games and utility type apps. They are far less efficient and more confusing to use than desktop apps. 10+ years of muscle memory and CUA paradigm makes it hard to sell them. They are horrible for keyboard and mouse navigation. It has its place, but until they deliver their cash cows on UWP, and I don't mean super crippled tablet versions, I will remain skeptical. Centennial doesn't turn a Win32 app into a TWO app, BTW. This is why I like Apple's model. Keep your desktop OS a desktop OS and don't reinvent the API wheel every three years. Apple's tooling may not be as amazing as VS, but their platforms are a lot more coherent than Windows is, at this point, from a developer's perspective. You literally never know when Microsoft will send you back to remedial classes to learn a new framework, development language, or layout engine, etc. They don't seem to have any deep confidence in any of their solutions, but they want you to stake your livelihood on them. Developers are getting tired of playing Russian Roulette with their livelihoods to guinea pig Microsoft technologies to Microsoft's sole benefit. I'm sitting out on the UWP "push."
  • Somehow you're right and somehow wrong. The problems you list are most likely because of the developers. If they are too lazy to implement proper keyboard and mouse interaction, it would also not work in Win32 apps. Also they (or actually we, since I'm developer) could make an UWP look exactly the same like a Win32 app. On the other side Microsoft makes it pretty hard. UWP usually has as default a bigger font size and some useful components are missing. A MenuBar would be nice, or easier handling of multiple windows of an app.  But actually I like UWP so far - if I would know, they keep developing it. Not like Silverlight for Windows Phone for example. Also, UWP is great for mobile and tablet development. It can be responsive like websites and so it works usually very good on different screen sizes with only one layout. But one is for sure, Microsoft needs to settle down with their frameworks. It's like a programmer novice starts developing a game: "I write my own graphics engine, since my game will be big"... months later ... "Ok, this time my new graphics engine will be modular/faster/just better..., because I have so many ideas for my game"... I'm looking forward for the build this year!
  • I think MS should be worried about Windows becoming obsolete all together. My office is all Google'd up. No need for Windows OS. Need PowerPoint, Excel? They are on Android. As for consumers, they are so bought in to app ecosystem, this bypasses any notion of an OS. BBC radio player, you can ONLY download content on iOS and Android apps. People expect to access their apps across any device regardless of OS or concept of 'universal apps' .
  • I'm not a developer and COMPLETELY understood the UWP wasn't about running mobile apps on the desktop or visa versa.
    So what you're bringing to light is that (some/most) developers are clueless/wary about the UWP because of the mobile component?