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Microsoft reveals its Windows 10 universal apps plans to developers at MWC 2015

Microsoft took some time today at the Mobile World Congress event to reveal some its Windows 10 universal app plans to developers at the conference.

Microsoft wants those developers to make apps for the OS that will work with everything from small smartphone screens to the Xbox One console to large touchscreen devices like the upcoming Surface Hub. In a blog post today, Microsoft's Kevin Gallo stated:

"As we built the universal app platform, we set out to ensure that all Windows developers would equally benefit from this one core. The platform enables a new class of Windows universal apps – apps that are truly written once, with one set of business logic and one UI. Apps that are delivered to one Store within one package. Apps that are able to reach every Windows 10 device the developer wants to reach. Apps that feel consistent and familiar to the customer on all devices, while also contextually appropriate to each device's input model and screen size. The new universal app platform completes our developer platform convergence by providing you with the ability to finally create one app that can run on mobile, desktop, console, holographic, and even IoT devices."

Windows 10 infographic

As you might expect, interacting with an app on a small smartphone touchscreen is different than using the same app on a larger tablet or the Xbox One. Gallo wrote:

"Windows 10 will determine, at runtime, how the customer is interacting with your app and render the appropriate user experience (e.g. on a laptop with a touch-screen, an app fly-out control will provide larger touch-targets if tapped with touch, as opposed to clicked with a mouse).

Windows 10 apps will also show up in Cortana search results, which can then be directly launched from those search strings. Even developers who simply want to repackage their website as an app will be able to have an easier experience with Windows 10. Gallo stated, " Once installed, your website can update and call Universal APIs from JavaScript, creating a more engaging user experience."

We will certainly learn a lot more about Microsoft's app plans for Windows 10 in late April and early May when the company hosts its 2015 Build developer conference in San Francisco.

Source: Microsoft

146 Comments
  • Great
  • Think Microsoft will rename the Windows Store to One Store?
  • Please no..
  • No, it's pointless. Everything is Windows, so just leave it as the Windows Store
  • Not that it makes a difference because it would be too confusing to bring it back, but I liked it when they called it "Marketplace". Oh well.
  • Me too, marketplace was just better XD
  • Never done before in the history of mobile....
    ...............
    Now, MS's biggest challenge is getting the average consumer excited about W10, and all it entails..
  • So true, lets hope they do that
  • Microsoft has to strike the mind of common people about Windows 10
  • Yep. This is huge, but it won't matter if marketing flops again.... And, it's seriously critical to get it right in the US this time around...
    ...........
    I don't know how many "next times" MS can go through.
  • PR is not one of Microsoft's strong points lol....
  • Maybe they just need the right song...  It worked for Windows 95 with The Rolling Stone's Start Me Up:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=chTftktWmto What would be the right song for Windows 10?  
  • They need to get Bruno Mars, and his new song.
  • And the best way to do that is to make a few big "Apple like" commercials that shows the main stuff, with the right language voice over depending on the country it's airing in. They can do it, if they want to. They need to go all in, in the whole world. They need to stop doing one thing in the US and another thing in Norway, Germany or Russia. Get rid of the borders between us. Open up Bing to everyone. Bring Cortana to more countries. Go global with Microsoft stores. Sell more on Microsoft Store online in every country. And when they release something, release it EVERYWHERE at the same time. One world. One goal. One Windows. 
  • They should make commercials about Hologram!
  • They should flood the airwaves about EVERYTHING in the W10 world.
  • Exactly... Hololens should be there in the advertisements.. And they have to convince people at any cost that Windows 10 is much better than Windows 7. Because many people are sticking with W7 to avoid W8 or W8.1 and in future they will try to be stuck at W7 like XP.
  • Exactly❗❗ Marketing is, and has always been, critical.. MS must finally get it right❗❗
  • Please work for Microsoft.
  • Some say I'm detrimental to the platform..
  • ...............
  • Lol.... TomTom... SMH.
  • Your flair for punctuation has been noticed by many, I'm sue!!! ......... As has been the spacing of your points in comments ! ! ! ......... Perhaps there is a creative talent to be employed by Microsoft here, or maybe you are happy in life??? ........ However, you are passionate and entertaining, keep on keeping on lol
  • Oh
    .....
    I
    .....
    See
    ......
    What
    ......
    You
    ......
    Mean❗❗❗
    ......
    .....................Cool❗❗❗❗❗
  • You are right, look at Cortana, How many months now since she has been released? we are forced to change from our regions to enable her, how long are we going to wait for her to be release in out Regions, MS is not being fair on this one!!  
  • Ok, I know you want an assistant to tell you jokes, but seriously, Cortana is a huge undertaking. We're talking natural language for a bunch of very different languages, not to mention a product that's only even in Beta in English. Microsoft has a huge task to roll Cortana out to everyone, and so far they've done an excellent job. We have alphas in a dozen countries now, don't we? The region-switching is available if you're desparate, meanwhile Microsoft is working on getting the product out to more people. I have a feeling a whole lot more goes into this product than you know.
  • my issue is on switching regions, why do i have to switch my region? If i am using english, why do i have to switch my region? let me use cortana as she is, without having to switch my region, at the back of my mind i would be knowing that i am using an Alpha or beta what ever the case might be,  changing the region affects a lot of other things,
  • I hope they make more commercials with people dancing with their laptops. I hear those caused HUGE sales.
  • "One world...One Windows" Great tagline for a TVC... Liked it.
  • I support u
  • Tasfern, While I agree with you the problem is Microsoft can't because of laws and regulations set by each country's government.
  • How does Samsung, Apple, and Google,, get past those laws❓ :-):-):-):-)
  • Rodney-- EXACTLY! There should be NOTHING that MS can't do! If Apple & Google can do something, MS should be able to do it too. This is the frustrating, and sometimes depressing, thing about being a WP fan!
  • Right❓
    ........
    What's worse is you can mention all the things iDroid does, then ask why doesn't MS do the same, and a lot of MS fans will start pouring in the same old sob story excuses as if the tech world is supposed to cut babysoft some slack...
    .........
    A lot of WP fans want to be a fan of a weak company that makes up excuses, rather then make things happen.. And, what's worse is that they expect for us to have the same sore loser attitude as them.. Pathetic.
    ........
    I'm sorry, I can't sit back and support that... Anything, in my eyes, I can rightfully blame MS for I will straight up throw in their face, like they deserve....... No, matter how much these ladies panties get bunched up.
  • I believe the way is through packaging. They should put together "back to school" packages that include something like a Lumia 640, an HP Stream 7 tablet, and an HP stream laptop all for $350. Higher end packages could work too.
  • Maybe with an ATT contract it's only $99.
  • True... That's all a critical part of marketing... I agree.
  • So that you buy them cheap?
  • Selling devices at a loss will bring in customers but is it really the right business decision? They would have to subsidize the HP devices and basically give away the 640 for nothing.
  • Microsoft needs to take over the control of updates from the carriers like Apple.   Microsoft needs to create phones that are also fashion accessories, like apple.  They need to hire a designer that sees the future and can implement it.  Stop following in Nokias footsteps.  They did the surface on their own and did a pretty good job with surface pro 3.  The idea of apps across all platforms sounds great.  But most people that have iphones don't care.  They do most of their stuff on the phone.  So they do need to focus on the phone a lot in this case.  This includes options, options options!  If someone out there wants to save themes because it takes time to re-tile and make themes, then have that option.  I want to vibrate when this person calls, but ring when this person calls.  I want to be able to select which apps in the battery usage have access to background processing instead of doing one at a time.  If I want to do one, then sure I can do that too.    Let's face it they can get developers to make apps.  But if money isn't being made eventually they will drop it.  So they need to make it popular.  Focus their ads about how these unique options exist for everyone. And make their phone look good.  No colourful square or massive bezeled phones.  Create what no one else could.  You can create a holo lens but not a nice looking phone?  And to popularize it, they need Jennifer lawrence as a spokesperson.  They need her to like the phone though because everyone knows she's super honest. Hehe sounds easier than it is :P
  • That's the problem, way too many changes need to be made.  
  • I see nothing wrong with them making colourful phones. Last time I checked Nokia was the pioneer of coloured polycarbonate phones and no one else did it better than them. Now it's a little more common but there's nothing wrong with it. You say give us options and Microsoft has given us plenty of phones and colour options. All we need is that high-end game-changing flagship when Windows 10 comes out, and I hope they do it well because they've had plenty of time to figure it out.
    Also no Jennifer Lawrence. No celebrities or public figures. Don't be BlackBerry or Lenovo and hire Alicia Keys and Ashton Kutcher for pointless marketing. Stick to your guns, complete Windows 10 and give us that beautiful flagship!
  • Trmnrs: But do you see other companies doing it? They are for kids. I took the green cover and replaced it with the black. They can have the option no doubt but promote a premium that looks premium not like a Tonka toy. And chances are if they want to make a premium phone that is stylish and curvy the changing of back plates would ruin the seamlessness. They can offer them in different colors but focus on the stylish stuff. Like I said Apple is a fashion accessory. It is why the gold version sold so much. How many people do you see wearing neon clothing? I get what you're saying. But they should go to her. Find out what apps she uses. Make sure they are out and make a custom phone for her. Create apps that interop with anything specific to Apple for easy transition. The BlackBerry thing failed because it was someone getting paid. I think Jennifer Lawrence is the most genuine person in Hollywood and she will tell it like it is. Plus a phone made just for her. It would be like the Lawrence brand lol. Anyways yeah its just an idea :p
  • Well, said❗❗❗ Damn well said❗ MARKETING.. You're exactly right, brother.. Keep spreading the word so that everyone will learn..
    .........
    You hit the nail dead on the head.... Basically you're saying they need to wake up, and quit playing that biach role.. Lol. Get some balls❗❗ Take some chances❗ Just make it happen, no excuses❗❗❗
  • Rod, you having any trouble after updating your 1520 to denim? I lost music, some things seem off, idk. I cannot open the forums with the app on my phone to consult there. This is why I am asking you here....anyone else, chime in.
    ...
    Also, capacitive lights seem much brighter, be nice if there was a toggle.
    ...
    Help....
  • Nop.the capacitive light became brighter after the device hib update
  • Ok, I uninstalled and I can now get into forums on the app..thanks.
    ..
    That light is bright when trying to watch a movie in the dark.
  • Yeah, the capacitive light does seem brighter❗❗❗
    The WC app acts kinda funny...
    .......
    Look... After your phone starts migrating data,,, something is bound to go wrong.... The only way to fix it is to start installing, and reinstalling apps that are jacked... Those problems are going to be most likely specific to your device.... You may also need to wipe, and reinstall, music.
  • They also need to get celebrities to promote the products, just saying people listens to famous people and would perhaps see what they use and follow. It's possible. Sorry to say, but some people are mindless and follow the crowd & what people tells them, especially celebrities. :)
  • Yeah, like they need to be long term promoters... Bradley Cooper needs to be know as the WP guy... Seriously❗
  • Go Microsoft go!
  • So will Cortana be able to launch Steam apps? :D
  • Well all this hype they are doing, it better not fall short or better yet exceed what they are selling later this year...cause if not i'm right back to iphone after 2 years with WP.
  • One Windows! This is what I have been hoping for since 8, and I am excited! I just hope they iron out the bugs before WP10+flagship.
  • They wont. They plan to leave all bugs in the system to annoy you.
  • Nb4 the Hamburger Hate'as.... "My Thumb's too short to cover my Phablet without having to shuffle my hand position! Life's sooo unfair, 1st world problems, blah blah blah."
    Seriously though I look forward to seeing what happens.
  • No one's thumb is long enough to reach the hamburger button at the top of a big phone, unless one is an ape. A hamburger button is just not user-friendly for one-handed operations; that's a reality. As long as they keep the main and mostly used functions at the bottom, all will be well. The more advanced functions can be represented at the top, no problem.
  • i salute you on that!
  • It's a legit complaint.
  • No. It's not. How do you reach the top left tile on your start screen? Exactly. Same issue. Stop pretending the childish whining is legit
  • "How do you reach the top left tile on your start screen?" Yes, reaching the upper left tile with one hand is very hard and almost not doable on a big phone, that's why, you know, the entire home screen is configurable, so that users could put their frequently used tiles towards right and bottom. You, yourself, acknowledged the issue but then chose to deflect it.
  • Why would one put tiles on top that one normal want to access using one hand? as for me i have arranged my tiles in such a way that those on top are tiles like weather & battery %. these tiles i dont open them but i just view what they display. 
  • This. Hamburger hate is hilarious.
  • Not really. Metro design is just better ux than hamburger.
  • Yes, but hamburger is the standard developers want to use and Microsoft isn't going anywhere without developer support. THey can have teh best marketing ever, but people will not buy the devices if they find out that the app tehy want is not there.
  • Is there any way i can stream the presentation currently going on..?? Or any link for watching later..
  • http://www.windowscentral.com/missed-microsoft-mwc-event-you-can-now-wat...  
  • Microsoft has done great things, it only lacks in application department. They should advertise properly so customers would know why Windows is unique. Also instead of showing Siri or iPhone in their advertisements they should use Android as majority of people use it and there's where customers are! Am I right?
  • They shouldn't show any competitors in their ads.
  • Please tell me you have a video for this also... I am hoping you do... That will make my day so perfect
  • Notice that the Windows Marketplace renamed to One Store?
  • That doesn't mean its been renamed, it just means there's one common store as opposed to a WP store, W8 store, Xbox store, etc. Same with dev center
  • If these universal apps are listening for events and changing the ui on the fly. I wonder how this will respond on hybrid devices where inputs can vary simultaneously. Looking forward to seeing this truly converged os demonstrated on ms virtual academy. 
  • Big up Microsoft so far what u have done is awesome and I can't wait to test W10 preview on my 1520
  • More fragmentation in the WinRT world. We have WinRT80, WinPRT80, WinRT81, WinPRT81, and now "it's *really* Universal this time" WinRT10. The RT API is a dead parrot.
  • The parrot isn't dead. It's a Norwegian Blue. It's supposed to look that way. 
  • Close comments now....this wins everything. Bravo!
  • What's the alternative? Never updating the API? At least they're converging WinRT and WinPRT in 10.
  • The alternative was to not go down the RT path at all. MSFT already had a cross-platform OS and API, Win32/Win64, with millions of manhours of ISV experience, open source libraries, etc. They threw that in the trash with WinRT80 and WinPRT80, then threw the foolish ISVs like me who made WinRT80/WinPRT80 apps in the trash with WinRT81/WinPRT81 so-called "Universal apps" where just getting a filename to open required drastic differences in the basic app model (the AndContinue disaster), and how they're doing it again with WinRT10 we-really-mean-it-this-time "Universal apps". All this for a platform that has 3% marketshare! They just have no clue up in Redmond these days. They're continuing down the suicidal RT path. It's unbelievable.
  • You talk full of crap.
  • Are you suggesting that they should have used Win32 for Windows Phone apps? Win32 is a mess of an API with 25 years of baggage associated with it. And the multitude of wrappers in .NET (that were never kept in sync) are a testament to the fact that they needed a better way to interoperate between the native and managed worlds. Trying to create a new, streamlined, cross-language API wasn't the issue. The main issue with WinRT is that they pushed it too hard, too soon. They should have let in incubate for awhile and let it become a more functional, more stable API before pushing devs to write everything in it. The issue there is that they needed something for Windows 8 (which was also shoved out the door too soon), so they pushed WinRT on devs before it was ready.
  • They should have defined a modern, secure subset of Win32 and added a Scalable UI API to it to create a truly "Universal" model (one that could be backported to Win7). They did not need to remake file access, internet access, socket access, add stupid Async functionality at the core (have you read Petzold's article on his attempt to create a universal library across WinRT/Android/iOS for Xamarin?), etc, etc. Have you tried to use the WinPRT GetOpenFileName equivalent API? All you're trying to do is get a freaking filename that the user wants to open ... yet you have to prepare your WinPRT app to be terminated and resumed! That's just to get the filename, not do anything with it. RT is a total disaster and it will end up being the death of MSFT.  
  • Hope they don't change all the APIs yet again, then I think it would sink them.
  • The Universal Apps of Win10 will the same Universal Apps of Win8.1/WP8.1 with some new API and some improvment of the old API
  • I don't think developers will care, just like how Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 had a shared core.  It will make things easier for those who currently make apps, but its not going to attract a large number of new developers. It is a nice accomplisment but developers will still favor making ios and android apps. 
  • Probably. They need to announce more exciting features. Which so far they have not.
  • There is one difference this time around: now Universal Apps run on the desktop in a window, as users expect. Most users ignored the Windows Store on desktop/laptop because they didn't like running fullscreen apps, so developers ignored it too. And the number of people running Windows 8.1 tablets is pretty low, so there wasn't a lot of incentive to develop just for tablet. Now that one app runs across everything, the hope is that devs will write apps for Windows 10, and then, because it's easy, make it scalable to tablet, phone, and Xbox. We'll see if it actually happens. It is encouraging to see so many areas of Microsoft (pretty much every area of Microsoft) developing Universal Apps now. Maybe having some killer apps from MS will help inspire other devs.
  • "Now that one app runs across everything, the hope is that devs will write apps for Windows 10, and then, because it's easy, make it scalable to tablet, phone, and Xbox." In theory this is a good idea, but in reality I don't think it'll matter much, unfortunately. The most popular apps we don't have for WP, like WhatsApp, Snapchat, Tinder, mobile games etc, are used almost exclusively on phones. Very few people use them on tablets. Why would PC marketshare matter to those developers, enough that they would care to make Windows apps? The only thing that matters is Windows Phone market share. You are correct though that IF someone manages to come up with a killer app (or several) that gets used on PCs and would be available only on WPs and thus grow WP marketshare, it would change things. I find that extremely unlikely though.  
  • Back up a little. No WhatsApp on Windows Phone? I'd say it's quite the opposite :P
  • You are right, sorry. It was gone for so long that I was used to including it. ;) Plus it always seemed to have less functionality than its counterparts on other OSs. My point is that it's not really a PC app though (of course, they might try and change that, but I'd guess they'll do it on the web in that case).
  • But could be an incentive to users, because the users can uses their favorite mobile apps also on their PC/Tablet.
    For example I was very exited to play with Asphalt 8, Jetpack Joyride , Uno and Friends, Minion Rush, etc. also on my PC.
    The problem is that many people ignore that they can do this already now, so Microsoft is making this large marketing campain about Universal Apps that actually are not entirely new
  • I think you really nailed it on the head- people want to use mobile apps on mobile devices and pc apps on pcs.  What microsoft is doing sounds good in theory, but in reality doesn't really do much for the consumer. It's become more apparent to me in the past few months why Apple (and even Google) haven't been pushing hard to get their mobile and desktop to merge.  Apple has been doing it slowly, taking bits and pieces that are useful cross platform and implementing it (not that it has been perfect or anything).  
  • No new app announcement for windows phone? I atleast thought Facebook will finally make a WP version of their app and also Instagram will be updated to the latest version like other platforms.
  • Do you mean a Facebook app that Facebook created?  Microsoft created the initial Facebook app and there is the beta app too.  I've been using the beta version for over a year now.  I'm not sure which company is updating the apps, but both are regularly updated.
  • I know facebook beta and non beta by Microsoft is there and I also use it for a long time but they are no where near to the app created by Facebook.
  • That's true.  I'm sure that will change as the platform continues to gain marketshare.  They might have a UserVoice account for it or a suggestion submission link.
  • I hope it works because it seems it's the last shot at getting rid of the there-are-only-2-OSs mentality that most people have. Otherwise, WP will die a slow #3, BlackBerryish death. Still there, but constant tiny market share.
  • Any one please send me link to watch the videos of all the events of Microsoft at MWC 2015
  • I don't know about all of the Microsoft videos, but Windows Central did add the recorded video to their live stream post.  That's how I watched their persentation today.
  • Is clash of clans in this list of universal app?
  • He said hologram! Windows Central HoloLens app!
  • What if I don't WANT Windows 10 to determine at runtime how to interact?  What if I want the touch experience on ALL devices, regardless of the hardware?  See, this is why I love Windows 8.  It doesn't make that determination. I get a consistent behavior across my touch and my non-touch devices.  Windows 10 IS HORRIBLE compared to Windows 8 in this regard (among MANY other issues).
  • Maybe. But Microsoft wants more buyers then just you.
  • Being that the Windows PC app store is pretty much as baren as the WP store, I don't think that this will make a huge difference.  Most of the top tier Widows applications are purchased outside of the store, and those applications are not likely to be universal. I hope that it will make a difference and that devs will flock to the platform, but currently the evidence is not there. It isn't like this underlying technology will result in Windows Desktop applications suddenly being universal.
  • Exactly- this isn't going to dramatically shake things up.
  • It seems like a lot of people believe that this means that every Windows application is suddenly going to be universal, and that is not the case in the slightest. Universal applications will have to be devloped from the ground up.
  • Exactly. I converted one of my Win32 programs to WinPRT80 but it is terribly limited due to the crappy framework. Why would I want to kill my programs' feature set just to accomodate MSFT's RT dream? No one has Windows Phone or Windows tablets so the ability to sell into those markets is a non-starter ... but there is a 1.5+ billion Win7-compatible Win32 market to sell into. Why MSFT is ignoring them is suicidal.
  • Sadly, I agree with you. Unless Microsoft comes up with a way of getting developers to develop for the PC app store, and get people to USE those apps, it makes no difference whether the apps runs on WP too. I have no idea how MS is supposed to do this. People are used to going to the web on the PC for "apps", so getting people to get used to running apps on them is a tall order. Microsoft hasn't exactly set a good example with the existing offers, like the absolutely horrible Windows 8.1 Facebook app. No sane person would use the FB app on Windows rather than their fantastic website.
  • Yeah, i don't know why MS thinks people on desktops would apps rather than websites.
  • I think that the approach is multi-faceted and not contigent on one factor such as the "universal" nature of apps that developers will hopefully develop. The platform from which those applications will be utilized, as we know, is key. The platform, Windows 10 on Desktop, un-does what Windows 8(.1) did. It brings the Modern UI and the familiar Desktop together. The jarring affect for many of Windows 8's distinct UI's made it difficult for users to embrace the Metro Apps that have been developed. "IF" they (non-enthusistes)  happened upgrade to Windows 8, they likely spent (or tried to spend) the majority of thier time in the familiar realm of he Desktop. Thus low usage of Metro apps. Two, many people simply hearing the persistent horror stories from blogs, vlogs, journalists, IT Administrators and anyone else with an opinion were turned off to Windows 8 and the Modern UI and never engaged it. These things contributed to poor acceptance of the Modern UI and Modern apps. Thus poor developer support and a realtively meager store. Now Windows 10 on desktop has essentially given the 1.5 billion user base what they want - the familiar Desktop, and what Microsoft NEEDS - INTEGRATION of MODERN elements - Apps and Tiles(on start menu) into that familar Desktop environment users embrace. This places modern, apps in a UI that users are familar with and allows them via movable windows, to interact with them in a manner they are familiar with. This is a VERY different experience from what Windows 8 Modern UI users have been experiencing since 2012. If Microsofts efforts, via these really early previews that essentialy allow millions of users to collaboratively build the windows 10 experience with Microsoft (see it, use it, get familiar with it, shape it via feedback) over nearly a year before its realease - the waters that were poisoned by the Windows 8 marketng flop just may be undone. Thus presenting an opportunity to release to market (late 2015) a familiar Windows experience to the masses that users can and hopefully WILL be excited about and which also places Modern Apps front and center in the UI and easy to be engaged. This scenario, if it plays out well, certainly positions the 1.5 billion PC installed base as a premiere target for developers of Univeral Apps. Such a large target, where apps would be visible in the UI, aided by the recently announced discoverably of Windows 10 apps by Cortana certainly presents a more appealing model to developers than the current Windows 8 - SPLIT - Modern UI. I believe Windows 10 UI changes are key to Microsoft's plan to leverage their immense PC install base by bringing the Modern UI into the Desktop environment - where the users are, and where they are comfortable. @JLTechWord
  • Why would any of those 1.5 billion Desktop users want to use crippled WinRT apps on their Desktop? They already have much more powerful Win32 programs that work fine in the desktop. MSFT is solving a problem that no one cares about (and users certainly don't give a crap about how difficult it was for a dev to create a program).  
  • "MSFT is solving a problem that no one cares about" That about sums it up. And not only do users have more powerful Win32 apps available if the developer chooses to make them, the developers for most services except games will likely rather create web versions that work across platforms AND on mobile devices, rather than create a crippled Windows Store app.
  • This isn't fair, though. The WinRT environment is crippled because no one has used it, and thus there's no demand to create apps for it. But with Win32 essentially deprecated for a HUGE swatch of desktop users now, Microsoft will be able to roll more functionality into WinRT (I'm hoping for all RT apps in Windows 10 or 10+1, like Task Manager, Paint, etc). Microsoft dogfooding its own system will strengthen WinRT, and that coupled with the huge audience will finally ease out the Win32 transition. 
  • No, I'm saying that the WinRT API and system is crippled. For example, the WinRT file and directory APIs are orders of magnitude slower than their Win32 equivalents because of Async and the File Broker (even though the WinRT API eventually call the underlying Win32 file and directory APIs). The WinRT internet access APIs are similarly crippled (by setting HTTP flags for you and then screwing up caching) even though they end up calling Win32's WinInet API. WinRT is a crippled, slow, and buggy framework on top of Win32 combined with some Programming 101 mistakes. That's all it is.  
  • It seems you have a vision that those 1.5 billion are all people behind a desk with a screen in front of they, but you don't consider that part of these users have a laptop, have 2-1 and can take advantage of this kind of mobile apps, you don't consider that most of this users don't need everywhere and everytime of the all power of Win32 software, they need to make a tweet, post on facebook, get notification about what they care about, chat with IMs, makes photo and apply a simple filter to it and play with funny games that don't are necessarily triple-A. And because the people don't need so much power but want to accomplish those tasks everywhere they are, the people choose to by smartphones and tablets, so you don't consider these kind of market but this is exactly what kind of users that Microsoft want to grab.
  • Win32 works fine on Desktops and Laptops. Billions of non-Windows users appear to be doing fine with their iOS and Android devices that don't have an app on larger screens (they use the internet browser for "applet" activities on larger screens). Again, MSFT is solving a non-existent problem ... while screwing up their existing users.
  • Mike you also must consider that those "Billions of non-Windows users who are doing fine on iOs and Android without an app on a larger screen" are representative of precisely that MOBILE space Microsoft is attempting to grab. The masses iOS users are using that MOBILE OS on iPad and iPhone. Apples Desktop OS after 30 years is still less than 10% of the Desktop space.  The masses of Android  users are using that MOBILE OS in android based smartphones and tablets. There are no real representaion of an ANDROID desktop on the market. Chrome is a slightly differen animal. So your point of iOS and Androids success in the MOBILE space with thier MOBILE OS's serves to corrobarate Microsofts need to use significant desktop user base they have as a foundation to draw developers in to create universal apps that work in both the Desktop and the MOBILE environment to bolster their MOBILE presence.  
  • MSFT tried to leverage their Desktop marketshare to get users on Windows Phone. It failed miserably ... and I'd argue that it has threatened their Desktop market (Win8's perception is a disaster and may have permanently alienated users from Windows). Edit: they already had a portable OS API, Win32, that they could have extended to mobile.
  • Hi Mike, of course your right they did but not in the seamless -shared experience manner that is currently being manifest. They have been sharing since Windows 7.5 days 2011/2012 that they were planning to bringing a shared OS experience across all devices. 2015 we are seeing the implementation of that plan which required building a system around a single core for all devices and an ecosystem of shared experience across devices. Your reference to what Microsoft was clear were the initial steps toward this, thier stated goal, does not fully acknowledge that the visual (superficail) similarities between Windows Phone Tiled UI and Windows 8's on Desktop Tiled UI was in not representative of a what is NOW a shared core between Phone and Desktop. To say that what Microsoft is doing now, in an attempt to leverage the Desktop marketshre to draw users to Windows PhoneI is the SAME as the pre-unified core OS across devices - fails to appreciate the many advantages that this shared core brings in term of developing for Windows, users experiences across devices, app distribution and discovery, integration of cloud services, shared experience of Cortana across devices and so much more that was not posiible when the UIs just LOOKED alike. Yes Mike, Microsoft did BEGIN the process of leverageing the desktop several years ago, but the beginning with the similar UI was NEVER the endgame. Again the share OS, Store and experiences across devices was openingly shared years ago. We're finally seeing it manifest now. Microsoft has an incredible opportunity to levergae their desktop users. I'm looking foreward to see how it all pans  out.
  • It's pretty clear how it will pan out -- WP will limp along at sub-5%, MSFT will keep flogging the dead RT horse, and who knows what will take over the Desktop market. MSFT is *very* fortunate that there are no serious Desktop competitors at the present time. OSX is the main competitor but AAPL seems to be incapable of getting traction there (just like Windows can't get any traction in the mobile market).
  • I think you posit a valid point. What problem is Microsoft setting out to solve. I won't pose to have a comprehensive handle on their strategy nor the various dynamics driving the industry and the habits of user or what the future holds for any factors involved. I will offer my limited perspective in response to your question. I think there are MULTIPLE problems Microsoft is setting out to solve. The primary of which(from my perspective), I am sad to concede, is not necessarily customer focused. It's Microsoft problem. Microsoft was slow to respond to the shift in mobile computing spurred by the advent of the iPhone in 2007, swiftly followed by Android in 2008. As a result the iPhone and Android as we know has virtually locked the consumer space up between those two powerful platforms. MS introduced a solid mobile platform which has matured but way too late to get relevant consumer and  developer support as of yet. Because of the success of the iPhone, the iPad bathed in the iPhone Halo Effect and virtually CREATED the consumer tablet space(long after Microsoft had devices in that space but failed to invest in such devices). iPad is often used synonymously with tablet. Great for Apple. Horrible for Microsoft. Android OEMs followed by saturating the tablet space with affordable tablets as well as some quite respectable models. Again Microsoft was late to the space. And their initial entries were quite expensive in contrast to the affordable devices users had become accustomed to buying from  the Android side of the fence. Not until late 2014 to present have the elimination of licensing fees yielded a growing plethora of affordable Windows tablets. Many of which, like my HP Stream 7 are great! But they were late.  So the problem Microsoft is attempting to solve is their own lack of meaningful representation in the mobile space in regards to devices. (Their cross platform service offerings are much more successful of course.) IF they Did not have such a huge PC install base, they would likely have no real play for mobile. But with Windows 10, as stated above, they have a chance of leveraging that solid base as a foundation for enticing developers to create universal apps that work ACROSS Desktop, Tablet, Phone, Xbox and IoT. This is where the CONSUMER problem is solved. What consumer problem you ask? As we have become more mobile in our computing our experiences have and are increasingly FOLLOWING us ACROSS devices. Platforms and APPS that transition our “experiences” SEAMLESSLY across our devices are the platforms and apps (ecosystems) that look to be well founded for the Post-PC era. Windows 10 and Modern apps are designed with this in mind. Your question “Why would any of those 1.5 billion Desktop users want to use crippled WinRT apps on their Desktop?” is a valid question. I think users that begin seeing and experiencing the benefits of Modern apps that seamlessly connect their experiences across devices are the users that would choose to use these Modern apps. Games, Productivity tools, Social Apps etc, are all “growing” beyond the device and our experiences are becoming increasingly transient across form factors. I think Microsoft has created a platform – of a single OS, Universal Apps and powerful Cloud Services that positions them to offer users that seamless experience in way that no other company will be able to match.      
  • Not only are they solving a problem no one cares about- there are solving a problem that isn't really there!  Many of us here beleive that the mobile and desktop OS should be the same, and this will magically make everything better.  But all that really matters is that our mobile apps and desktop counterparts are able to interact seamlessly- and they already do!  For example, you can use the Onedrive app on IOS, Android, and WP and it works perfectly in conjunction with the desktop app- no need for it to be running desktop code so you can just feel warm and fuzzy inside.  Same goes for email, calendar, etc.
  • They the need top tier apps that are on the other platforms to succeed, at least in the West. If they don't have those they will not succeed on their own mobile platform. I want to see Microsoft succeed on their mobile platform. Universal apps will not bring this. Maybe in many other markets those apps are not needed, but in the West they are needed.
  • Have they said if the Windows Phone 8.1 apps will continue to work?  I don't see why they wouldn't, but the Windows Phone 7 apps don't work in version 8.
  • My understanding is WinP7 -- WinP8 was a huge underlying change, while WinP8 laid 75% of the foundation for the complete universal app solution. In other words, I think existing apps will work fine, they just won't be able to make use of the new universal goodies unless they're updated. 
  • WP7.x apps works on WP8.1
    There is no reason why the WP8.1's apps might not work on Windows 10 for phone, these apps are based on the same framwork
  • Awesome!!
  • Lets see how months MS will take to deliver the goods shown today...
  • nothing they said fixes the problem: developers won't develop for a phone that has no marketshare and for an OS that is a desktop OS rammed into a tablet nobody wants.
  • But if developers develop for a PC, why wouldn't they leverage the ability to utilize more devices?  This would mean more $$$ because you broaden your user base.  The fact that the user base can be widened without an extensive additional development effort is a bonus for the development houses.
  • ISVs won't cripple their Win32 programs just to make them WinRT apps. No one uses Windows Phones or Windows ARM tablets, so gaining access to those "markets" is irrelevant. My Win32 programs run fine on Intel-based Windows tablets. I've been tweaking the UIs to make them more tablet-friendly without crippling usability on larger screens.  
  • You do realize that Windows Phone has about the same install base as OSX, right?  So, you are saying it's useless to gain, let's say 1% of the user base (7-8 million people)? Heck, if I sold an app which was purchased by only a quarter of a percent of the user base at $1, I would be a millionaire. That's a lot of "no one".
  • I can't follow your math. How many Windows Phone users do you think are out there?  
  • Just ignore it. A lot of people here seem to think that devs will flock to the platform now. Whereas most programs on the are not apps. Win8.1 has a Netflix app, do I use it? No website is much better and I think that apps on a pc don't do a pc,justice power and option wise.
  • It sure is great. But the one grudge I've is with One UI and One SKU. Previously Microsoft pushed the UI intended for mobile and tablet users onto PC users and faced with drastic results and this time they are pushing the UI fit for bigger screens onto phone users which certainly isn't sitting well with us WP loyalists. Microsoft should atleast give an option for having different(more close to existing) UI and SKU for apps/games intended for devices under 8" and less(phones, phablets & small tablets). The rest of the screens can have the other UI with top menus and hamburgers and one sku. And MS certainly should treat the core apps like settings and photos and office, one note, one drive, Outlook/Calendar/MailClient, Spartan, Music & Videos like first class citizens and should offer UI similar to that with existing WP i.e. Large(customizable sizes) typographic headers pivot controlled horizontal navigation with menus and bars at bottom with user controlled option for how much of it should be always visible or none of it should and rest could be brought up by ellipses(...) button.
  • I think we'll see a pretty rapid evolution of Microsoft's design principles as we go forward. Having unlocked the broader Windows desktop market, I think devs will experiment pretty quickly and see what will and won't work. I mean, devs on Windows 8 have already helped to evolve and shape Metro into something that works for day-to-day use, and I think that'll continue. 
  • If anyone from Microsoft is reading this, please ignore the ignorant bit about implementing multiple SKUs. I just realized the importance, potential, depth and enormity of using single SKU and I must commend Microsoft for this strategy. Please continue with this. I read the original(source) article and it had a line about developers still having options for employing different UIs for different device types i.e. Phones/phablets or PCs/2InOnes/XBox/LargeScreens- which is again commendable and should be continued. Now I don't see 3rd party developers making an effort to do that. Heck I'll be just glad if they only adopted the universal app platform for developing windows apps. But Microsoft need not be lazy and continue with the existing UI for phones and existing UI for PCs for their universal apps. Because deviating from existing pone UI would mean losing loyal existing customers who are only attached to Windows phone platform because of its stunning UI despite lack of quality apps in windows phone store.
  • I don't know, after watching the event, my pessimism is growing...   Universal apps sound nice from a dev standpoint, but I think there are many end users that are expecting something different from what they are. MS is taking about code and synced notifications/changes (along with great dev benefits like single dev core, UI etc).   However, I think many are expecting syncs based on state. That is, closing down the maps app on the desktop and opening on the phone into the exact same screen/search/rout as left on the desktop. Not to see, oh, my search history synced.   
  • Synced state would be quite awesome. But I'm not expecting that, seems like too much to ask. Is there any application on any platform that even does that right now?
  • Yea actually. So some (many?) iOS apps use Apple's feature called Contnuity (what many people thought Contiinuum was going to be on W10 (personally, I think that was a bad naming idea given the stuff on Apple)) https://www.apple.com/ios/whats-new/continuity/ Then, on Android, devs are trying to bring in that feature seamlessly (though not directly from Google) http://bgr.com/2014/12/03/airdroid-3-download-now-live/ So here's the conundrum, MS announced Continuum and it wasn't like DContinuity, so when "Universal Apps" became the new mantra, many speculated that was it (and there are some articles that explain it like Apple's Continuity),  So not only are many going to be a bit meh when they finally realize what the feature, and when those individuals and the rest (including journalists/bloggers) start making the inevitable comparison to iOS (and maybe AirDroid) it'll be (in my personal opinion) one more year of MS Behind the times, WP failed before launch, etc etc I'm not saying the syncing as it is isn't welcome (it still catches me off when my windows pc's sync up mid use from a theme or start bar change), but it's no where on the level of these other items... if that's gonna change by release, then all the better, but given MSs reacent motions (or just my growing cynism for the whole thing) I kinda expect the former, not the latter.
  • The flexibility and connectivity this aproach offers is unmatched. It is somewhat of an internet approach to application development - accessiblity from every device.l
  • So much potential here... I wish developers would have the same passion for developing for Windows, as Steve Balmer had for developers back in the day.
  • Yep. Just like I've been saying.
  • Glad that Microsoft is taking the big move. This is the right direction to expand the Windows app store.
  • The question is that are the users that want a more mobile experience, look at the decline of the PC market an the growth of the mobile devices.
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