Skip to main content

Microsoft: Windows 10 will offer software creators more support for universal apps

Windows 10 promises to fulfill Microsoft's goal of giving app creators support for making universal apps that can run from everything from small smartphone to large 80 inch screens. Indeed, the company has already admitted that Windows 10 will also be the next big version of Windows Phone.

In a blog post directed at app developers, Microsoft said that Windows 10 will continue the company's efforts towards offering true universal apps. It stated:

"Universal Windows apps and the ability to leverage the same code to deliver appropriately tailored experiences to multiple device types were the centerpiece of that announcement. They continue to be the cornerstone of the single Windows application platform announced by Terry (Myserson) and Joe (Belfiore) today. The most important thing you should take from today's announcements is that the best way to prepare for Windows 10 is to keep building universal Windows apps."

The blog added that Windows 10 will give app developers "one consistent API layer with consistent UX design surfaces and flexible tools" in addition to allowing those apps to run in a windowed mode on the desktop, along with one download store that will make "it easier for you to reach customers in consistent and compelling ways no matter what type of device they're using."

When Microsoft launches the Windows 10 Technical Preview on Wedneday, the company recommends that app developers do not use it as their primary OS for work, saying, "The Windows App Certification Kit does not currently work on Windows 10 and there also a few bugs in the tools which mean that this combination can't be used for 'go live' software development." Also, not all of the visual UI that will be put into the final version of Windows 10 will be available in the Technical Preview.

Do you think app developers will embrace Windows 10 more than Windows 8 or Windows Phone?

Source: Microsoft

117 Comments
  • I will :)
  • Its about damn time! Can't wait for 6tag support on my desktop and Surface tablet!
  • Exactly.. Every single app that WP has, and W8 doesn't have, will be available on W8. And, vice-vera... In theory, that should automatically boost the app count past the 500k mark the second that MS flips the switch on W10......
    .................
    So, that leaves MS in the constant struggle to get people to upgrade to the latest version of Windows... Right now MS is trying to get as many WP users on WP8.1, but very soon they will be in the same scramble to get all Windows users on W10...
    .............
    Always a content state of change for MS... I hope this is the last time for a long time.
  • I love change! I love the "content state of change" that's happening at Microsoft and in my devices ;-)
  • I'm not talking about positive changes, or progress... It's the constant restructuring, starting from square one, that gets old... Although it's for a better future some consistency would be nice for a change.
  • If done right, change is fine. Microsoft did with 8 was eliminate basic functions that a mouse and keyboard need to operate effectively making this change dumbfounding only to replace later like closing out at top right on the x something we have been doing for over a decade replacing it with a pull down which is not convenitent for a mouse.
  • does MS prove the Troll right? Win 98 good Win Me bad Win Xp good Win Vista bad Win 7 good Win 8 bad...so Win 10 will be good i guess
  • Lets not get carried away... All apps that were written before wp8.1 will likely never work on win10. Universal apps are written in a different API, which means each developer of those apps would have to update to the new api (not likely). Additionally, current universal apps will need to be updated in some unknown way to automatically detect which device type you are on or risk it looking like garbage on some devices. That said, I'm excited for what's in Store (pun intended)
  • Yeah, but that's nothing new. With every major version of WP apps have had to be recompiled, and MS always provides to tools to make it a easy process... I'm not really worried about that.
  • Not necessarily only the silverlight Windows Phone 7 apps.   Windows Phone 8 apps were already pretty close to Universal since they were a flavor of WinRT.  There isn't much in WP8 that isn't available in universal apps. 
  • That sounds about right.
  • I'm really excited for the Universal App concept to reach its full potential. If every app that works for Windows does end up working flawlessly on the phone and Xbox One, it could change the whole name of the game.
  • I still believe people miss the significance of modern apps running in desktop windows.  So many Windows users are still on Windows 7, or use Windows 8 but go straight to the desktop.  So developers had to question the value of modern apps, that many would never use on their desktop.  Now, there is no downside to building modern apps. 
  • Exactly...
  • Garbage? Why is that?
  • But that's easily fixed by hitting the maximize button. Boom! Problem solved. Our, just stay in the Modern UI.
  • Apps are very useful. I value them for the upto date information they provide. If they look good that is great but that is not of any issue for me for I value function over decorative looks. 
  • Can't agree more. As a developer, this is my biggest feature I'm looking forward to!
  • People that use W7 and W8 need a reason to upgrade to Windows 10. And this will be one of the reasons. Mind blowing isn't it?    PC+Xbox+Smarthpone+tablet+notebook. That is the key. The notification center presented on the desktop version of Windows 10 makes sense right now.   
  • Is the preview for windows 10 for windows phone tomorrow too"
  • No
  • Windows 10 only, no WP.
  • Windows 10 is on everything LOL. Eventually XBO even, but I think he meant would the preview come out for WIndows Phone which is no. Just PC.
  • He mentioned in the video that it would be available for desktops and laptops only at this point.  
  • HNnnnggg that windows phone UI is making me moist.
  • Here's a towel
  • I honestly hope they don't change too much with the WP UI...i love it just how it is, in it's mostly black, minimalistic beauty
  • I'm hoping for some changes but not too much. But on the other hand a revamp of the OS won't hurt
  • Yeah I really hope they don't mess with WP too much; I'm a bit worried.
  • It's not going to change from WP8.1.2-WP10.0
    ..............
    Now, I'm looking forward to WP10.1, WP10.2, WP10.3, WP10.4.... You guys do realize those are the next versions of Windows❓ You won't see W11 for years..
  • Then what is it going to change to? Don't you read? The question was asked if the next version of windows phone will be windows 10 and the answer was simply yes
  • I mean not going to change going from 8-10.. As in the UI isn't going to change, not the designation, forest... FP while SMH
  • Oh. I knew that
  • Lol!
  • Oh yes, in the excitement I've forgotten there's still Update 2 to look forward to. Now I really can't wait for what Update 2 is going to bring... I'm sure it's going to bring WP closer to Windows 10!
  • You're absolutely correct.
  • im actually hoping they bring features of windows phone ui to windows.....namingly transparent tiles, live folders, and notification center.
  • Don't forget Cortana!
  • Yes. Agreed. But Less buggy please.
  • By all means MS, please support the VLC team.
  • Just remove the VLC halo and you'll see it's just another media player (that I use a lot, nevertheless)
  • I think this is going to cause many to adopt the new OS
  • I agree. This looks pretty compelling.
  • Universal apps make Microsoft the first one to reach true convergence. Needless to say, that means people can finally stop bitching about app gap. Put Cortana into the mix and BOOM. iPhone? you mean a toy phone?
  • When has it ever not been a toy phone?
  • Now. Right now it is not a toy phone. For me personally, the iPhone would be the only alternative to WP. I would never go back the Android mess.
  • Forza?????????
  • Buy Forza as a Store app, play on your XBone while at home, switch over to your laptop for a bit at work ( during lunch of course), any change of playing on your tablet/phone the go? Wishful thinking I guess, buy awesomeness nevertheless.
  • You'll need more users and a cheaper azure service to do that.
  • Yes, that's true but it's also what drives innovation which is what MS is all about. I can see it now....
  • Universal apps is at the core of the Microsoft One Universe :-). It will readily be interesting to see how this translate over to XBox One apps. If person don't understand the true power and potential of the XBone x86 architecture I hope this One ecosystem will bring it to the fore.
  • Time to make a partition!
  • Screw that, I'm dedicating an entire laptop :p
  • Rich.
  • "I'll just take one of the laptops from my laptop closet and put Windows 10 on it" :P
  • I have an extra laptop just for this as well!
  • Got a tablet ready for it
  • Really excited about this, for my Xbox One, for my WP, for my PC and for my future Surface :))))))
  • Yep!
  • o/
  • I think this is awesome. I'm pretty sure devs see going to look at this and say hey, one app, all devices? New Windows that makes more sense? Count me in. Makes me want to accelerate my studies to become an app developer.
  • Just to be clear. It's already Wednesday for me and still no Technical Preview. Microsoft should not suffer from jetlag and start to pay attention to time zones.
    (this was a joke just for the record)
  • Hopefully this is the break Microsoft needed to get more developers onboard the new platform. These are interesting UI changes and only time will tell if consumers will end up buying phones and surfaces. Developers = more apps = more consumers.
  • Thanks in advance Microsoft! I am excited in using Windows 10 either on my current phone or a new one. I understand you removing the name Nokia, but change is the only constant thing in this world.
  • Snap multiple apps and keyboard / mouse with Miracast monitor output on Windows phone!!!!
  • I like the back button on the task bar. Now just unify gestures. Right click or hold back button to bring up task switcher, no need for swipe from left or extra button.
  • And put all that into the charms bar instead, and you end up with a much more consistent UI.
  • I'm not so sure on this universal app stuff. I've purchased a few on my phone that does not com over to pc/surface.
  • Sometimes you have to sync app licenses on PC / tab for it to show. Its in the same place as check for app updates in the store settings
  • I don't see Windows 10 making a huge difference.  People have been ignoring Windows Phone are not going to suddenly embrace it because Windows 10 offers more Univeral App support.  What Windows Phone needs to attract developers is MARKET SHARE. What hacks me off is that Windows 10 is all about the resurgence of the desktop, yet all we hear about is MOBILE apps and how wonderful the new platform is for MOBILE apps.  WHAT ABOUT THE FRIGGIN DESKTOP DEVELOPMENT PLATFORM?  It has been completely abandoned by Microsoft.  We have a combination of MFC (older than the Internet) and WPF (managed code, no immediate mode graphics).  Meanwhile, Metro app developers have had these amazing tools handed to them - XAML + Direct2D + native code.  WHY DOES MICROSOFT CONTINUE TO ALLOW THE DESKTOP DEV PLATFORM TO LANGUISH, when in every other way they are re-embracing the desktop?  It is incredibly frustrating for us desktop developers to be ignored and taken for granted year after year.  
  • Unfortunately the Win32 platform is dead, using Universial apps is easier and faster and also scales well on displays, Universial apps is the new app platform for the desktop
  • Of course the Win32 platform is not "dead". It's what runs the largest "software ecosystem" that ever existed => the 1.5 billion Windows users. It generates billions of $$$ of sales of software per year, far more than iOS or Android. MSFT wants a 30% cut of those sales so they created a walled garden (WinRT API+framework), thinking that ISVs and users would blindly switch over. It didn't work.
  • Making apps easily available on multiple devices is a greate strategy. I see no reason why it won't succeed. 
  • Why does MSFT promote the WinRT API/framework over Desktop APIs? Two reasons: They take a 30% cut of sales of WinRT apps. They get 0% of sales of Desktop programs They think that WinRT success will cause some Windows users to move over to Windows Phone I'm sure this sounded great to the beancounters at MSFT ... but ISVs aren't interested. It requires too much work to convert from Win32 to WinRT ... and then there are the bugs, significant limitations, and horrible performance of WinRT to deal with. To top it all off, users have zero interest in WinRT apps. It's all pain, no gain for ISVs. It would take at least five more years (and many revs that nuke compatibility) before WinRT can replace Win32 as a dev platform. MSFT doesn't have that long. It's a repeat of OS/2 all over again except this time MSFT's competitors are stronger than ever.  
  • I have no idea what you are talking about.  XAML, Direct2D, and native code have all been around for many years before Metro apps even existed.  Those ARE tools that can be used for desktop development.  New versions of .Net, DirectX/3D, etc. are still being released.  Win32 APIs get updated with each new OS release.  MS has not abandoned desktop development and there is nothing stopping you from programming with these tools.  MS isn't talking about them as much because developers already know how to use this stuff and the technology is already mature.  Modern UI on the other hand is new and developers need to be made kept up to date with that ever changing situation.
  • Here is what I am talking about:  Yes, XAML exists in the desktop, but you can't generate native code with it; you have to use managed code (WPF).  And if you use WPF, you can't directly use Direct2D (even though WPF is based on DirectX) unless you create a GDI bitmap and blit your Direct2D to that and then set your bitmap as an Image's source.  You lose much of the speed benefits of Direct2D when you do that, plus you have to carry around a bitmap for every window in your application.  WPF's "retained mode only" graphics are highly unsuitable for entire classes of applications; we must have modern immediate-mode graphics. On the other hand, Metro app developers have a coherent native code development platform where they can use XAML to generate native code, *plus* (and this is huge) in Metro apps, developers have direct access to the DirectX surface via SwapChainBackgroundPanel.  There is no such access on the desktop, which is why we have to resort to GDI bitmaps. So, sure, if you're playing buzzword bingo, all the buzzwords can be found in both desktop and Metro dev platforms, but if you actually try to develop an application that requires native code, the current desktop development platform is an incoherent mess.  Clearly, Microsoft understands this, because they didn't bring the incoherent mess to Metro; they took the same set of building blocks but built a well-thought-out coherent native code dev platform. All I'm asking is that this same coherent dev platform be made available to desktop application developers. Windows 10 is a modern desktop operating system.  We need a modern desktop development platform to go along with it (which, parenthetically, is why renaming Metro apps "Modern" apps was so monumentally stupid).
  • Have Anyone confirm?
    currently all windows phone 8 device including L520 will upgradable to windows 10?
  • No.
  • I'm going to say this again, good luck!
  • 2015 the year of microsoft
  • they said the same about xbox apps...still waiting redmond for that vs template for xbox and the xbox appstore submition process for app hub devs. if you're going to have one app store, then have one appstore!!!
  • Which they will.
  • Cant wait to see this on the L1525
  • I hope its cheap for us windows 8 people
  • *free* Posted via Windows Phone Central App
  • Wanna make my PC future proof, and to be updatable to Windows 10, I am still running on Windows 7. What you guys think should be the minimum requirements for Win 10?
  • Less than w7.
  • Whoa... That second device from left looks cool...
  • Is that a Intel Galileo Gen 2 board in the picture?
  • I'm not buying it. This all sounds a little too pie in the sky for me. Not trolling, but honest question: if 3rd party developers, say the creators of Sonos, or Jawbone, or bank app development, didn't care before about making apps for Windows Phone or for Windows RT modern apps, what would make them care now? Ditto for consumers shopping for phones in carrier stores. Sales people won't be suddenly recommending Win10 phones because..... Universal apps.
  • It's possible that you won't need to buy it, might be free you know. lol. MS had this problem for a while; they can't get third party devs to develop for windows phone because the demand is too low and it is costly to develop because you have to do it separately for win 8.1 and WP. This "Universal App" (and hopefully windows 10) is their answer to the problem. Then you say, people dont even like windows 8.1 blah blah sh*t. their solution to that is Windows 10 too, they did not even stop in  bringing back the old UI, now they plan for it to be free, coz you know, people love free stuff. Now 3rd parties can develop an APP for a very wide variety of computers. As for the consumers, the free Win 10 desktop will advertise the Win10 phone version because of the UNIVERSAL APPs. WIN 10 , WIN 10 Phone and Universal APPS it is all related, So you see it's a TRINITY force from MS,hopefully a Win-win situation.
  • That was the same sales pitch for W8/WP8. I remember everybody saying, " Developers would be absolutely CRAZY, not to want to make an app for all the millions of Windows desktop users, and since they're essentially the same, they could easily port the app to Windows Phone 8!!" Yet, here we are.    Developers didn't give a fig before, I'm doubting they'll care now.   What's going to make the next hot app or service, the next Uber, to want to create an application for Windows, right off the bat?  And what's the argument for the 23 year old, living in Brooklyn, shopping for a new phone at a carrier or big box store? It's the same hill Microsoft has to climb, and the same pain points to overcome:  winning over third party developers and reaching out to consumers.     Last time at least, in Europe, Microsoft fell back on the 'Nokia' brand, this time they won't have the luxury of that brand.
  • Exactly. Universal apps will not help because users don't care about them. People use Win32 programs on Windows. Mobile developers write programs for iOS and Android. I'm a masochist so I rewrote one of my Win32 for WP8 (several months of effort). Its total sales over a year equals one day of sales of my Win32 programs ... and that's before MSFT takes its 30% cut (my Win32 program reseller only takes 6%). I get far more requests for iOS or Android (even OSX) versions of my programs than I get for a "Universal" app. Universal apps are as DOA as Win8: no demand, significant development effort, lower profits, etc. Edit: the only way I would even consider converting my Win32 programs to Universal is: 1. They made the WinRT API/framework available on Win7. The vast majority of my users are on Win7 (~70%) and a significant chunk are still on XP (~20%). My Win32 programs are still XP compatible. 2. MSFT lowered their cut to 10%. 3. They loosened the restrictions on what an RT program can do. 4. They fixed the horrible WinRT performance issues and eliminated the Async fixation.  
  • Exactly what man? What app are you taking about??
    Ms will simply provide the tools to easy port an app on multiple devices(console, PC, notebook, tablet, phone). 
    Maybe people will be more likely to buy an app they know they ca use on multiple devices. You are just another one of those guys that think they are smarter than anybody.  
  • They will do it because now all of a sudden all devices (from phone, tablet to PCs) run the same core OS. Apps devs are interested in reach, that is why there are so many Android apps and a lot less for say BlackBerry. Windows 10 creates the biggest ecosystem for app developers, larger than Android and significantly larger than iOS. I'm just surprised Apple did not come up with a "single OS" strategy yet.
  • Again, you're just repeating the talking points for Windows 8 and WP8. The 'reach' of Windows didn't matter to third party developers then, why would they change now?
  • In win 8/8.1 the cross platform compatibility of the apps was let's say about 50% or even lower, that's why the universal app in wp8/8.1 is a "straight forward lie" because you still have to develop for two platforms. That's a bummer for the developers. if ms can deliver an almost perfect compatibility for both platforms, that will be something new. If.
  • Hi
  • Does anybody know what will happen to RT? Or if WTen will run on arm?
  • Thanks for that info i think windows 10 will be the best
  • I honestly don't trust MS when it comes to this one code different devise stuff. You still wind up building two apps. It's just a straight up lie sofar anyway. What did they say. "the best way to prepare for win 10 is to keep building universal apps. But the universal apps have major differences. When you go to the forums you get responses from these code jargon nerds that don't even speak English anymore. (Their answers are in code and if you don't ask the question in code, they act like they don't understand the question.) its very frustrating.
  • Which differences?
  • Yeah definitely.....I really appreciate MS for this....
  • I am confused, What about windows 9 & wp9, Now they tell about windows 10
  • Never existed. Never will. Wont be wp10 either... Just W10 on your phone
  • What's going to happen to the Surface RT Users? And Pro is different right? Full Windows
  • GREAT. I just hope the "Universal" concept finally to become true. Right in this moment, lots of apps/games are on both the OS/Stores but still have differences, separate purchases and most of all no OneDrive sync for settings and savings. There are a lot of examples for that, from eBay to Amazon, then Games like Zombie Tsunami, Fruit Ninja, etc. I wrote to developers of popular game"Machinarium" for this very question from my italian blog readers, they even didn't know the universal app purchase was live and fortunately added it, but when I asked about savings I was told that lots of the users were still on W8 and so they didn't plan to update their game to native 8.1. At the moment we have universal experience (Purchase, savings, settings) just on Halo: SA and few titles or apps (like native Internet Explorer, Modern Skype, Office etc.)...what's the point of having this great ecosystem and then have to restart a game I played few hours on my tablet/smartphone/pc/(Xbox) when I switch device? So Microsoft, please, stress and insists with devs about universal concept (and updating their apps/games) now that you will push W10 ;-) Hope Xbox will have this same experience sometime in the future too.
  • Universal windows apps, what does this mean?.Does this mean the RAM of a device won't matter anymore?
  • You know, that is a truly great question, I read somewhere (i forget) that windows 10 was running on a 1gb device? I guess maybe the apps will have to be optimised for low spec phones so they run good across the board, or low spec phones will lose support and only mid range phones and tablets will get the OS refresh?
  • Do you think app developers should embrace Windows 10 more than Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8? Definitely!
  • One think that stay on my brain. When windows 10 is also the version of windows phone, the marketshare of Windows Phone will combine with the Notebook, PC and other devices.. So.... We are now second above iOS.... Hell yeah....
  • Look at the phones in the pic.... Blue background and looks like the tiles use more of the screen. Im pumped to see if they do this. A blue background would be so clean. I like it!
  • I like it
  • Question on Continuum, when one does detach a keyboard and go to the "Tablet Mode" is it going to keep the taskbar open all the time at the bottom and the column on the left side of frequently used folders and apps? Because unfortunately that loses some of the appeal of using the modern start screen at all in my personal view because the aesthetic is terrible!
  • As a XAML developer, I am very skeptical that Universal Apps are going to work well, especially knowing that they 'flip' mode when attaching/detatching the keyboard. My issue is this -  One of the main reason (in my opinion) why store apps arent used much on the desktop (and tablets come to think of it) is due to the fact that the UI controls that make such apps are optimised for touch input. This is why there is such low information density in windows store apps (a major downside), because everything is optimised for sausage fingers. It follows, that in order to support mode flipping with detatchable keyboards, the mouse/keyboard version of the UI will be the same as the touch UI in terms of control look and feel - otherwise Control templates and data templates in XAML will be infinitely harder to develop as they have to have switcheable UX with switchable information density layout - which isnt going to happen with the current limitations in XAML. So we will be stuck with the same poor quality touch-oriented metro app experience in both modes. Sure, we can resize the windows, but the app experience is going to be the same, perhaps with some smoother mouse and keyboard control when focusing input on any particular element - but thats all. I really cant see the value in universal apps. If you have tried to build one in WinRT / WinPhone you quickly realize its only a solution for very simple scenarios (particularly if that scenario can be repreented by the infamous 'Hub'). Real-world UX development requires a much finer-grained level of control, and you're gonna end up creating different XAML for each platform - so why not do that in the first place, and put all of your code in a PCL Just my 2p
  • This is a really good point.  Anytime you try to make a UI "cross-platform" to any degree, you start having least-common-denominator issues.  The UI ends up optimized for one scenario or another and mediocre in the others.  I have no experience with Universal apps, and won't for a long time because my customers have no interest in Metro-style apps, but it is certainly a concern.  Maybe Universal apps account for this in some way.  I hope so.