Microsoft's Developer Evangelism leader thinks Windows 10 app momentum will keep growing

In the past few weeks, a number of major apps have been released in the Windows Store that use Microsoft's Universal Windows Platform so they can work on any Windows 10 device. Not surprisingly, Steve Guggenheimer, Microsoft's Developer Evangelism head, stated in a new interview that he believes that trend will continue.

In a chat with ZDNet's Mary Jo Foley, Guggenheimer said, "It takes a while after you get the platform out there to work with developers to get the momentum going," However, he believes that will continue. He also believes that more developers who embrace the UWP means that there will also be more apps for Windows 10 Mobile devices:

"It doesn't matter where they (developers) start. The core work is done for all the (Windows 10) platforms. If you're building for 10, it's already done for phone," Guggenheimer said. "A true Windows 10 (UWP) app is a phone app," he said. "It's up to us (Microsoft) to get devices in market that are unique and differentiated for the phone."

And what about Microsoft's previously announced plans to give app developers on other platforms a way to quickly port them into Windows 10 apps? ZDNet hints that Guggenheimer is not putting a lot of emphasis on those efforts. He did say that a number of developers have used the "Project Westminister" tools to port web sites and apps into Windows 10. However, he added the iOS app bridge efforts are still in its early stages. He would not comment at all on Microsoft's plans for porting Win32 and Android apps for Windows 10. As we have reported in the part, Microsoft's "Project Astoria" Android-to-Windows 10 bridge has been put on hold indefinately.

Guggenheimer said that Microsoft will continue to talk to developers in order to convince them to bring their apps to Windows 10 in 2016:

"You should assume we are continuing to work with developers that users -- consumers and commercial -- care about," Guggenheimer said. "Whatever apps are interesting -- social, gaming, IOT (Internet of Things)- type stuff -- that work continues to go on. And not just in the U.S., but globally, too." As (Windows 10) usage goes up, it will be a self-fulfilling place," he said. "Our (developer) conversations right now are proactive. But going forward, there will be more traction."

Source: ZDNet

115 Comments
  • Bring em
  • Where does it say in the article that they are trying to get the momentum started? I think you may need to reread it.
  • Neither of which say that momentum hasn't started. In fact, if you read the next sentence after the first quote is says expected to continue, meaning, already started.
  • It's funny, you can't actually come up with an argument that is beyond trying to insult me. Literally, NOTHING in either quote, states that momentum hasn't started, which is my original premise, and what you're complaint of the headline is.
  • Now, you're the one failing at reading. From the start, I've said nothing in the article says there's no momentum yet. Face it, you've been proven wrong, you've got nothing left to argue.
  • @Kevin, you said "says they're still looking for a way to get it going​" Nowhere does it say anything like that. It says its hard to start, and it will continue, but he has nowhere stated it hasn't started. You are mincing words and being a bit of a drama queen mate. You need to take this one on the chin, you got it wrong.
  • Read again. It says that the Microsoft guy had a chat with Mary Jo Foley and that HE believes that will continue. It's not the windows Central writer stating his belief. It is the Microsoft guy stating his belief in an interview with Mary Jo. This article doesn't post the whole interview. So, you won't have quotes everwhere. Only parts that came directly, word for word form the Cnet article will have quotes.
  • I think you are reading far more negatives into the article than is stated. We've already seen the number of apps increasing over the past few weeks, it's unreasonable to call the article misleading when we've already seen evidence for ourselves that momentum actually is picking up.
  • That is untrue. There have been multiple apps that have released for both phone and desktop simultaneously or state that either/or version is coming soon. I'm sorry, but I will take the word of devs who state that they like the options MS has given them and take the time out to explain why one version might come out ahead of the other over your litany of complaints. The growth is there whether you like and agree with it or not.
  • Right, because you're conveniently forgetting Pandora, Netflix, accuweather, Uber, 1-800-flowers, American express and WSJ.
  • I have gotten far more important apps than there have been leaving. You are making things up.
  • You do realize that just within the last week, Bank of America committed to making a universal app right? You are taking selective reading to another level.
  • So first there are no universal apps, then there are, but not the ones YOU want. Which btw BoA announced they are working on. Sounds like momentum started.
  • I think you don't know what you are talking about and just like to argue a dumb point. If the title of this article is misleading and click bait does it really matter? Windows Central is a business and they need to make money, click bait ensures they get more money which is why they and the rest of the news publishers all over the world use it, so get over it or get out. I read every article on Windies Central anyway regardless of the title so I really couldn't care less lol
  • Somebody's been drinking too much doomsday juice...... Posted via.........deez nutz!!!!!!
  • That was the most frustrating comment trail argument I've ever read here lol, some people are just impossible. From my point of view momentum started a while ago when the insider program was started, we may have only seen some apps released (Still more than we had going before!), and some of those were desktop only or mobile only with their counter parts "coming soon", but the fact is we don't know how many apps are already in development or currently being planned and scheduled for development, some apps will take a month to make, others might take 6 months etc so there's no real way of knowing the full picture here, but what I can see for sure is that people are a lot more positive and excited about Windows 10 than they were for Windows 8.x, and that is a sure sign of momentum and progress. I'm working on a UWP app currently, I have decided fully if I will release for desktop or mobile first but I know for sure at the beginning it will only be one or the other not both, otherwise I will have a perfectly useable app sitting there and waiting for months before the other side is ready to go so what's the point of loosing potential revenue by waiting to release both at the same time as a "real" universal app? Developers in general will mostly take this approach too because it makes more business sense, and as there are more desktop users most apps will come to desktop first. However, in my case I'm thinking of going for mobile first because I feel my app would be more useful on a phone and I actually want to use it on my phone not my desktop. If my app is successful I can team up with a XAML developer to get the desktop or mobile app finished faster (My XAML skills are terrible as I'm a backend developer so it takes me a very long time to create a UI that I won't be embarrassed to publish)
  • I've created several UWP Win 10 apps and I think you're wrong. I code my apps just like I do a website I create. When Creating the UI, I scale it to large and small window sizes to determine if I'm responding to screen sizes correctly. Responsive design isn't enforced so some apps and websites don't look good on mobile phones. This is the same issue with Universal apps. It CAN run on phone or PC b/c it is based on a common core but it's up to the develper to implement scalable design.. They make the responsive design process very easy with controls like the RelativePanel and very easy to follow sample apps that show how to do nearly everything you need to know. I've published these apps without doing anything for the phone other than taking mobile screenshots to upload to the store listing and quickly test the functionality is as I'd like on a phone or phone emulator. So I'm curious what "separate development" you are talking about when the developer must already be accounting for small to large screen sizes in a Windows 10 desktop app.
  • Hi Kurt, yes it's entirely possible to do that, but it's not always the best solution, it really depends on what you are making and what user experience you want to achieve. I'm going down the route of using non-core APIs quite a bit for mobile and also in some cases using seperate views to optimise the experience for mobile. And again because my XAML experience is poor this takes me a very long time but keeping some views separate helps keep the XAMl cleaner and easier to understand. Overtime I may merge views as my own skill increases or I may hire a XAML developer to do it for me so I can focus on the backend.
  • Truth be told, right here, you prove you have no idea what you're talking about. You're obviously not a developer, and I doubt you've ever even written a line of code in your life. You can try and claim that some people aren't intelligent, and try to sound smart, but the truth is, you're the one who is looking like an *****. You started this off by claiming a click bait headline, and it's been demonstrated multiple times that nothing in the article says there is no momentum. Then you went on to try and discuss that there are no universal apps, and you clearly have no idea what a universal app is. I suggest you first, take a deep breath and wake up, then go do a little research. You will look a little less dumb in the future.
  • @Kevin. You really have been obnoxious. Stand back, deep breath. Can't you see that over a dozen replies is excessive? You clearly also don't understand development on Windows, yet you have the nerve to call people "less intelligent". Which is ironic, given that you clearly have zero clue about UWP dev. As an example, my current app runs on PC, Phone, Continuum and Raspberry Pi2 - with  ZERO modifications! If that isn't code once, run anywhere I don't know what is. You quoted wrongly on this article, and you just need to accept it. MS aren't telling lies, you can write code with responsive XAML that works on all Windows 10 platforms. To deny that is like saying the world is not round.
  • Code once release everywhere does exist, but it really depends on what you want to do and how you want to do it, if I wanted to release a less elegant solution, I could code all of the backend using only the core APIs that are common on every device, with the UI I could use the responsive controls and design and then release to Desktop and Mobile at the same time, however the route I am taking is different, I want to refine my app for desktop and mobile by using some of the APIs that are not in the core, and I want to optimise my UI by having some views completely seperate for mobile. This still allows me to share more than 90% of my code, and keep everything in a single project that can be packaged for desktop and mobile. The UWP is the best development platform in the world hands down, no other platform even comes close yet, no other tools even come close. Momentum has already started because developers all over the world are already using the UWP and learning the ropes with it, nothing will happen overnight and I expect consumers will not see this momentum until late 2016, I also expect the app gap to exist well into 2017. Windows Mobile market share will not change much over the next 18-24 months, but desktop market share will continue to increase during this time which will encourage more developers to look at the platform as a whole, even if on the mobile front it only gets 50 million users worldwide, but you have 400 million users on desktop, developers will have to make an easy decision to say, is it worth a few weeks or months of my time to optimise and release my app on mobile to gain an extra 50 million potential users and in most cases it will be worth it and that is how the mobile app gap will close slowly over time, and as the app gap gets smaller more users will come to the platform which increases the market share and hence further increases the user base. The main benefit and side effect of the UWP grand plan for Microsoft is the fact that it solves the chicken and egg problem they have struggled with for years. Momentum and progress, overtime and inevitable. To sum all of this up, you have no idea what you are talking about, your arguments are the narrow minded view of a consumer that likes to argue just for the sake of it and it makes you look childish and arrogant.
  • Man, I really wish you a happy Christmas, I'm sure in life outside of the internet you are not this big of an *******.
  • Now we just need Chase to make one. 
  • O calm down man! Stop complaining Lol. You're right some apps are leaving and they are right there have been many new universal apps. Some with mobile and desktop versions released simultaneously some released shortly after one another and some saying coming soon. This isn't something to have a huge argument about. Developers are using the UWP and people are hopeful it will continue. Why argue about that??? Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Have some rest and good sleep man..
  • I think "momentum started" is relative. I'm a MSFT fan for sure but in my book there is no momentum as far as I'm concerned but I get why others feel there is. The fact that I'm fighting to have a friend keep his windows phone which he purchased 2 weeks ago because of the app gap speaks volumes. It is one thing for us to feel great that MSFT appears to have a plan, but in reality it is so far from realization that unfortunately I don't see or feel any momentum yet. We got some new apps sure but we're sooo far behind and climbing an uphill battle. When we get on the other side of the curve then we can start talking momentum. Until then, I think claiming momentum is a massively premature.
  • I would argue that there are more apps being released than there are apps being taken down amd hence we have momentum since the platform is not staying the same and its not shrinking. Maybe you think momentum will only happen when you see the apps that you and your friend want to see are released, but I would say that's a bit selfish. Some apps are here, some apps are coming soon and some apps won't be here for years if they ever come at all (looking at you snapchat and google!) but moment doesn't require being over the mountain already, momentum is required to get over the mountain in the first place and that is clearly what we have already. Will windows mobile make it over the mountain eventually? I think so, but there's always the chance it won't.
  • If you're concluding momentum because there are more apps being released than being taken away then I would say consider the following: Microsoft have been experiencing a growing app store for years. If I were to claim that as momentum in the face of a widening app gap, lack of many premier apps and declining market share, I would be dismissed as a lunatic. All that I'm prepared to give Microsoft at this time is that they have a plan which appears to have some teeth to it. Until there is published data which speaks to the reversal of some of the key negative trends, I'm firmly planted in the "plan" camp and not the "momentum" camp. However I clearly understand why many others feel differently. I will continue to support Microsoft feverishly because I like their plan to get mobile back but they get one more year to convince me that it is going to work. I have no expectation of them being the number 1 or 2 platform. I just want to get to the point where their mobile platform is the right one for me without me having to make too many allowances. On the flip side, I'm all in when it comes to their surface pro and book line of products. They meet my needs perfectly. I'm hoping I can find that in their mobile product as well.
  • Go to sleep you argumentative ****.
  • And he is 100% accurate. It will. Nobody will be able to ignore 3 billion devices after two years.Edit:1 Billion :D
  • Too right, mate
  • There is no way they will reach 3 billion devices in 2 years. Phones and IoT Windows would have to explode.
  • If the devices start to date, get married and have babies, it might be possible. Please curb your pessimism.
  • Let's start with 1 billion.
  • MS made a really smart move with the free offer on Windows 10
  • There won't be new people, just many people will be Store first. As you can see most of Android and iOS apps also have a web site and no one's interested in that.
  • Store first means that more people use Netflix through the app than through the web. It means that if you don't have app you lose majority of customers although you have a web site. It seems that you haven't bothered to read my comment. As said, there are mobile web sites and people still choose mobile apps over them. There is no reason why such thing cannot happen for desktop and it is happening already. If you are hater that can't accept the statistics, I am sorry.
  • I wouldn't like to disappoint you, but you are too rookie for further conversation. There isn't Netflix Windows Mobile app, but Windows Store app and it works on PCs and Windows phone and it more people are using it than they do use the Netflix web site. From your comment it is almost certian that you have never touched Windows Store on Windows 10 and you want to declare yourself an expert on this topic. If you were asking about the things you don't know, it would be fair, but just like this it really isn't the best attitude.
  • Those are official data from Microsoft for their shareholders. Now go troll somewhere else, please.
  • They are reaching those users on websites on phones as well. They still make apps because it provides a better user experience. I think many people who are accustomed to using apps on phones also want apps on a desktop. That is why OSX has an app store and even Chrome offers offline apps.
  • They're not ignoring them: most of those users on Windows 10 desktop use a browser.  Developers will serve them there. And most of those same users likely uses an Android phone, given it's 80%+ share of the worldwide market.
  • So you don't think as Windows 10 tablets and touch screen laptops grow that more people will want a dedicated app over a web browser? Devs won't ignore that... Or they shouldn't anyways.
  • Not sure about touch screen laptops, but stand alone Windows 10 tablets share probably reflects that of Windows phones, probably in the low single digits.   That's likely to shrink given that Windows 10 is not great for small tablets; it's almost as bad as using Windows 7 on a touchscreen tablet. So no, Windows tablets (apart from convertible laptops) are largely irrelevant in the marketplace.
  • Windows tablet share is ~20% and growing. They even outsold iPad in online sales in October.
  • Speak for yourself. They want them to use as laptops because only laptop buyers are considering them due to the lack of apps. I use my Surface without the keyboard in slate mode at least 50% of the time with touch centric apps. I would do it more if there were more apps.
  • That is something that can't easily be ignored.
  • Kaaaaay!
  • Now if only they made it mandatory for the universal phone part in order to put a app on the desktops.
  • This would be the worst idea ever. So I wanna make a full-fledged recording / mixing app (hypothetically). This would simply not be practical on a phone. So now I just forget the app rather than trying to get it on phones, too.
  • For desktops you can develop without having to put it in the windows store, you just use win32.
  • Yes... And that kills the Store, therefore destroying MS's whole strategy. Still a horrible idea.
  • the answer... surface phone 
  • It is the only answer. Win32 is too powerfull, they should not take it away. It gives windows an advantage over all the rest, i think.
  • No one is taking away Win32. There is just an alternative that is becoming more and more powerful and comes with other advantages like better power usage management, responsive layout for other form factors, etc. Apps that only make sense in Win32 will stay. Apps that can benefit from features in the new platform can go there.
  • Agreed.  Bad idea to make it mandatory.  Good thing Microsoft understands that too.
  • You can't force it, some apps are not for PCs like some apps are not for phones, dame with xbox.
    What they can do though, is at the end when they finish developing the app, a message comes up and says "did you know? With only a few tweaks, you can turn your app universal and make it work on phones too, reaching more customers. Give it a try!"
  • You got a lot of anger today. Geesh
  • No, its not that they dont know, they just dont want to spend a lot of effort for a few users. If you can dramatically reduce the effort, I think a lot of devs will do it where it makes sense.
  • Not ALL apps will be universal, but MANY apps can and will be universal. That doesn't make the strategy a myth. Obviously you don't expect or need high end CAD tools which engineers and scientists use to run on a phone. Even three 27 inch monitors is just enough for me when I'm at the peak of a design and simulation stage. However, such tools are only used by a specialized fraction of the population. They don't need to be on the windows store, it's not like we are talking about MS word or PowerPoint which are more general apps.
    UWP is no doubt a powerful strategy.
  • Please educate your self. You are only 20-24. You don't know ****. Literally. Please. Sign out and log in after 5 years.
  •   @wpkevin, I completely understand that you may be passionate about your opinions and voice them openly, unfortunately the hostile way you chose to go about it rather diminishes your credibility. Some of your opinions I agree with, but the way you present them makes me think only one thing: you need to get a life, get laid or get something to eat, or a combination thereof...  
  • Dude, even if CAD tools could hypothetically be put on a phone powerful enough, it is useless on a phone. Try working on a chip layout with thousands and thousands of transistors and interconnects on your phone or phablet! I'm pretty sure the MS engineers are obviously enlightened enough not to hint at this fact when they talk about universal apps. You have to interpret it in context. Some apps will never scale to mobile screen size because they are not intended for that purpose or are useless in that form factor. This is generally the nature of high productivity apps. Heck even developers don't code their phone apps on phones! They use proper PCs or laptops, and I haven't met a developer who doesn't love massive dual monitor setups. So do these examples therefore make universal apps a myth?? What do you then make of baconit, readit, Pandora, mytube, edge, groove, mail etc.?
    Universal apps are real and they are a brilliant feat of software engineering!
  • Ok Kevin you're absolutely right about everything and everyone else is absolutely wrong about everything. Feel better?
  • Amen!
  • I was about pointing out continuum, so let's consider that. The reason continuum exists in the first place is because it is recognized that the phone form factor is suitable to many but not all types of tasks. In some cases, it is not even practical at all e.g. CAD as I've mentioned before. Even if the phone were powerful enough, no CAD engineer can do non-trivial work on a phone screen. There's a reason even the earlier pencil and paper days of technical drawing used A1 and A2 paper sizes and not postcards. So in this case processing capability is a secondary consideration - it's primarily a limit of practical application. In some other cases, it's the limitation of processing power.
    But all this does not discredit the fact that MANY apps do work WELL across all form factors including phones with their relatively limited processors. These are the universal apps MS is referring to.
    Using office macros by and large is not what you'd typically do on your phone. It's mostly a productivity tool from my own use cases at least.
    Continuum would still evolve to take care of these various use cases, but the universal vison of apps that can truly scale across form factors when it's useful and practical is far from being a myth!
  • Its no myth unless you hold up a specifc definition of "universal" as a strawman and declare it so.
    Its no myth that it is now easier than ever to write an app that can be deployed to many Windows form factors as one project. If you dont see the value to that, you just want to.
  • He's evangelist! What is he supposed to say after all?? Ballmer said enough :P
  • Problem is that many companies don't care if there is a windows 10 app as long as people can use the website, that's all they need. Developers should be informed of the available porting tools. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android I know of quite a few people that hesitate to go to Windows phone and have left due to lack of key apps that are available elsewhere. I am one of them and will go back if this is fixed
  • So the project to port from iOS is lost too...that's bad news. It would serve to accelerate the called "momentum"
  • No its not lost
  • Still early stages, so like a newborn...as it is the couple of apps that are the basic proof (King) have a few things to work out for them to be 100% stable and great. Even if there's no interest in the IP the apps should be used so they can make sure to get the Bridge working to completion, which will also require the mobile OS to be on most devices. Give it a couple more weeks and we should see some more news ;)
  • Bing them on :-)
  • Before Microsoft reaches 3 billion users or even 1 billion users Windows 11 will probably be out. To reach 1 billion devices is extremely difficult, persuading consumers to go with Windows from iOS and Android is a big ask but parity apps is a must and sleek affordable devices with brilliant design.
  • What of using BOTH windows and iOS or android? They are not mutually exclusive! In fact they are actually complementary in many cases. How many people do you know who only has a phone without a 'real' laptop or desktop??