Windows 10 S breathes new life into UWP — and paves the way for 'Surface phone'

The UWP is Microsoft's unified, core-based development platform that also provides a cohesive app experience for users across the breadth of Windows-based devices. UWP apps have the benefit of being more secure than traditional programs, in part because they are distributed exclusively through the Windows Store.

Their integration in the Windows 10 platform enables features such as push notifications, Cortana integration, Live Tiles, running background tasks, and accessing other app services.

This synergy of app features and the OS is Microsoft's Windows 10 vision of personal computing across its device family, including the anticipated "ultimate mobile device". Sadly, though Microsoft appealed to developers to update existing Windows apps to the UWP, few have. Furthermore, the Project Centennial (Win32), "Westminister" (Web) and "Islandwood" (iOS) app bridges were supposed to bring apps from other platforms to the UWP. But that didn't happen.

In the two years since Project Centennial's (and its companion bridges) introduction, it received little promotion. Microsoft has provided developers with the tools to do more with their apps but has failed to provide a compelling story as to why they should use them.

Every story needs a setting to propel the plot forward. The newly introduced Windows 10 S, which runs only Store apps, is the "setting" Microsoft's UWP story has always needed. Here's why

Modernizing Win32 apps for the PC

Microsoft's poor advocacy for the app bridges and a prevailing perception that UWP was phone-focused led to a muddying of what Microsoft's purpose of the UWP and Project Centennial has always been.

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Part of Microsoft's vision for UWP is modernizing Win32 apps for today's personal computing experience. This experience retains the traditional productivity-focused desktop setting but is also increasingly mobile.

Microsoft's personal computing vision requires a modernization of Win32 apps.

The UWP and the modernization of Win32 apps are part of Microsoft's long-term goal to facilitate a personal computing experience in which users can seamlessly move from a productive desktop experience to a fluid mobile one on a single device.

Surface phone should be more than a phone

Microsoft attempted to initiate (but failed to adequately communicate) this strategy with the necessary first step of bringing Win32 apps to the UWP.

A PC focus has always been the strategy

Last year I presented the following analysis:

Microsoft is aware that despite declining PC sales due to the increase in mobile personal computing, the PC is not dying — it is changing … combined with the fact that many personal computing tasks are still optimally facilitated in a desktop space. Personal computing then is both a mobile and static experience.Microsoft realizes that the 16 million legacy Windows apps will always have value. I believe that the company sees them as powerful tools that simply need to be updated, or evolved, to adapt to the new world of mobile and desktop computing. This juncture is where Microsoft's Project Centennial … comes in.This topic is usually discussed … within the context of how this Bridge will bring apps to Windows "phone." The argument that is often made is that no one wants desktop apps on a phone. Fair enough. But let's look at this from another angle.[This] Centennial Bridge strategy succeeds in updating the familiar desktop environment so that programs that we are accustomed to are adapted to a world with both static and mobile computing demands.

Smartphones are dead: Evolve or die, Microsoft's ultramobile PC strategy

At the time I wrote that a year ago, most people were focused on the phone's place in the UWP. My analysis highlighting Microsoft's priority of moving Win32 apps to the UWP to modernize the desktop experience likely seemed misguided. This is especially true since Microsoft's own messaging about its strategy was poorly communicated.

With the introduction of Windows 10 S and the absence of first-party phones, a much clearer message highlighting the accuracy of that analysis is emerging.

Project Centennial is finally a bridge to somewhere

Many developers didn't see the value in using the desktop app convertor and the Centennial app bridge to bring apps to the Window Store. Current PCs ran their traditional apps in their current forms just fine.

Even with Windows on ARM, cellular PCs would run their unaltered apps equally as well, as seen in the video below.

The ambitious vision of Win32 apps on a potential Continuum-enabled Surface "phone" didn't present a compelling story to developers either.

Microsoft's Project Centennial app bridge makes sense of Win32 apps on phone

Developers needed a reason to convert their apps to UWP. Windows 10 S and the Surface Laptop may be that reason. Windows Chief Terry Myerson explained that Windows 10 S is the same Windows users and developers have come to know. The only difference is that it will not run Win32 apps.

Start 'em young

Microsoft strategically positioned Windows 10 S for the education sector. Beginning next fall, young students using affordable Windows 10 S-powered laptops will use various UWP apps to help prepare them for the future. The range of apps that will cater to these students and the tools Microsoft is providing educators (opens in new tab) demonstrate the traditional power of Windows with a modernized app model. This may be the practical UWP "story" developers needed to hear.

As a segue between post-secondary education and the "real world," Microsoft introduced the Windows 10 S-powered Surface Laptop. Targeted at college students, this $999 Ultrabook is positioned as a MacBook competitor. Like it's lower-end primary and secondary school-focused counterparts, the Surface Laptop is capable of performing all the productivity tasks common to Windows.

The company demonstrated this by converting its popular Office Suite into UWP apps, which will be sold through the Windows Store.

The conversion of the world's most popular productivity suite into a form that works as users expect on an app-focused version of the world's most popular PC OS may help Microsoft communicate its UWP vision. Developers may finally see benefits and maybe even a need to move their Win32 apps to UWP.

Microsoft targets children

By introducing Windows 10 S in the primary and secondary school environments, Microsoft is clearly attempting to familiarize children with the tools that the company hopes they'll use in the real world. The higher-end Surface Laptop is meant to do the same for college students. It is also meant to inspire OEMs to produce higher-end Windows 10 S laptops. Redmond hopes they'll be common in the market as today's primary and secondary students reach college age.

Microsoft is bringing one of the world's most used Win32 apps, Office, to this platform (and as other apps follow in time), so many users may find upgrading to the Pro version for access to Win32 apps (for $49) unnecessary. This would make Windows S more popular, relevant and an increasingly appealing OS option for OEM partners.

As OEMs bring a variety of Windows S devices to market, developers may be compelled to keep their apps relevant on an increasingly relevant platform by modernizing apps via UWP. And Microsoft's long-term strategy of "training" children, education institutions, college students and families on Windows 10 S may succeed.

This part of Microsoft's UWP strategy is critical to the success of the next part.

The future of the PC is Continuum

Microsoft's CEO Satya Nadella said the company is planning an ultimate mobile device. He recently reiterated that Microsoft's next device will not have the traditional phone form and function:

[We're] looking for what's the next change in form and function. [We] created that [2-in-1] category and made it a successful ... we'll make more phones, but they will not look like phones that are there today.

An important point to note within the context of this piece is Nadella's stress on the importance of Continuum's ability to turn a phone into a desktop:

This one particular feature that we have called Continuum, which is a phone that can even be a desktop.

Microsoft's goal with Windows 10 S, UWP and Project Centennial is to modernize the desktop experience. That trek does not end with Windows 10 S laptops, 2-in-1s and tablets. Microsoft's ultimate mobile device is also part of this strategy.

The company's goal is focused on a single device that can serve the full range of personal computing.

'Surface phone' is about personal computing

Personal computing takes many forms. It can be productivity-focused at a desk with a monitor and keyboard, consumption-focused on a couch with a tablet, or on-the-go, triaging emails or editing documents on a smartphone or laptop.

Microsoft wants to create a platform that will help users "do more" with one device. The fallacy some encounter when envisioning this is picturing Microsoft cramming a PC into a smartphone-shaped form factor. Nadella stressed Microsoft's targeting a new "form." With Continuum, which turns the phone into a PC, Microsoft's also targeting a new "function."

With Windows 10 S, Microsoft has a compelling message to get Win32 apps to UWP. In time, an ultimate mobile device will potentially be able to serve the full range of our personal computing needs. Through Continuum, it may be our productivity-focused desktop when connected to a monitor and keyboard, our laptop when connected to an HP Lap Dock-like device, or our phone and tablet possibly with a folding design with Cshell.

How Microsoft can ensure 'Surface phone' success

Whatever the outcome, Windows 10 S may finally be a reason for developers to embrace the UWP and bring their Win32 (and other) apps to the platform.

As I've been stressing, Microsoft is moving a telephony-enabled PC into the mobile space and Project Centennial will likely get a big push at Build 2017.

Read these:

If Microsoft doesn't kill at Build 2017 the Surface phone may be dead on arrival

Is early 2018 too soon for a Surface phone?

Will Microsoft's rumored Surface Phone be a reimagined Surface Mini?

Why 'Xamarin is the future of Windows Mobile

Jason Ward

Jason L Ward is a columnist at Windows Central. He provides unique big picture analysis of the complex world of Microsoft. Jason takes the small clues and gives you an insightful big picture perspective through storytelling that you won't find *anywhere* else. Seriously, this dude thinks outside the box. Follow him on Twitter at @JLTechWord. He's doing the "write" thing!

  • Thanks for reading folks!!! Microsoft's UWP strategy is a long-term plan that will take time to come to fruition. It is a platform, not a phone-focused play that has a PC focus to modernize the desktop environment. That message was getting lost due to poor communication, misinterpretations and the noise generated by "phone" chatter. As I shared in the piece Microsoft's goal has always been to modernize Win32 apps for the PC environment. I wrote about that in detail in April 2016 in "Smartphones are dead: Evolve or Die, Microsoft's ultramobile PC Strategy." This analysis is becoming clearer now that phone is a diminished part of the conversation and the introduction of Windows 10 S with its exclusion of Win32 programs from the OS highlights the place of Win32 apps being to the UWP via the desktop app convertor and Project Centennial. The UWP and modernization of Win32 apps and even a path to the ultimate mobile device are a bit clearer as I've outlined above. I've consistently argued Microsoft would be moving a Continuum powered telephony-enabled PC into the mobile space not the smartphone space. It won't happen tomorrow, but Microsoft is modernizing the PC and if successful, in time (several iterations deep)their plan is that it will be a desktop via apps converted to the UWP with Project Centennial when connected via Continuum to monitor, mouse and keyboard, a laptop with a Lap Dock-like dock, and tablet and phone with Cshell. Build, as I've been pressing, will likely see a big push of Project Centennial to get this ball rolling! If you jumped into comments before reading, please read first so that your comment will make as much sense as possible. A comment on the title is not a comment on the content😉 Well folks...LET'S TALK!!!
  • Good article Jason.
    It's been very clear for long time:
    Surface Phone will be powered by ARM and will run Windows 10S.
    It's likely to be released 'whenever is ready' - 2018 or early 2019.
    By that stage Windows Store will mature nicely with some big names added.
    I believe that MS should pay developers to convert any existing win 32 apps to UWP. Essentially all apps from the store will run smoothly on Surface Phone.
    Windows Mobile will be rebranded. Existing times ahead folks!!! Can't wait.
  • By that age the Store will be empty like Sahara desert, at least when it comes to mobile-specific apps. They may bring some win32 apps into the Store, but for the Store to be ready Microsoft needs phones. Any phones. Right now they don't have any, and even though I like w10m, I would talk anybody out of buying a Windows phone. Developers are leaving, companies are removing their outdated apps made in the Nokia/WP8.1 era... That's the sad reality.
  • Bingo. I was ready and waiting for developers to jump in the Windows Store with W8 apps but it never happened. Good luck convincing developers to create apps for a small number of users all over again.
  • Exacty. And only because Microsoft didn't want to bite the bullet, and release few more phones near the end 2016, and to stay focused on mobile. If they only did that, I am sure the situation would be a lot different. After they releaced w10m many started making their UWP apps, there used to be so much enthusiasm, but Microsoft prefered to kill that.
  • I think the big problem is that Microsoft kills products too quickly - or at the very least, removes support and interest so they are effectively killed. Windows 10 mobile is just over a year old (general release) and already Microsoft stopped it's Lumia line. W10M has improved greatly over the last year and although it is still being worked on - people can't buy a reasonably priced phone in various markets, and the 'next thing' is being hinted at that is not W10M (some sort of other mobile platform based on Windows 10S). If phones like the 550 / 650 and 950 were still available, I'm sure people would buy them. The Windows 10 platform is great for families and Microsoft Family actually works - unlike that mess Apple has or lack of anything from Google. Features of Microsoft Family I use are: 1/ Central hub for all settings
    2/ Able to set active hours and time centrally for Windows 10 devices and Xbox.
    3/ Able to set restrictions on store content suitable for specific age
    4/ Multiple logon for tablets (surface 3)
    5/ No nagging 'authorisation' if child wants to download 'free' age appropriate content.
    6/ Able to track family members and devices Having to go to every iPad to set Restrictions manually and to have to approve, multiple times, even free store purchases drives me up the wall. No point setting up app restrictions on Mac as it just breaks. I just wish Microsoft marketed the benefits of Windows 10 mobile and didn't assume everyone knows about Windows so everyone must know about Windows 10 mobile.
  • I agree with evertything you said, but I would only add one thing. Lumias 550, 650, 950 would be old by now, and most would consider them old since they will lose support in less than a year. So they should either announce that those phones will get their support extended by one year, or annouce new phones - almost the same, but with newer hardware. That especially holds for Lumia 650 which has too weak chipset. Some of them could come with fingerprint scanners since that is a thing nowadays, but oh well...
  • For Windows Store to get ready, the most important apps are those popular desktop apps.  Now the biggest audience are desktop users and they need to install desktop apps. Microsoft is now trying to make users get used to the store by having their favourite win32 apps available in the store. The point lies in the habit of using Windows PC - currently users have no such a habit of visiting the store.  If they have that habit, it becomes much more effective for developers to bring even mobile apps to the store.
  • Yes, I agree with that part, but I was replying to this:
    Surface Phone will be powered by ARM and will run Windows 10S.
    It's likely to be released 'whenever is ready' - 2018 or early 2019.
    By that stage Windows Store will mature nicely with some big names added.
    Windows Store may mature nicely, it has good chances, but it will not mature for Surface Phone. It may not actually be a phone as we imagine it today, but if it doesn't have basic functionality which other phones have, it will have no success. At least very few people would want to replace their phones with Surface Phone.
  • This is so true. Don't underdstand why MS keeps expectimg today's consumers to be magically transformed into walking cyborgs. We will still use smartphones to make calls. All the talk is always about computing, why are there so many social apps avl now if always in an email, spreadsheet, word document, powerpoint, one note etc was the case? People will compute when necessary and don't when not.
  • Exactly, and even those enterprise users will want to use those "unenecessary" apps such as Facebook, Viber, WhatsApp, Snapchat, etc. It's no longer simply about the communicating.
  • Arm can support full Windows 10 no need for the Windows 10S unless it's a low powered phone.
  • ARM can support Windows 10 if it is high powered phone, i.e. if it is powered by Snapdragon 835. If not, it can't handle even Windows 10 S. Windows 10 S only helps some users who would prefer to have everything in one Store because they are not knoweledgeable enough to install what they need to the web, but above all - it helps Microsoft to put under their control what we can install on our machines.
  • Windows 10 S will only help Windows Mobile if it's actually successful... but there is no evidence of that yet.  Right now, it's just another attempt by Microsoft to get developers to create sandboxed apps. Mostly likely, Microsoft will give up on it when it is not instantly successful, and do another "retrenchment" or "reboot". lol
  • WinRT was all about only being able to run Store apps.  W10S is all about only being able to run Store apps.  Seriously, how on earth does this breathe life into UWP?  Where's the data to show developers are still hot to develop for Windows, period?  Who is really developing even Win32 programs on a scale that's anywhere close to that of iOS or Android?  Microsoft has been reinventing its goal and its target audience so often and so many times that who really has any confidence?  
  • Let's not forget, RT was Windows 8 .. W10S is Windows 10. Aside from the reasons Daniel pointed out in his article about the difference between RT and S ...people despised Windows 8 on Tablets/Laptops/Desktop ...Windows 10 is a product that's A LOT more popular amongst those same users while I'm not saying this will necessarily make it a guaranteed success, it's definitely a choice that wont go down badly with consumers like Windows 8 rt Let's not forget the normal version of Windows 8 was already a product most users loathed and avoided, so the RT version wasnt going to do it any favors either. There was also no plans whatsoever for converting exe to apps and the store itself wasnt even Universal. If you bought an app on pc for example you would have to repurchase on phone. ...Windows 10 is an entirely different game, there is a plan in place and a wider range of products to make use of it.
  • Windows 8.1 on tablet, was/is awesome. Might have been an ugly duckling on PC but nothing short of amazing on a touch UI
  • Windows 10 S has ABSOLUTELY nothing to do with the small screen.  The success or failure of it will not control the future of mobile.  The store can be full of applications that aren't UWP or optimized for the small screen. 
  • You're assuming people will continue making Win32 apps built for desktops. Here's news, desktop is dead, Win32 development on the non-gaming space has slowed down to a crawl and consumers don't care about going to websites and downloading .exes. Future apps will be in UWP, even those not found in the store will incorporate a UWP front end.
  • Surface phone should run full windows 10 pro, and nothing less, albeit with ARM octacore with the 4 slower cores emulating code in the background. C Shell will put screen in tablet mode on native 6"-7" screen and desktop mode when projecting to monitor.
  • dude, ask yourself a question.... such a device with so much power and a big screen.... how long will it run on one charge? It wont even finish a working day. There MUST BE a difference between a MOBILE phone vs. LAPTOP/ Tablet. Mobile phone is not just about APP, its about telecomunication capabilities too
  • I agree about power and usage for these types of devices.  For most people, their mobile devices go through bursts of usage (on for a minute or two, then off again).  Contrasted with a laptop or tablet, which is on longer, with each use.  And the more features a device offers, the more it'll be on.  That's not even counting the constant connection that mobile phones have with their cellular providers. I think that for a powerful device to actually last the day, they need a way to moderate how much power it uses, whilst in use.  I'm pretty sure battery life on S will be better, simply because it manages how UWP apps perform.  If they could find a way to offer decreased performance on the hardware (like underclocking the processor when not in use), that could help as well.
  • It's not that the device will have to run only on battery. Would you at work or home just use battery? The other thing this could open up is that the actual device could stay in your pocket. You could use a foldable 10" screen which too comes with its own battery. You just put a Bluetooth speaker and a Bluetooth mic on a Bluetooth screen. When you get back to the office you're gonna plug it into your 28" monitor and use your Bluetooth keyboard with your Bluetooth mouse when you get home you're just gonna plug into your 52" TV. I mean right now what do you have at home or work? You have a screen, a keyboard, mouse and a box with the computer in it. A phone can be the same thing just on a smaller scale with the keyboard and mouse on your 10" foldable display. It's even possible to have a small keyboard separate from a display and a headphone and mic in one ear. You want to answer a call quick the foldable display can have a small screen on one side so you can see who's calling and a speaker and mic for taking a call. Software guys need to think hardware.
  • Well the Galaxy S* with an octacore and a 6.2" screen gets about 8hrs worth of battery life. Why do you feel a WoA device would fare any worse?
  • about 1 hr.  But I have noticed that most windows phone users never leave their homes anyways since they do not need apps.  So it's a moot point.  They can just leave them plugged in all the time.  
  • Or most Windows Phone users can get around without need of apps, whereas Ios and Android users can't even poor a cup of water without an app.
  • Their parents basement doesn't require an app.
  • Its possible that they go out, but they aren't the kind of zombiefied pedestrian walking with his phone in front of his face.
  • That's where the W10 on ARM comes in.  The ARM processor technology will improve drastically in the coming years.  SD835 uses a 10nm process chip.  The 7nm process chips will arrive in 2018.  TSMC plans to build a $16 billion fab to manufacture 5 nm (2020) and 3 nm (2022) chips.  The power efficiency will be greatly improved on the new generation chips.  The battery life could be extended to all day or longer. The Cellular PCs would certainly be benefited by the new ARM technology.
  • Plus there's advancement coming in battery technology. Especially with the use of graphene. So, in a few years we could very well see multi day mobile use between charges.
  • Many tabs have GSM capabilities. The distinction got blurred many years ago !
  • Agreed, Surface Phone has to be Windows 10 Pro. That's what I'm hoping to, to finally bring my phone to office and have it connected to my keyboard, mouse and monitor, and answer my whatsapp messages from my keyboard. The day that comes true I will only carry this device.   
  • It's pretty simple, WM will run Win 10S, plug it to the dock and it will run Win 10 Pro through Continuum. So you have enough battery to use it as a phone and when you plug it you have a desktop mode and it charges the Windows Phone, it makes sense i think. Anyway i'm excited to see what they will announced at Shangai, wait and see...
  • Jason! I said this!... You must be reading my comments, because everytime! Seriously.
    We must be on the same page 📚
  • Lol....great minds think alike🙂
  • Here is my comment, the very first comment, on Zacks article "MS introduces Surface Laptop, a laptop for Students"...............................
    "MS needs to keep going with this.. Train a new generation of youth that MS is where it's at.. They need to fill W10S with EXCLUSIVE apps, and pave they way for a mobile device that's so productive, kids, and adults, will have no choice but to have one... MS, if they really want, doesn't have to ride on the back of Apple, or be at the mercy of Google. They need to take Windows back. W10, and the Surface brand are the BEST!....... Yes, I brought up mobile again, because I believe that mobile is where it's at, and that everything MS does with W10 is one more foot in the door of mobile for MS... And, through Panos, and his team, MS should gain inspiration for the future, not this current boring/aging system of smartphones, and relatively incapable mobile apps. One day, soon, I want to see Panos showing a pocketable Surface device with the same amount of passion he just explained the craftsmanship of the Surface LT... I won't stop asking for, hoping for, and dreaming about, a "Surface Phone" until It's in my pocket.
    This event made my passion for a Surface Mobile device even stronger. Come on MS!!!"""
  • Gonna be tough putting a Hololens in your pocket!
  • It'll run by bluetooth off of the pocketable part, and just be a pair of sunglasses on your nose. 
  • You think Google Glass had it right?
  • Let's see how well Windows 10 S sells first before we say that developers have any reason to bring Win32 app to the store. If it plays out like you say, perhaps. But with the $49 upgrade to Pro, it more likely gives Microsoft a reason keep supporting Win32 as is.
  • How do you think it will sell priced for schools at $199.? that is sureley a no brainer.
  • That remains to be seen. The laptops that will be sold at $189 might not appeal to schools, much as they do not appeal to schools today. Microsoft certainly isn't selling Surface Laptops at that price, not even to schools. The ones at $189 will be made by Del, Toshiba, Asus, and the like. And remember, there are Windows laptops today at that price, which aren't exactly blowing up the education market. Very little has changed with this new announcement for the $189-299 price range.
  • At the $189-299 price range, you'd get laptops with Atom chips, 2GB RAM, half of which is taken up by services for Win32 apps running in the background. The base specs for Windows 10 S is higher than Windows 10 Home and schools will get built-in education management tools which made Chromebooks so popular among educators and this may convince schools from switching to Chromebooks.
  • It isn't only the price of the device that makes schools gravitate to ChromeOS. It is how easy they are setup and manage. I don't see how Windows10S becomes competitive in this area. You still have the complexities of deploying and managing Windows. Google cloud services are so good and accessible anywhere. students won't have that luxury with Office.
  • You must have mistyped "androidcentral" in your search bar. By your comments it seems you belong there
  • No, I just forgot that you cannot be a Microsoft fan without being stuck in their bubble.
  • Microsoft's latest announcement has answered my question, "What about UWP?"
  • Things are getting much clearer now. But till things pan out give us some segue hardware MS.
  • So u acknowledge that your titles are click baity?? ;)
  • I'm afraid that this will be another failed attempt at Microsoft. The Windows Store will never take off and Microsoft are fooling themselves if they think it will. There's no need for the Windows Store at all.
    Phones => Dead
    Xbox => It's for games, people don't care about running apps on there even though may use some but it's not the platform for it
    PC (inc Surface) => Can install Win32 apps so why bother with the store. Most people install cracked software so why bother paying through the store when you can download for free
    Mixed Reality Headsets (inc HoloLens) => However much fun it is, it's still a fad at the end of the day and people won't be lining up to buy these I think Microsoft's strategy to focus on the cloud is their best bet as Windows slides into irrelevancy with google taking over in the years to come. However, with the latest figures showing Amazon's AWS making better profits and market gains than Azure, I just hope Microsoft don't do a Windows Phone on Azure but judging by their past ways, I've started migrating my software over from Azure to AWS.
  • Great article and explanation beyond the short sightedness of most of the audience here, but the question is, has Microsoft's inability to bring these things to market speedily and market them in a clear manner stalled adoption before it's began?
  • Agree with you and here i share an article from internet echoing some of the things you've been saying:
  • Yeah actually modernizing the Apps can improve the experience dramatically with new amazing capabilities of the modern apps, also the Windows 10 S can be a huge blessing for Windows Store which eventually will benefit all microsoft products running UWP Apps...!!
  • That would be if, and only if, the store only versions are no longer a step down from the non-store versions. That has been the biggest problem. Few people wanted the gimped, half-baked or missing features store version. Even if only one feature is missing, most will choose to stick with the non-store version and devices that support them. I'll believe it when I see it. Otherwise, it's a continuation of the never-ending "coming soon".
  • What ?? Err ... What ???
  • The thing I don't understand about this strategy is this: MS says they won't create a mobile device with the traditional phone form factor, but that's a really convenient form factor if you're on the go. No one wants to lug an 8" tablet or whatever around. They NEED something in phone form factor, something that can get put into a pocket, or they will NEVER be considered "mobile".
  • But how do you know what the form factor is? i doubt it will be 8" you will just have to wait...
  • Well, I suppose there could be some revolutionary design for a portable device that we have yet to see, but the bottom line is if it's not pocketable the masses won't want it.
  • Unless it is a 6" device that unfolds to an 11" device...
  • No 6" device unfolds into 11". Microsoft won't be first with the folding screen technology either. They will have to beat Samsung and Apple. How are they going to do that? Samsung is rumored to start selling one this year in limited quantities.
  • Rumours? What device are you talking about?  I'm skeptical about anything that hasn't been released.
  • Garbage with a hinge in the middle. No one will want a hinge in the middle of the screen. 
  • Yeah, look at Microsoft's​ parents, they also are hinged. Bendable screens will come eventually. Samsung says 2019 for theirs, but this would just be a start. Microsoft is going to have a tough time getting a folding screen before Samsung and an even tougher time getting software for it.
  • Samsung would be able to build, market and sell a foldable screen phone. Microsoft, not so much.
  • How the hell else would a folding device fold?
  • Using a folding screen.
  • But what if android introduced it's own version of continuum? Why develop UWP?
  • Already here.  DeX.   Done. over with. finito!  Continuum was a massive flop,  windows mobile/phone/10 on devices smaller than 7 inches/whatever the fanboys call it this week is a FLOP!  
  • More truth downvotes...wooo whooop!
  • But will developers embrace UWP? If they haven't already, what incentive is there for them? Why would developers of perfectly good Win32 apps suddenly want to release UWP? Let's see six months to a year from now if say Cyberlink, Nero, Adobe and others have released full-functioning UWP versions of their software
  • Hi Brian2014, good question. I addressed that in the article here: "Microsoft is bringing one of the world's most used Win32 apps, Office, to this platform (and as other apps follow in time), so many users may find upgrading to the Pro version for access to Win32 apps (for $49) unnecessary. This would make Windows S more popular, relevant and an increasingly appealing OS option for OEM partners. ***As OEMs bring a variety of Windows S devices to market, developers may be compelled to keep their apps relevant on an increasingly relevant platform by modernizing apps via UWP. And Microsoft's long-term strategy of "training" children, education institutions, college students and families on Windows 10 S may succeed.*** This part of Microsoft's UWP strategy is critical to the success of the next part." Hope that helps. Thanks for jumping in.😎
  • ^THIS.... 😎😎
  • Hopefully it turns out that way, we can only wait and see.
  • Unless Microsoft can convince Google to bring Chrome and Apple to bring iTunes to the store I feel that people will just upgrade to Pro. If that happens it invalidates the need for the Store since they can install whatever they want.  Windows 10 S will only succeed if the apps that people want or need are available in the store.  I pointed out 2 apps that will be non-starter for them. The concept of Win 10 S is really interesting but Microsoft still has to fill the app gap. In the meantime they risk confusing people even more. "Why do I have to pay $50 so that I can use Chrome?" They already went down that road with Windows RT, though this time there is an upgrade path. They can't afford to have this fail.
  • The only thing I see developers could do thanks to this is bringing their win32 apps into the Store. But not developing a UWP app, because that would be a waste of resources. UWP apps cannot run on any older version of Windows. For UWP apps to succeed Microsoft had to make more Windows phones, and not to stop with Lumia 650. But when we speak about bringing everything into the Store... I wonder what would be their next step. No more versions of Windows able to install apps outside of the Store, or something like that? And all of that in the name of safety? I hope not.
  • Doesn't this sound like Windows RT strategy? I'm lil bit pessimistic.
  • Taking advantage of the free upgrade to Windows 10 (at least for the next year) doesn't preculde you from also using Windows Store Apps. It doesn't make sense for consumers not to get the upgrade for free while they can.
  • Ironically, Microsoft seems to be retracting their own full UWP versions of Office from the Store to replace them with WIN32/Centennial based ones. This, to me, is a mistake. Instead they should keep the UWP versions and let people install them, but then allow people to upgrade to the Pro/WIN32 version from the store and only then replace the UWP versions. I have personally kept the UWP versions installed to test them every now and then and honestly, for many people, it probably wouldn't be that long before they become useful alternatives. By letting people still install the UWP versions on Windows Desktop, Microsoft will have more incentive to keep improving them as well.  I do applaud them for finally bringing Office Pro to the Store, it is about time and we need them to bring ALL of their applications to the Store. They cannot point at 3rd party developers and ask the most to do it, without doing it themselves. Just find a way to keep both version so around. This discussion shows that we need a better term to describe Centennial apps. It needs to be very clear to people that these apps are essentially the same as the originals but with some parts modified. I hope Microsoft has a good plan for how they will handle it. So far it's not going so well...
  • I don't see Microsoft removing their UWP Office apps from the Store as these are the only ones working on Windows 10 Mobile, but also on Windows 10 Mixed Reality (for all-in-one HMDs and HoloLens).
    Any source on this move ?
  • Agreed. Let's see. I can develop for win 32 using what I already have and know and make 100% of my profit, or I can develop probably a less capable store app and 30% of my profit (or whatever the % is) I can give to Microsoft. I'll go with column A.
  • Is Microsoft working with major desktop app developers to package their win32 apps as UWP?  That's my main concern.  If Win10S users find their favourite desktop apps in the store they really have no reason to switch from Win 10 S to Win 10 Pro. Another major concern is browser.  Expect quite many users would complain when they fail to install Chrome. Even promoting project cetenial is not enough.  Microsoft must approach those big developers.  They need to make sure the store has those important desktop apps available in the coming months.  If they cannot do this, I'm not too optimistic of Win10S.
  • I am ready! As I commented on the Will you buy a Surface Laptop article, my new surface book has made me realize this on a new level.
  • If Windows 10 S grows to Chrome OS market share and devs bite on this, then effectively Google's education strategy saves Microsoft's mobile strategy. Ironic and interesting.
  • Love your articles, but I'm not sure the direction of this one is correct.  If I understood correctly, windows 10S will be able to run any app that is in its store, but that's not to say that these are UWP's.  This is what Centenial does, but it doesn't make it a UWP.  So I'm not sure how this helps the surface phone.  I get what you are saying, I'm just not able to connect the dots as you do in this instance.   YCS
  • Hi YCSJ2980 look at it from the perspective of a personal computing in it's various forms:
    1.Desktop - Static, Productivity focused, Win32 Programs
    2. Lap Top - Mobile/Static Productivity, Win32 focused
    3. Tablet - Mobile, Consumption focused, some productivity, App focused
    4. Phone - Mobile, Telephony, Consumption focused, some productivity I wrote in the piece:
    "The company's goal is focused on a single device that can serve the full range of personal computing." So Microsoft starting at the PC, not phone as most people look at it. First modernize the desktop experience so that they fit the current personal computing static and mobile paradigm. Win32 programs converted to the modern app model will make them more secure, siloed, provide Live Tiles, give the access to other app service and run background tasks. Combined with that they build a device with a new form, not traditional phone form as Nadella said that will, via Continuum connected to monitor and keyboard, run full UWP apps that were previously Win32 apps, like Office, Spotify, and millions of others to come. Disconnect from monitor and keyboard and with CShell, and maybe folding design as patents suggest, be a tablet and with telephony a phone. Connected or docked within an HP Lapdock like peripheral, it could also be a laptop. One device that handles all personal computing scenarios. But to truly be a desktop getting Win32 apps to the UWP is key. It will take time as the process to get the full range of Win32 API is not there yet with Project Centennial. But this is the vision. One device, that can do it all. As Win32 apps via Centennial populate the store for the anticipated influx of Windows 10 S pcs over time, perhaps, no guarantees of course, other developers will begin to see the growing relevant of the UWP and bring thier apps as well. This would make the personal computing settings in mobile modes (in the example I gave) like "tablet" and "phone" more relevant. Hope this helps🙂
  • there is a couple of problems with this view.
    1. centennial apps are not uwp apps. they are app-v wrappers to wrap win32 apps as a package and be delivered via the store.
    2. all of this is under the assumption that developers/ companies are willing to switch the uwp and its apis. most are not interested at all which leads me to point number
    3. Win32 is still superior in every shape and form than to uwp. uwp is still immature and has 0 advantages to a developer ( i know you mentioned this but just wanted to re-iterate why a dev will be interested at some point but not today in uwp)
    4. while the store is open to developers to use, Microsoft is not willing to share details on how companies like steam can make their own uwp store outside of windows store. only enterprise customers with locked down windows versions has access to create their own store.
    5. windows 10 s will be most popular with device $500 and under which means sacrifices to the devices will be made and this will hurt apps running from this hardware configurations.
    6. if centennial apps work so great then just like the android bridge(which got killed), there is 0 to no incentive for developers to move to uwp. its easy to have your tooling work the way they are right now and not introduce new issues.
    and last and not the least the biggest problem uwp has is that the desktop is only relevant at home and in the office ( and this is dying path) all new apps and things that people talk about are mobile apps. there is no hero app for windows but there are hundred of appps that are on mobile that have become mandatory for people. like kindle app, or amazon app, or every delivery service out there. Microsoft needs to make uwp be better and i mean 1000% better than win 32 with advantages and pricing model that will intrigue developers, right now there is too much "me-to" attitude and people are tired.
  • Hi msanda Thanks for the input.
    1. Please watch the video of Stefan Wick Program manger for UWP at the end of this peice. He demonstrates that Win32 apps via the Desktop App convertor CAN be completely brought over to the UWP. The point you bring up is only the first step. The first image in the piece also shows the process in a quick snippet😉 but you may want to hear it directly from the Program Manager of the team responsible for the process so I'd advise watching the video.
    2. I realize devs are not interested today, thats part of the premise of the piece. The strategy that may OVER TIME gain thier interest.: Microsoft is bringing one of the world's most used Win32 apps, Office, to this platform (and as other apps follow in time), so many users may find upgrading to the Pro version for access to Win32 apps (for $49) unnecessary. This would make Windows S more popular, relevant and an increasingly appealing OS option for OEM partners.
    As OEMs bring a variety of Windows S devices to market, developers may be compelled to keep their apps relevant on an increasingly relevant platform by modernizing apps via UWP. And Microsoft's long-term strategy of "training" children, education institutions, college students and families on Windows 10 S may succeed."
    3. As you point out, I do point out that UWP apps will becoming comparable to Win32 apps with time. This is a strategy that will be executed over time. Success isn't guaranteed but an assumption of failure because of the current state before the execution of the plan is premature.
    4.No argument here.
    5. I don't know that that will be true.
    6. If centennial apps work great and OEMs are populating space with Win10 S devices, and market is accepting them, devs will likely make thier apps for where devices and users are moving.
    Desktop is relevant is the point. MS lost in the smartphone space. If they can work from a position of strength, desktop, and get devs using Desktop app converter and Centennial to begin populating hmthe Store with UWP apps modernizing the desktop and vitalizing the store, the Store becomes more relevant to other devs as well
    who may also bring apps. No guarantees may or may not work. But this is my analysis of their strategy.
  • hey Jason. thanks for the input. i am only going to respond to point number 1 cause the other points are more about market changes and os playing field. my personal point of view is that desktop is legacy and Microsoft is trying its very best to make desktop be relevant in this modern mobile world and the only way it could make the comeback is for there to be a paradigm shift in computer usage. I don't know about you but I don't pick up my laptop to order take out, I rather do it from my phone. just like I don't pick up my laptop to choose a movie I am going to watch on my Xbox I rather pick the Xbox controller up and navigate. but again that's me.,    going back to point number 1. this is the problem lots of people are making until they actually start using Centennial. Centennial is not uwp. there is no win32 -> uwp visual convertor at the moment. what Centennial does offer is to have you win32 and uwp be package in the same appx file and be distributed via the store. but this will mean developers have to create uwp apps. this is what the problem is and you even capture that screen in the first image from the video on your blog post. this is fundamentally the problem because as an app developer i have to create 2 version and slowly star deprecating the win32 version. QA , DEV, UAT is extremely expensive and the tooling for uwp is completely different than that for win32. Pipelines will need to be built to support that dev process and to make matters worse you still will need to support win32 and make it feature complete with the uwp 'eventual' version because the majority of windows users are still not on windows 10. At my company, we experimented with uwp and we all gave up on it. not because of the power but the man hours and work time involved on making sure are users were happy. with win32 our update strategy was simple and not at the mercy of Microsoft and its approval.  uwp meant re-writing every single winform to XAML. this is the equivalent of a  total re-write, this for any company is time-consuming expensive and sometimes not worth it. This is what i was referring to initially. 
  • I agree Centennial won't help Windows Mobile, at least not directly. But more serious apps in the Store, even limited to desktop/laptops, would increase the Store's credibility, and could in turn entice more developers to also write UWP apps for all devices. Microsoft also use Centennial to open the conversatin on going UWP, even if just a few apps make the jump to full UWP, these are better than none. Also, the future pocket-sized device will probably be hybrid, so while Centennial apps do not help the small-screen touch-first mode, they could still bring super productivity to these devices in Continuum mode with x86 emulation on ARM.
  • Whit a group of developers, we started a team for promote and/or porting open source software to UWP ( )...We ever ask the permission to do it at the original we see that there are a lot of them that want make himself this conversion.
    Just today I recieved from a developer of Inkscape the link for download this famous program from MS Store: I think that this could be a great opportunity!
  • UWP = Universal Windows Package or Universal Windows Platform?
  • Platform
  • UWP is Universal Windows Platform. But you are right it's confusing with people calling Centennial apps "UWP", as they are not UWP apps, but Win32 apps in AppX packages.
  • Hi Philippe...actually the Desktop app convertor and Project Centennial actually does make Win32 apps into UWP apps. As the first image in the piece shows the Appx packaging you are referring to is only the first step in a for step process of modernizing Win32 app per Stefan Wick, the Group Product manager for the UWP You can watch him demonstrate and explain that process in the video at the end of the piece. So yes, as you will see from the video they are full UWP apps, even in the words of the Stefan Wick, once the a develop goes through the process. Thanks for jumping in😎
  • Hi Jason,
    I respect your work on these editorials, good job by the way, but I feel I have to stand on my position here. As a developer, I think it's important to separate the technical reality from the marketing bluff aimed at decision makers, Microsoft has a habit of mixing them in such presentations. Project Centennial only packages desktop apps (Win32, .NET Fx, ...) into AppX, it doesn't magically change the app into UWP. What it does is isolate the app by trapping files and registry access pretty much like App-V (SoftGrid) does.
    What's more, it seems that Centennial Win32 CUI apps will not be supported on Win10S, only GUI apps will. This means no command-line shells unless you upgrade to Pro. I agree this can be a first step to bring an app to the Store quickly and work on the conversion to UWP later, but that is not related to Centennial anymore. In fact, while Microsoft themselves like to keep the specifics blurry and take the opportunity to entice developers looking at Centennial to later move on to UWP, if you do get to step 4, you have effectively rewritten the whole app to UWP, and you are not relying on Centennial at all anymore. So they really are mutually exclusive, just two separate projects cohabitating in the same package and communicating with each-other, but the Centennial components are Win32, and the UWP ones are not Centennial. This shows their goal is to use it as a milestone to bring developers to embrace UWP, and to ease the transition by letting them include both type of components in a single AppX, but Centennial apps are not UWP, and once you're full UWP, you're not using Centennial at all. If you keep your Win32 app, then it's not a UWP app, just an isolated Win32 app in an AppX package. Source: I brought a Win32+COM app to the Store using Centennial ( , no UWP at all here).
  • Here are the key quotes from the presentation:
    1:34 "keep your existing code investment and gradually migrate towards UWP"
    2:40 "once converted, you can enhance the existing codebase with calls to new UWP APIs, by adding a UWP component to the same app package (...)"
    3:14 "After all the code has been moved to the UWP app process, the desktop app is no longer needed in your package"
    You don't "migrate","enhance" or "move to" UWP if Centennial already converts to UWP.
    Finally, 7:33 Shows the separate second project targetting UWP instead of Win32. And before someone else pinpoints the blurry quote aimed at decision makers, here it is:
    1:40 "Convert your existing installer into a modern UWP deployment"
    but "UWP" here means "Windows Universal Package", as see on slide at 2:18, not "Universal Windows Platform". Sneaky, right?
  • Seriously. This is BS Jason. I've been saying the same thing Philippe just mentioned ever since Centennial was a thing. Yet WCentral has utterly failed in their reporting on this topic. It's like you and Daniel have made it your mission to completely misunderstand how Centennial works. For anybody who actually understands this stuff at a technical level, it's outright embarassing. You need someone with technical expertise to help you folks understand videos like the one you mentioned, because you guys consistently misunderstand what is being said. If you have people at MS explaining this to you, they should instantly be disregarded as a source. They obviously have no intention of being technically accurate or even forthright with you guys.
    Philipp, I, and every other software developer with some technical background knowledge of Windows will tell you the the same thing. Centennial doesn't turn Win32 software into UWP software! You and Daniel have diluted the acronym "UWP" to mean almost nothing at this point. As a result we may simply be disagreeing based on terminology. Daniel has stated that any piece of software in the Windows Store is by definition UWP software. I have no idea why that would be a useful definition. It also contradicts every other (far more sane) definition of what the UWP is.
    This is how Wikipedia defines the UWP: Universal Windows Platform (UWP), is a platform-homogeneous application architecture created by Microsoft and first introduced in Windows 10. The purpose of this software platform is to help develop universal apps that run on both Windows 10 and Windows 10 Mobile without the need to be re-written for each. It supports Windows app development using C++, C#, VB.NET, or XAML. The API is implemented in C++, and supported in C++, VB.NET, C#, F# and JavaScript. Designed as an extension to the Windows Runtime platform first introduced in Windows Server 2012 and Windows 8, UWP allows developers to create apps that will potentially run on multiple types of devices. (source) This is how MS defines it on their "Intro to the UWP" page: Windows 10 introduces the Universal Windows Platform (UWP), which provides a common app platform available on every device that runs Windows 10. The UWP provides a guaranteed core API across devices. (source) In both definitions you will notice the use of the word API! It's through that API that software interacts with the OS. The UWP API provides access to all general purpose functionality that is handled by the OS. It is also the only API that provides access to UWP specific capabilities. For example, software might want to use Continuum features to recompose the UI based on screen size, or deal with touch input as a first-class citizen (not as an afterthought as it is treated by Win32).
    To be called UWP software or an UWP app, the product must interact with the OS through the UWP API. Software that doesn't use the UWP API is not UWP software! The desktop bridge (Centennial) doesn't change anything about the API software uses. If it used Win32 exclusively before being brought to the store, it will still use Win32 exclusively after being brought to the store via Centennil! Project Centennial therefore does NOT make Win32 apps into UWP apps!
    In contrast to Philippe, I'm finding it ever harder to respect WCentral's work, as anything technical is consistently FUBAR. I'm sorry for the frustrated tone here. I just really want you guys to do better!
  • It's all fine and all, but this will only hold true IF and that is a big, giant IF consumers (college students and younger kids) adopt Win10S as their primary product. However, given the giant limitations of Win10S (no desktop apps, no games), I highly doubt it will pay off as people think. MacOS is still the desired OS among college students and kids. Devs need to support Win10S, and given the many previous failed attempts to get devs to make anything other than full-blown desktop apps, who says that Win10S is the savior?
  • I think it's Westminster, not Westminister.
  • I think there is a lot of wishful thinking going around here. Everything is tied to everything and if one piece of the puzzle is missing the whole thing falls apart. Unfortunately MS does not have a good track record making the pieces of the puzzle fall together at the same time. It would have been easier if they had kept mobile afloat for example.
  • I think one reason behind Windows 10 S is to reduce piracy.   In theory, you would not be able to install an illegal copy of Office or Photoshop, because you would have to download it from the store. Microsoft gets its cut, Adobe (or any other software maker) get its cut, and everybody stays happy.
  • Finally somebody saying it. :) Oh, and everybody stays happy refers to companies I guess, not people. :P When it comes to us, we wouldn't even be able to install our old game from 2001. from the disk which we have saved. Not to mention that many of these games one can't even buy on Steam. Empire Earth for example. :) This could stop piracy, but it could also force many of us to throw away our installation disks, and to buy it over again on Steam (if that is even possible). Not me though, I would install Windows 7 or Windows 8 on my laptop. :) But in long term they could achieve that by making it harder to install older Windows versions on new machines... I hope we're not going to lose what we have.
  • They are already moving in that direction. Older versions of Windows won't be directly supported on new hardware and will not receive updates.
  • And not just that. We've already seen them making people impossible/harder to install Windows 7 on a PC after they released Windows 8/8.1. As about not receiving Windows Updates, I personally couldn't care less. :) But I agree it is an issue.
  • Only if Gabe & Co. wrap steam in project centennnial.  I do not see that happening.
  • Though I wouldn't want that to happen (because I prefer for us to stay independent), maybe that could really happen. If Steam comes to Windows 10 S, than they would come on a platform on which users have no other choice but to pick their games. On the other hand, this would help Microsoft make Windows 10 S more appealing to customers because they wouldn't be able to get any game they want from Steam (if it is there). Soon after Steam Uplay would follow, and perhaps Origin (Electronic Arts) as well. And in long term helping Microsoft succeed with bringing everything into their Store would effectively stop piracy, and that would even force players who have retail copies of their games to buy those games from Steam too. But who knows. Among other things - we're talking about Microsoft, and as I have seen, they always keep doing things which don't seem to fit their interests. Unless it's about getting quick money.
  • BINGO!
  • So if I'm a developer and use Project Centennial to convert my win32 program into a UWP app and then put it in the store, how much is MS going to take as commission on my app sale?
  • That's another issue too, of course. A major developer (-insert name here-) can sell their Win32 software on their own webstore and keep 100% of the sale money, but if putting in the MS store means MS getting a cut of the profits, that could be a big turn off too
  • Microsoft would take 33% if I am not mistaken.
  • The issue is the same with Apple and its App Store for OSX/MacOS.  There are plenty of developers for OSX that hated the store, but they also recognise that if they want to continue offering software for the Mac platform, they need to play by those rules.  And ultimately, it can offer benefits for them.
  • " that if they want to continue offering software for the Mac platform " There is no requirement to sell Mac software through the Mac App store.
  • 30% thanks
  • Microsoft would take 33% if I am not wrong. Though I guess some big names could make a deal with Microsoft to reduce it to less.
  • Publishing an app for a platform always means the platform developper gets a cut of your customer's money.
    Either you request your customer to buy a license to the Home or Pro version of Windows before they can install your app, either you give a share of your sale to Microsoft directly.
    In both cases, your customer will have to pay both the OS and your app. So consider the Store version an alternative so your customer doesn't have to pay the $50 to upgrade to Pro before they can pay for your app.
  • Your articles become pathetic. Go to a psychiatrist. If MS would shut down everything, you would still write about windows-surface-ultra-portable-pc-phone-sh...t.
    They are into mobile, but not windows mobile.
  • Hi Ervin, thanks for jumping in. A point by point rebuttal of what I presented would be more effective at communicating your perspective and also likely be more respected by the community of readers who have joined us here.
    You're welcome to a more engaging dialogue that will better reflect your position and also contribute thoughtful perspective to this conversation. Thanks again.🙂
  • Sorry...Just probably red to many articles from you. 
  • Not seen any imput from you other that being abussive. is that how you live you life? abusing people who take time writie articles that  lots of people find interesting. Go drink a beer that might chill you out, or maybe you have had enough beer and should lay off it for a while.
  • Nice article. I think Windows 10 s is a great strategy from Microsoft. Now developer will be interested to make app. But it would be better if Microsoft could not give chance to free upgrade to pro version. Then app development would be much quicker
  • Thanks Jason. This makes a lot of sense now. Get Windows 10S in peoples hands, let them see how well it works, then get them clamoring for more apps, and the devs will come. Hopefully they can get enough essential apps available in the store by launch date to keep people happy in the meantime. The education market is a great place to start with this, as all you have to do initially is make sure education-focused apps are available.
  • Ah, do you smell that? Smells like 2013...
  • You need a shower.
  • Developers will want to see the install base, thats what will ultimately matter to them, demonstrated by their current lack of interest in UWP as they already have a huge install base of x86 program users. I doubt devs will jump on board just because of one laptop and as yet unknown adoption of Windows 10 S.
  • Hi Thefeman, there a several laptops being launced by various OEMs I'm the education sector. It's not just one laptop. Also as the piece points out, it will take time. 🙂 No ones expecting devs to jump in now because of a an announcement as I pointed out in the article:
    "By introducing Windows 10 S in the primary and secondary school environments, Microsoft is clearly attempting to familiarize children with the tools that the company hopes they'll use in the real world. The higher-end Surface Laptop is meant to do the same for college students. It is also meant to inspire OEMs to produce higher-end Windows 10 S laptops. Redmond hopes they'll be common in the market as today's primary and secondary students reach college age....."
    ...As OEMs bring a variety of Windows S devices to market, developers may be compelled to keep their apps relevant on an increasingly relevant platform by modernizing apps via UWP. And Microsoft's long-term strategy of "training" children, education institutions, college students and families on Windows 10 S may succeed.
    This part of Microsoft's UWP strategy is critical to the success of the next part....
    Like most broad business strategies its a progressive multi-step strategy that requires a long-term view, a short term perspective will miss the point. 🙂
  • In other words, developers have very few reasons to bring their software to the Windows Store, because Windows S market share is 0%, and consumers have few reasons to buy Windows S becuse of the very limited app selection in the Store. That chicken and egg problem sounds extremely familiar... I just can't remember where we've already seen that... Unless Windows S becomes extremely popular, which I don't see happening, this is just as dead in the water as W10M. Again... Whatever vehicle MS provides as a means by which to popularize the UWP, it must offer something unique, highly desirable and easily marketable. Without that there is just no reason for consumers to jump on board. Without consumers, there is no reason for developers to care about it either. As soon as developers publish their app to the store they owe MS a 30% cut, so developers are actually disincentivized to do so. I don't think that's a huge deal though. Unless MS finally starts targeting consumers directly it just doesn't matter. Developers won't care either way.
  • Schools across the US are likely to be on board with Widows 10 S devices, and like with Chromebooks, parents will likely buy for thier child what they use in school. I don't know if you want to call the positioning of the Win10S laptops in potentially hundreds of schools over time the chicken or the egg, but that's what comes first. I made that point in the article. From there the consumer space.
  • This won't matter anywhere but in the U.S. (in most places computing devices are seen as detrimental distractions to the learning process). However, even if every U.S. child owned a Windows S based device, it would still not rival the install base WP had world wide at its peak and that wasn't enough. That's the first problem I have with your argument.
    The second problem is that despite Chromebooks being in schools for years, that still hasn't made them very popular. How much software is sold for ChromeOS through Google Play? How much of the available software is general purpose software that would interest consumers or professionals outside of the education environment? Those aren't rhetorical questions. I don't know the answers (I couldn't care less about ChromeOS). However, any serious analysis must take the answers into account before declaring "this will breath new life into UWP".
    As I see it, this is just a tech-dictatorship play. If many U.S. schools mandate it, parents will buy this for their kids because they must and then hope to never again invest a dime into it, particularly not for software. How is that ever going to get people to willingly spend money in the Windows Store and create an ecosystem developers care about? I don't see it.
    That's why I'm sceptical about this helping UWP get off the ground. I've said it a million times and I'll say it again. Any vehicle for popularizing the UWP must offer at least one unique, highly desirable and easily marketable feature(s). Removing the ability to install software from anywhere else other than the Windows Store doesn't qualify as such a feature. It's baffeling to me that people at MS and WCentral, after so many years of failure, still don't appear to get that.
    If MS can't innovate, they must at least go for the very aggressive price play. For example, they could build a serious game delivery platform that can rival Steam and not take a cut from developers. In return for distributing games free of charge, developers must agree to offer their games at least X% below the price of the same game in Steam. Presto... MS instanlty has both developers and consumers falling over themselves to sell/buy games in the Windows Store. That would also fit well with Windows S targeting children, for whom gaming is ever popular. Unfortuntely, I'm not holding my breath...
  • A few problems with this. First of all. Rewriting history doesn't change the truth. MS always talked about UWP being for the PC 1st. In fact that was how Nadella sold the whole concept. He stated that developers may not want to make apps for the small phone username but with UWP, they can make an app and oh by the way, it works on phone too. He specifically sold it that way. Now all of a sudden this past week. We have MS and Windows Central acting as if this is a new narrative and a new way to market UWP. It's not. 10S is a new Version of Windows, bit PC 1st is what they always said. Secondly, you selectively edited his statements. He did not emphatically say "we will make new phones" as you quoted him as saying. He said "I'm sure we will make new phones". Which if taken in the proper context, is not nearly as convincing. You also mention Continuum as if he was referring to it along with a future phone when in reality, he was using that while referencing previous devices using a previous OS that is and won't be relevant based on your own article here.
  • Actually Awhisperecho if you reread my article you will see that I assert that MS strategy was alway PC first. It's even one of the subheadings. I also support my acknowledgement of that point with an embedded tweet with screenshots from an article I posted a year ago, April 19 2016, further supporting my awareness that MS strategy has always been PC first. If that wasn't enough I included a sizable excerpt from that article under
    "A PC focus has always been the strategy" (please read it): ***Last year I presented the following analysis:
    Microsoft is aware that despite declining PC sales due to the increase in mobile personal computing, the PC is not dying — it is changing … combined with the fact that many personal computing tasks are still optimally facilitated in a desktop space. Personal computing then is both a mobile and static experience.
    Microsoft realizes that the 16 million legacy Windows apps will always have value. I believe that the company sees them as powerful tools that simply need to be updated, or evolved, to adapt to the new world of mobile and desktop computing. This juncture is where Microsoft's Project Centennial … comes in.
    This topic is usually discussed … within the context of how this Bridge will bring apps to Windows "phone." The argument that is often made is that no one wants desktop apps on a phone. Fair enough. But let's look at this from another angle.
    [This] Centennial Bridge strategy succeeds in updating the familiar desktop environment so that programs that we are accustomed to are adapted to a world with both static and mobile computing demands.*** I then follow that with this: ***"At the time I wrote that a year ago, most people were focused on the phone's place in the UWP. My analysis highlighting Microsoft's priority of moving Win32 apps to the UWP to modernize the desktop experience likely seemed misguided. This is especially true since Microsoft's own messaging about its strategy was poorly communicated.
    With the introduction of Windows 10 S and the absence of first-party phones, a much clearer message highlighting the accuracy of that analysis is emerging."*** So it is very clear that one, I have stated this narrative as a PC focus for over a year and if you follow the links I placed in the piece you will see I reiterate the importance of and my assertion MS will push Centennial because of it. It is also clear that I did all I could to communicate that this is not a new narrative from my perspective by the references, tweet and direct quote from my previous piece and the link to that piece directly below the quote: "Smartphones are dead part II: Evolve or die, Microsoft's ultramobile PC strategy."
    I'm not sure how you missed all of that and concluded I was "rewriting history"🙂 Also Continuum is part of the Windows OS and has been consistently, even in other settings, touted as a key aspect of Microsoft's vision. No communication from MS contradicts that consistent narrative. I even included a video from Microsoft highlighting the future of Continuum (which MS is still clearly developing). Thus past, present and future phones will have it. It's not based on past hardware. Thanks for the comment.🙂
  • Actually, I never said you were the one rewriting history. I mentioned MS and Windows Central because just a week ago, we were told by MS that this focus on PC 1st with UWP was new and then we had an article on Windows Central, by Dan I believe, that made the same argument for them instead of calling them out. Once again, never said it was you, I was simply stating what I thought was a problem. Secondly, the next part of my comment did mention you and your selective editing which you totally ignored because that was something you could not defend. You did alter what he said to try to make it fit your piece better. I don't like when anyone I listen to or read does that so I pointed it out. But whatever, it's cool. As far as continuum, I actually hope with Windows S, that it isn't needed. I think it made sense with Windows Mobile but if Windows S brings the apps, it shouldn't be needed in the way it is now. My Hope anyway. Either way, at this point MS doesn't deserve a break on any of this, they need their feet held to the fire.
  • Here is were you (and Microsoft, since this is the same reasoning mentioned in Daniel's Build article) are attempting to "rewrite" history:
    Microsoft's poor advocacy for the app bridges and a prevailing perception that UWP was phone-focused led to a muddying of what Microsoft's purpose of the UWP and Project Centennial has always been.
    Speaking as a developer, this is simply not true. Microsoft's purpose of the UWP programming platform has always been crystal clear: write apps for 1 form factor (pc or phone) and easily bring them to other device types just by creating a UI that adapts to different screen sizes. There are plenty of reasons that developers did not switch to UWP to write apps for PC's, but advocacy of the bridges and perception are not one of them. Here's why UWP makes no sense as a development platform for PC software: After all these years, it's still an immature platform. One reason for this, is that this platform was conceived to make mobile ("simple") apps, not productivity apps. This is not a perception problem, it's a matter of simply not being good enough. The big selling point for UWP was that you could write apps that can easily be used across different device types. By killing Windows Mobile (if not effectively, certainly "in spirit") Microsoft has taken away that selling point. So UWP is now left as a PC only option where it must compete with Win32. (The attraction from Xbox, Hololens or IoT ranges from niche market to non-existing. At this point, they are not relevant enough to promote cross-device development). UWP only runs on 25% of the desktop market. And the growth rate of Windows 10 market share has dropped significantly since the free upgrade option was stopped, indicating the situation will probably stay that way for many years to come. If you want to position UWP as a platform for PC development, this news puts it at a significant disadvantage against Win32. The market for PC apps/applications is mature. The majority of new development these days happens on the web and is accessed through a browser instead of via a dedicated Windows app. Related to the previous point and perhaps the most important of them all: there's no (significant) demand from customers for having store apps on a PC. For this I'd like to point to the article about AppRaisin that appeared on here on Windows Central, in which the developer clearly stated that 75% of the downloads occurred on phones despite the tiny market share of Windows 10 Mobile compared to the PC OS. So again, if developers are targetting phones with UWP, it is not because of perception but because that's where the demand and customers are were. This to me is the biggest problem with Microsoft today: each new shift, idea or change in strategy that they are announcing is always about what they want. It's not about what consumers want and it's not about what developers want. There still appears to be a "bubble effect" in place at Redmond where they think they can just release new platforms and change strategies at a whim and that developers will simply follow them. Sorry, but those days are long gone. It's been clear to me from day 1 that the success of UWP was dependent on the success of phone, IoT, Hololens and Xbox. Because that's where the platform makes sense and where customers will expect/want/need it. And of those 4, only phone would be capable of - in the short term - generating a large enough volume. And that's the one they have just effectively run into ground this past year.  That UWP apps could also run on PC would then be an added bonus. But using the PC as the driving force for UWP will never work unless Microsoft can significantly increase Windows 10 market share and get people to use the store on their PC. Windows 10 S is of course intended to accomplish the latter, but first Microsoft will have to convince people to continue to use this version of Windows and not upgrade it.
    Developers needed a reason to convert their apps to UWP. Windows 10 S and the Surface Laptop may be that reason. Windows Chief Terry Myerson explained that Windows 10 S is the same Windows users and developers have come to know. The only difference is that it will not run Win32 apps.
    Huh? Windows 10 S will run Win32 apps, as long as they are downloaded through the store. Also, you seem to be mingling UWP apps with store apps here?  The desktop bridge repackages Win32 apps so that they can distributed via the store. Hence the term Windows Universal Package (which confusingly also abbreviates to UWP). But that is all this bridge does! The bridge converts the installer (msi), not the Win32 app itself! For that to happen, the developer must rewrite it. And for that to happen there must be an incentive that is big enough to offset to cost of rewriting that app. As long as Microsoft's continues to push PC's as their main target, such a rewrite will never be cost effective for anyone because they can just keep their existing Win32 app as-is in the store while at the same time continue to sell that same version to their Windows 7 customers which has a market share that's almost twice as big as Windows 10! The moment anyone starts rewriting their Win32 app for Windows 10, they need to maintain 2 versions because of older Windows version. From that moment, each update to the app will result in additional cost. Again, what benefit does Windows 10 and UWP bring that will offset those costs? So even if Windows 10 S becomes a success (big if!), this will still not be a reason for developers to convert their app to UWP. At best, it will be a reason for them to use the Centennial bridge to put their existing app in the store. Those are 2 very different things. This is were the Centennial bridge might actually have the perverse effect of having the Windows store filled with apps that are only fit to run on a PC and not on mobile.
  • Great comment. U should write articles too. Well informed and realistic too
  • Thank you! WCentral's "reporting" on this is just embarassing. It's a disservice to the people reading it who don't know better and end up believing it :-( I found Daniel Rubino's (or more likely his source's) attempt to retroactively redefine the role and/or meaning of the UWP particularly galling. At this point the term is so fuzzy it barely means anything anymore. Unfortunately, I'm not holding my breath that WCentral will ever come clean on this sort of thing. Anyway, thanks for the comment. It was a breath of fresh air in these parts.
  • Well put, UWP can't even be classified as a lightweight right now.  Silverlight at the end was, IMO, a great lightweight version o WPF. You could do a lot with what was a browser plugin. UWP has a long ways to go.  I've only written one serious app in on UWP my work places's offline network. It's one win for me where windows 10 made my life simpler, except deploying the app without a business store on a network with no internet is a pain.
  • Something I've never understood is people complaining about desktop programs on a phone. Of course you arent going to run Auto CAD on a 5.5" screen. That being said, I WANT something like Pro Tools on my phone. But not to VIEW on my phone. I want to be able to plug it into a monitor and THEN run full blown desktop Pro Tools. That's where Continuum comes in.
  • Yay another attempt at trying to get apps to the store. We'll next year if that has worked out as well as all 15 previous attempts. I don't think there is much hope left at this point. Also Progressive WebApps are gaining traction and those are truly universal between all OS's and browsers.
  • Having a dedicated MOBILE OS is the only way to get apps into the store...Then entice the dev's with 1 year of free useage...meaning devs get 100 percent of royalties from said app.  have a certain amount of time to be able to take adavantage of the free year....boom...Most of the major players will be in like FLYNN...BUT hey...what do I know.
  • Although I enjoy reading his articles, to me Jason seems to be an eternal optimist, seems like the guy from "friends" singing from the window "it's the most wonderful time..." ☺
  • Windows 10 S apps must perform better/faster? Thats what Microsoft is saying
  • Windows was my first and (has been my) only smartphone platform. At this point, I have no confidence that MS will ever be anything but a very minor player in mobile. I think it's silly to believe that developers will now jump on board a ship that's 99.99% under water.
    Microsoft inflicted this mortal wound to themselves.
  • Unfortunately, windows 10 s is risky because the store is like a ghost town and many will choose to update to pro and use win32 apps. Devs will not simply start to embrace uwp just because MS has a new OS variant locked to an app store even if MS has added the Office suite as uwp app bundle. MS has burned devs and users too many times and confidence in MS is zero besides a few fans, mainly because of their huge failure in phone business. Their lack of commitment and poor quality, lack of respect with their never ending reboots sent a clear signal of instability. I loved having WP 8 and 8.1, but indows 10 mobile is poorly executed, poor design and tons of bugs. Their retrenchment will be their last mistake on phones, no matter the form factor of now or tomorrow. Having the posibility to run win32 on continuum won't change anything because that pocket device is a smartphone first that needs mobile apps, and only after a PC.
  • Developers have always seen the app store of a platform as a gateway for their apps to the smartphones. By retrenching MS did nothing else but to drive away even further these devs. The main target for uwp should have been smartphones and after that other form factors. You cannot expect devs to come back when after you practically shut the door on their main target. MS did the other way and it does not work no matter what fans want to believe
  • There was a discussion on Windows Weekly this week about Centennial apps not being UWP apps. Many developers are going to do the Centennial wrapper for their WIN32 app and just stop there. The user interface won't be changed and you will have massive issues trying to use such an app on a small device like a phone. It will work fine on a bigger device like a tablet, laptop, or desktop computer that is running W10S, but it will be a nightmare on a small screen. To put it in perspective, the first picture in the article shows the development steps that need to be taken to fully convert a WIN32 program into a UWP app. Developers are simply going to stop at step 1, converting to APPX, and won't do UI or program enhancements that make a scalable UWP app. To simulate how such a converted but unenhanced app would look on a Surface Phone simply drag the lower corner of any WIN32 program you have running on your computer and drag it until it is about six inches in size. It is pretty useless. Windows 10 S will likely breathe new life into the Windows Store as students use apps exclusively in schools, but I don't think it does much for UWP or Windows Mobile. Until there are a significant number of devices available that need enhanced UWP apps I think developers are going to be hesitant to spend additional time and money when simply wrapping with Centennial will do fine.
  • I saw that a mile away.
  • Microsoft is unable to convince people to use UWP on the merits of the platform, so their idea is to strong arm them with a $50 fee? Good luck with that. How about they develop a platform that survives on its own merits instead of gimmicks? That is the only way to be truly successful. People aren't going to be happy about being forced to use something. They will reject it.
  • Exactly!
  • I'm in agreement with this. Plus with Chrome OS getting Android apps I foresee that taking off even more in the education sector. Let's be honest, kids are growing up with Apple and Android, putting Windows in education will just further the idea to them that Windows is for work only.
  • All good and well, however Microsoft have sadly yet again botched the launch and created confusion.. When will this bunch learn. I sooooo want them to succeed. Hope they add functionality to risk desktop versions of your own uwp aps
  • When somebody is going to buy an ultrabook for the primary or secondary school environments the main concern (besides the money) would probably be whether all necessary educational apps are supported by the platform. I think Microsoft should stress more on the educational software available in the Store. Having just Office and browser will hardly be enough to target that audience.
  • [deleted]
  • See I don't care about big name programs coming to UWP that means nothing to me, I need the software that I actually use to be in the store for this to be any benefit to me and I simply cannot ever see that happening. There is not a single lighting based software available on the Windows store, until that happens for myself and every single other person in my industry, this shift to store only is completely useless.
    I was really excited about the potential of Win32 on a phone, but now it looks like they are looking to scrap that idea? I'm not sure.
  • Jason, my problem with Microsoft is it broadcasts all the wild things windows 10 is capable of but is always late with something that actually works. It appears they're always in a rush to announce something but the execution is almost always prolly done. Take Windows 10 S and win32 apps in store for example. Microsoft ought to have had full desktop version of office ready and in the store before announcing Windows 10 S. That way people will have a reason to embrace the technology wholeheartedly at the onset. In order to make someone buy into your product or idea, you have to demonstrate what it's capable of and Microsoft I believe always fails at that.
  • It's pathetically sad, whatever Microsoft does, nobody wants to develop apps for them. They ****** up way to long to gain developers trust.
  • I can not understand why people are complaining. I only see a company focused on a specific target. Every move (Windows S now) adds a piece to a puzzle of a picture that is almost entirely revealed and it proves that there is a plan designed long ago and followed faithfully. Changing computers as we know them (mobile or not) is not something you achieve in one year. Going back and forth? Of course. Isn't that great? Improving or taking back something based on user feedback is not something bad or strange. And as a user it's also great to be able to play a role in this. Disrespect for the current users? Seeing my cheap old phone running with ease the latest version of W10M with just one GB of memory I wouldn't call that disrespect. Yes more apps have to be added to the store. I bet they will and those withdrowed will come back as soon as MS finish their plan. The experimental moves are almost done and the final product is there. They don't care if it's going to take some more time, they have tons of money to play. It's Microsoft after all!
  • Did Jason share his pot of weed with you
  • I think Surface Phone needs to come in 2 versions one with Windows 10S and 1 with Windows 10Pro Most likely the students will need the 10S and Pro's will need the Pro version, because there is of course the bash and linux subsystem Ubunutu on Windows 10 Pro that would probably don't be available in Windows 10S, can someone confirm?. Other than that, Eclipse and other open source software like RStudio, Scilab, Weka, etc won't be available on the store and you will need to download code directly from the open source's website.
  • Good article! 
  • The Windows Central writers were so close to acknowledging the reality of the situation, then along comes another dubious long shot to keep the dream / delusion alive.
    I personally don't see a compelling reason to have any device locked to the depressingly awful windows store. This has the potential to be a repeat of the Linux powered eee netbook fiasco, where they flew or the shelves because they were cheap, but were quickly returned because people couldn't install anything on them.
  • What else do u expect from Jason Ward. Poor Greg Murphy must be cursing this guy.
  • What is so depressingly awful about the Windows Store?
  • Plus if companies port their win32 apps to be sold through the store then MS gets a cut right?
  • Exactly
  •  I've been doing desktop development for 20 years. I started in the 16bit world and I've gone through multiple different technologies. I am currently using .NET. All the projects I have worked on started migrating to new technologies about 5 years after they were introduced.  UWP will be no different. It's a modern object oriented API and  it's overall architecture is vastly superior to the aging, procedural, Win32. Windows developers WILL move to it eventually.  It's just not going to make sense to keep using Win32 after Windows 7 has gone out of support. Desktop bridge, x86 emulation on ARM, all of those are important tools to lead to  the UWP migration. I know WPF developers who have said. "Give me x86 on ARM and I can get a phone size layout quickly"  My company has UWP migration plans. Recruiters are starting to contact me for UWP jobs. It's only a matter of time. I do believe a Surface Phone will serve enterprise needs first. For shops doing Windows development already, a Mobile device that ruins existing code will be quite useful.
  • Yes surface phone or whatever may be successful with enterprise n i think thats what MS' target is now, it will just be another device that you ll carry along with your android/iphone but never replace it. There's nothing it entice consumers with such a phone.
  • Will you just stop using that picture of 1billion win10 devices? MS has already failed with that.
  • I am some one who shares your view. That Windows 10S is basically there for populating apps in Store first and with a little push, make them UWP. With Windows 10S, Microsoft basically putting the licensing fee on the user instead of OEMs. OEMs happy. Plus, I also see more value added by Windows 10S on Microsoft services and applications(especially Edge browser). Internet Explorer or Edge is used by most people to install Chrome even without trying them out. Since there is no Chrome browser or Chromium browser with 10S, or good alternatives, children might get used to Edge. Especially the inking and other features. First party apps happy. As for the 3rd party apps, let's see Apple and Google. Since iTunes is required for syncing music for iPhones, Apple might end up putting in a centennial app. And with Windows 7 being phased out due to Microsoft not supporting the latest processors and many others, Apple might end up moving that centennial app to UWP as it is easier to maintain than multiple apps. Same with Google for YouTube, gmail, etc. UWP apps list happy. And if 10S grows popular, School districts might end up using Exchange and more Microsoft services due to reduced cost and easier maintenance. However, this all can happen only with the "If Windows 10S picks up". This might end up breaking the developers-users problem with Windows Store and thus breathe new life into Windows 10 mobile. Let's see what happens :-)
  • What are you smoking? I want some too :) All I can see is MS's untimely demise and you are so bubbling happy! :)
  • You don't need mine. Yours is far potent, to make you think introducing one more OS will be "untimely demise" of a multi billion dollar company ;-)
  • Microsoft should forget about phones and focus on PCs. I expect more desktop UWP converted from Win32 Apps. Store apps are easy to maintain like yum in Linux.
  • I'm not sure why I need one device to do everything... I have OneDrive with all of my documents and photos on it already, so that means I can get to what is necessary from anywhere. My desktop is miles faster and better than my laptop or phone, but on my phone (950XL) I still don't have the apps I need (banking, home security system, car, etc etc), and Windows 10 S is not going to get mobile developers to write them for the desktop. So even IF everything predicted comes true, it still leaves me with an underperfoming (not good enough for gaming) device for the desktop, and an ultra-mobile PC in my pocket that still doesn't have the apps I want. The only solution I see is to subsume android into Windows for those apps (walled off for protection), or strike a deal with apple to allow Windows phones/ultra-mobiles to use their apps (as payback for bailing them out once upon a time). Win32 programs on my pocket device doesn't help me anywhere except when sitting at my desk.
  • As I wrote in a comment on the Win 10 S article, "I'm guessing the real reason (for Win 10 S) is to encourage/force developers to make Store versions of their programs, so that when the next iteration of mobile Windows comes out (probably Redstone 3 this autumn - where we'll see the same Windows 10 codebase running on Intel/Snapdragon) there'll be a lot more major apps that'll run on it." Glad you were paying attention!
  • You're deluded Jason. Converting a X86 Program into an App vie centennial and bring it to the store is one thing. Go try those apps onto a smaller screen and with touch. Not Good. Btw try to use the Explorer, MS own important program. You'll get mad. So, forget that with this step it will be sufficient. It is NOT. OK, the dev has to adapt it to become full UWP, and to be touch friendly on smaller screens? Good look with bringing them to do this HUGE work. They now have seen that MS pushes "normal" Laptops, so even less incentive for them to do it.   You, and MS are deluded if you think it will be "paving the way" for small screens. Apart that, small screens today need apps that are not yet seen on X86 nor UWP. How about them?
  • It's quite an understatement to say that devs must "adapt" a program for it to become full UWP. :-) That requires a full top-to-bottom rewrite. The desktop bridge (Centenial) just wraps the existing Win32 program so it can be distributed through the store. It continues to use the Win32 API. Turning it into a program that uses the UWP API rather than Win32 (so it can recompose its UI based on display size, support Continuum, or do anything else related to UWP rather than Win32), requries the developer start from scratch. What developers can do is make the transition in steps. They can use both the UWP and Win32 API at the same time and rewrite the software bit by bit. That's already quite good, but obviously very far from "automatically being converted" which is what most people still think the desktop bridge does. :-( As for "paving the way for a Surface Phone", yeah, also think that is dilusional.
  • Did anyone think about Google Chrome coming to windows store?
  • Why would Google do that? It is easily available right from their website.
  • Because it's not easily available right from their website from a Windows 10 S computer. They can either use Centennial to easily provide it in the Store, or request each user to fork out the $50 to upgrade to Pro before downloading from their web site.
  • Google isn't requesting people pay $50, Microsoft is. That will not be a good experience for buyers of new Windows laptops. It is just going to be more bad publicity and feelings for Microsoft.
  • You mean targeting the audience who are satisfied by Chromebooks?
  • As usual, a good well thought out article. Microsoft thought still have to or continue to execute at high level. If the damn OEMs as usual drag their feet, MSFT needs to press on and lead the way time if it includes designing and making these products for the very low price levels which they have generally left to the OEMs.
  • There is no "phone". Microsoft talk about a "device", ultra mobile or mobile device. It could be some kind of 7 inch phablet or whatever. The second problem is UWP doesn't even mean UWP. It means a platform of some full UWP apps and some applications, that were Win32, put into a container that makes them isolated. Doing this doesn't reduce the footprint of the device it was written for or make it touch or make it useful on a small screen size. The UWP concept was originally one app that runs everywhere. Phone or even "ultra mobile" UWP will need to take account of the form factor and an application for an enterprise designed to run on a 23 inch screen for administering servers is going to struggle on a keyboardless 7 inch device. But there is Continuum! Yep sure. You still need the screen. Why not carry a laptop? Perhaps underlying this is the vague hints and the "nudge nudge" of what is coming just around the corner. Unfortunately most people are in the now. The now device people carry is a mobile phone. Developing the device that will be there in 5 years is conceptual at best. Let's look at Surface. The reason for it's existance is a high priced premium device that is a "new device category". A the new laptop isnt exactly a "new device category" but lets stretch the definition because of Windows 10 S. What is clear is there are no mass market non-premium Surface devices. If a Surface Phone does come out and people cheer then it may well be an $800 or $1000 device. The Surface Phone normal consumers buy will need to be the $200 - $400 OEM copy. Third parties have been stung by Microsoft ditiching consumer products. Other than PCs they are not making devices powered by Windows. This needs to be real. What product? What timescale? What are Microsoft actually saying about mobile? On the last point they are not saying anything at all other than a vague notion of compiling a build for for small number of devices until they say they wont.
  • This is true, but I also feel that there's a disconnect: Daniel, Jason Ward and Zac are writing these pieces now, which developing Microsoft technologies which could span 5 to 10 years.   The long view. On the other hand, fans reading these pieces are misinterpreting these extrapolations as something that's being in a week, month or year, when this is clearly not the case.  
  • Hi Jason, I am always bothered when everyone says that "developers" are the ones not choosing to create uwp applications. Though I am not a professional mobile developer, I do consider myself a software developer. I work for a larger organization, and have direction from those "above" me on the applications that I should develop, which is usually a web-based application. Especially now that Microsoft wants complex desktop applications to be ported to the uwp, the conversation should not be that "developers", are not developing for UWP, but that organizations are not choosing that. Microsoft needs to teach the business leaders that windows 10 and the UWP is a more lucrative platform than the web, which will not be an easy conversation to have... To make a long story short: Don't blame me for not developing apps for your platform, blame my organization's leaders!
  • Semantics. When Jason says 'developers' he's basically just referring to the community of people and organisations responsible for the creation of apps, be it the money men, the production companies or the the actual employees. Don't think there's a lot of point in getting too pedantic here.
  • I have used Windows Phones since the beginning, before iPhone was a thing.  I never understaood how HP and Palm could make a personal digital assistant and not think phone.  But I digress.  I have used and will haved to use Quickbooks.  Quickbooks is a classic win32 app.  But Intuit is tryong to go to a subscription based model (versus a 3 year forced saftware repurchase).  So they are moving to the cloud.  I dont want my data controled by a cloud app subjected to a monthly subscription fee.  But more importantly, the cloud based system is simply a webpage program.  Why cant Intuit recognize the value of a UWP of quickbooks.  As time moves along, the desktop versions of QuickBooks and Quicken become littered with more and more quirks.  I use alot of ctrl + key stokes.  Once in a while there is a break and the ctrl + keystroke does not work and you have to re-learn the new shortcut path, which unfortunately invloves more mouse and buttons work.  There are other quirks.  Often when I open a window, it is blank.  My point is, MSFT and I dont want to enter a world where all you are using is a Web page to process information.
  • I have never used Quickbooks myself (not an accountant or business owner) but I am trying to identify what makes you think a uwp would be better than a web app. Just playing devils advocate here. Your first argument seems to be that you do not want to pay a subscription fee - this seems to just be a pricing model issue and not a technical limitation of web apps. Next you mention not wanting your data in the cloud - this is a fair point, as web apps cannot access your hard drive. However, most of what I am seeing in this regard is just a trust issue, and it will become less and less as time goes on. Next you speak about keyboard shortcuts - technically you can indeed have those same shortcuts in web apps. Either way a rewrite of Quickbooks to a UWP or a web app would likely result in a big change in the user experience, and would likely throw existing users off. From a technical standpoint a web app seems fine to me as they wouldn't have to rewrite the app for mac or linux users. Any other reasons you think a uwp would be better than a web app? I am genuinely curious as to what the advantages would be for business applications.
  • Leaving out the technical bits and adjustements, this has been the story ever since the hype leading up to the introduction of windows 10. And yes, i'm all on board with this philosophy, but deliver for crying out loud. MS is like the football coach pleading for more time to get results, but as we all know, there is no time.
  • ?, If I'm understanding this W10 S properly I take it that when this is installed the user can only install programs from the Store correct? If so then let's say MS moves completely to that how will businesses that have created specific programs designed for their type of business enviornment continue? I don't see those businesses recreating their programs into a windows store app. Correct me if I'm interpreting all of this wrong.
  • You are correct. This has written DISASTER all over it!
  • GUI Win32 apps can be packaged using Centennial as AppX and distributed through the Store with no modification at all. The only difference is the switch from MSI package or exe-based installer into AppX package. Enterprises can use the Windows Store for Business both to select 3rd party apps they want their employees to use and publish their own apps restricted to their employees. This provides all the infrastructure benefits such as automatic app updates.
  • Except that no one is buying into this locked down thing., Enterprises need full access to the OS, not a locked down system where you simply rely on thanks, who on earth could trust MS and their lack of quality control?
  • Windows 10 S is basically a shareware (S=shareware). After paying $50 you get the full stuff.
    So, about the students thing, that segment (and the enterprise as well) is not dynamic as the consumer segment, because students and enterprises have a limited budget. They can't switch to a new platform just because is modern and cool. The OS and apps they use were chosen long ago, and moving to something different have serious economic implications.
    That said, the Windows 10 S adoption could take years to become a profitable reality for both Microsoft and developers, and I'm pretty sure that developers are not willing to wait years to make profit from their apps, therefore they will stick to what they can monetize right away.
    As somebody said, the chance for MS to make the Windows Store appealing to developers was W10M. Actually, with WP8, the Store gained some momentum, but after the W10M chaotic implementation, and Microsoft's lack of interest on their own child, developers just moved away, and it's highly possible they don't want to return, not because W10S is a bad product (I'm pretty sure it's a good product), but because they don't trust Microsoft anymore.
  • Correct. Well said.
  • Not really. In a case like this, I find myself kicking myself that Windows 10S wasn't around when I refurbished a laptop for my mom, who has managed to crash it several times since then. (The laptop was in very good shape, and I'd used it myself until then.) Then you get situations like people who buy a computer and have no idea what lies behind those icons. Popup claiming you have 5000 viruses? Oh no! Must click! Install this now! Oops! Your files have been encrypted, pay up! What's this registry thingie? Is it a virus? I don't wanna be registered for anything! *deletes* OH NOES! And would you believe me if I said the issue was just as bad on a certain linux-based phone OS known as Android? IOS doesn't get off scott free, it has its own issues. The problem is, people are unable to come to the realization that there is no Rosie the Robot. Technology is sorcery to them, and they have no idea how to control this "magic" device in their hands. Thus things blow up... constantly. And Windows has unfortunately been the poster child of this inability to respect technology for decades. People who hang around a place like Mobile Nations don't always understand this. We know what we're doing around a computer. We're not gullible enough to call that number or click that download. We know that computers only do what they are told. But the little old lady who gets offended when you call her mobile hotspot a router most likely does not. The gullible college student who downloads everything they can off of a torrent and has unknowingly started a collection of viruses does not. They just know they press buttons and things happen, By making "regular" windows app-based, and putting the more advanced OS we all use behind a paywall, Microsoft basically keeps those users who don't respect the technology safely within their world of web browsing, facebook, word processing, and candy crush where they can happily exist without the threat of "breaking" their computer. They won't have to deal with rouge apps (at least not very often), businesses can lock down what their users can do, college students can stay safely within their facebook, and older users won't have to call their kids every time something kablooeys...because it simply won't happen as often. Need the "real" windows? Pay up to show you're serious! Are you ready to put your money where your mouth is? Well, that $50 will likely pay for any future tech support.
  • the real reason i bought Lumia 610 as my first smart phone updated to 720 then in 830 now is because THE HUBS, Panaroma kiind of view, Tiles, no Hamburg menu interface was simple and eye catching, otha after windows 10, allbecome like android ommmala aduku i can get an android la, Lavade ka baal pasanga,,,, all waste ppl working there no unique now
  • Not that I would care too much any more. My Lumia 950 is still fine, and I'll keep using it. Should a replacement be due, it will be an Android-based phone, maybe one from Nokia. In case Linux smartphones ever make it to the market in a meaningful way
    you'll find me there. However it will be more likely that it will be possible
    that Android apps and Linux programs will run under W10
    utilizing a sublayer system of Android and Linux. .
  • You know, I always thought Linux was kind of "sophisticated"
    because all of those discussions about display servers, packaging managers,
    Desktop Environments, distros and >3 ways to achieve same ends. At the end of the day, Microsoft beats all that hands down.
    The mess Microsoft creates beats just everything, including licensing. When something goes haywire in the Microsoft world,
    the customers always find themselves left in the lurk
    and it is costly for them to find a way out of the mess. In the Linux world customers just change horses and ride on. Microsoft is a diva that demands to be pleased
    otherwise they very quickly turn a cold shoulder to a subject / product / market / customer. .
  • Since UWP no longer means what we think it means, how is this going to breath new life into it? This mixed message stuff that Microsoft is giving is just plain annoying.
  • Microsoft seems to be continuously lost when it comes to these chopped-down versions of Windows or and the path forward for the Surface. Windows RT, UWP, etc are just not wanted by the mass markets. They don't need the limited-use device handholding that Chromebook offers. Maybe Microsoft can sell some of these Windows 10 S devices to schools, but it won't matter beyond that niche market and there's not a lot of money to be made there. They main reason they're buying Chromebooks is because they don't have to pay gobs of money for the network management side. That's where Microsoft is being clearly beaten by Google, not the device itself, since Google's offering it for free.
    Porting Windows 10 and Win32 to ARM is long, long, LONG overdue and they lost the mobile market because of it. They should pour more time and money into that instead of boondoggles like Windows 10 S.
  • Well said. They are transforming Windows into a niche market product alongside ChromeOS.
  • That's why they offer Windows 10 Pro for free if you buy the device. If your a school and want to control access then great.
  • It isn't free, it is $50. You think people are going to be happy paying extra in order to use their new Windows machine the way they always have? When will that ever be a good experience? It will just be something else for people to complain about. The free promotion will end and W10S will just be frustrating. What else does Microsoft envision happening?
  • This buck, $50, is the push to developers bring to Store. Consumer won't pay extra fees to upgrade and antivírus software anymore. 
  • Yeah, because that is how they will see it and not as Microsoft shaking them down.
  • You'd be surprised by how many people there are who only use the built-in apps, not everyone is going to miss it.
    Also, consider the fact the stand-alone W10S product most likely will be significantly cheaper than W10/W10 Pro. It's not like W10 is free when you buy a new device, it's just that the price is included in the cost.
  • $189 isn't that cheap for a laptop. They are available at that price today.
  • Yep. You can find 200$ laptops today with windows 10. So what's the point of windows 10 S again? On windows 10 you can force store only apps from GPO, 10 S point of existence is...??? Well, if you have a CEO that has zero can come out with a useless locked down windows variant
  • Smart Move This is a credible Hero product to showcase a safe and closed ecosystem. 
    Windows 10 S on a premium device could work perfectly if developpers use UWP and or Centanial. Lets hope this will boost the population of the Microsoft store. If it has more content than the Apple Appstore ist a great succes. And than its time for the next step. A Surface Pocket PC 
  • Windows 10 had a store for more than 2 yrs now, if it didnt drive the store adoption then w10s also will not.
  • Nothing is perfect on first try. Look At surface Computers. Just give it time. People are used to use a app store and a closed system on their phone.  Maybe now is the time it can work on desktop aswel.  Microsoft made it easy for developpers to port theur apps to UWP and or make a Centanial app of it. This helps population of the store. No such thing was in place at day one.   
  • The Windows app store started with windows 8 and did it do anything good? You sure dream well :) more content than Apple :))? In what universe? With MS it has always been only: IFs, Soon, Could, Maybe. You don't get it do you? Devs see the appstore as target primary for smartphones, pocket size devices, PHONES! it has started this way! And since MS in their stupidity think that leaving phone behind is a smart choice they need to think will not embrace UWP and the windows store will remain in the same pathetic state for another 5 years at least...or until a new CEO comes to fix all the crap Nadella has done.
  • My company installed our first Surface Hubs last week. They are designed to onlyuse Store apps too. I guess the Surface Hub shared some OS elements with Windows 10 S
  • Hi, Surface Hub Shell will be the Shell tô Surface Phone. There three bottons Windows, Cortana and Multitask on the botton and when we use App that ignore back fisical button and put it inside the layer, as Power BI or WhiteBoard... voiàla! We have a true Windows universal to all form factor. 
  • "How Windows 10 S breathes new life into UWP" OR how it might suffer because of that dependence...
  • This is rather tragic. The fact that MS does not understand to this day what made windows popular is sad, at the very least. Windows has been popular because of the very nature of it: very often pirated(free) and offering the freedom to do whatever you wanted with it. Install pirated software on it from werever you wanted. That is still valid for about half of the world. Once you force people into using only the apps from your store Windows is done. Most poor countries will look for alternatives and Linux has matured nicely. In fact I am typing this from Ubuntu although I have Win10 that this machine came with, in dual boot. It's just that I feel much more at home in Ubuntu these days. Let alone that Windows is half baked and half broken most of the time.  Let me summarize what we have today in my view: MacOS: Positives: mature, beautiful, smooth, well integrated with iOS. Negatives: not much freedom to do whatever you want, less apps and games than on Windows, the price. Windows: Positives: ubiquitous, familiar, can be gotten for free, offers the freedom to go inside it and adapt to your needs, the most apps on the market of any platform. Negatives: always half baked, not secure. Linux: Positives: legally free, very stable, very customizable with over a dozen desktops to choose from, you can do whatever you want with your OS -> truly open, more secure than Windows, Android or MacOS, can run on even very old hardware (8mb of ram). Negatives: less apps than on any other platform (but lately situation has improved somewhat), not familiar to most of people. ChromeOS: Positives: legally free, stable, more and more apps, integration with Android. Negatives: runs and saves mostly in the cloud, tied up to google's app market, not so many apps as on Windows, not familiar to most of people. If you take away from Windows being able to install whatever apps you wanted from whatever source it becomes very much like ChromeOS. And given the Google's power behind and increasingly rich app market what choice you think people will make?? Especially if you take away the freedom to do with your OS whatever you want. Microsoft is basically transforming Windows into Windows Phone. And we've seen how that worked! Android did not invent the weel, they just implemented the principles of Windows on a phone and, voila(!), it worked. Even MS employees said in an interview they test the new apps and ideas on Android because it is very open and it's much easier to deploy on that platform. Touche, my friend, touche! Wonder why they have all those apps? Of course there is also strong monetisation but the fact that the platform is open is a boon for developers. And now MS wants to transform the only open platform that they have - Windows - into a closed platform with a closed and poor app store, just like Windows Phone. I expect them to lose at least 5% of the PC market every year from now on.    Side note: this website is very hard to use even on a pc with 6gb of ram and and i5 processor.
  • And you. The reason why Windows 10S comes out first. Why don't you steal iOS if you love it so much?
  • The world is ending .....I am agree with what bebochek just said 100 percent.  
  • "Even MS employees said in an interview they test the new apps and ideas on Android because it is very open and it's much easier to deploy on that platform." Where?
  • is the choice for shitheads like yourself who ripp off everything...!
  • What? Then, how I'm using it well with my Lumia 930?
  • Well, I agree with you on this one. Windows 10 has been nothing but headches for me too...well, when they use insiders instead of professional testers, and interns instead of experienced engineers, this is the quality we get.
  • Just too little, too late unfortunately, or maybe not too little, but definitely just too late! Nothing will save Windows mobile now, its pretty hard to actually go out and buy a Windows if you wanted one now, at least in the UK. Of course, you can order one online, but to see one in an actual store now is rare.
  • There is no way in hell for big time developers to put their program packages inside the store so Microsoft could get their 30% from each sale. If Microsoft allows subscirption purchased outside the app to be actived within the app dowlnoaded as free from the store then I could see it happening in like Adobe's case. But there are many others who make high quality apps that will never ever touch the store. MS App store will always be a place for lightweight fartapps unfortunately. 
  • There are Not costs (30%) if developer use own sales system, just annual subscrition to publish. 
  • and don't forget waste of time 3rd party apps that have very limited capability compared to their first party version on the other systems.
  • MS does not seem to understand the AppStore is seen by developers as MOBILE first! Smartphone like first! Apple has an appstore for Macs long before Microsoft and did it flourish? nope, because there, it's the same problem, why give Apple 30%? And mind that on OSX you do not have to code differently or do any conversion as it is the same code whether you have your app standalone or in the appstore! What makes you fanboys think that devs will go with MS on this one? :)) really...FFS, it has been 2 years of UWP and NOTHING changed! nothing...having a conversion tool for win32 to uwp won't do anything different. Devs will still avoid this...but then again, you can dream all you want.
  • To correct myself and not to be negative all the time I will say that small companies who make proffesional software could have head start in MS Store over big companies. For example Affinity could port their Windows apps (Photo and Designer) and offer them in the store like they do on Mac. That way they could jump over Adobe who doesn't have Photoshop or Illustrator in the store and have 10S people use their apps instead but let's not kid ourselves, which professional software user is going to buy 10S hardware? Second how does the store make the separation between light and pro apps? How do they promote it? Imagine having a CAD app next to fartapp on the front page of the store. This means that Microsoft needs some quality control supervision in order to make their app store coherent. But the biggest fail with 10S is exactly Microsoft's own software such as Office 2016 which is not even available inside the MS App store. Once again they have released the hardware without software, simply amazing. They want devs to populate their own store but they themselves can't port their own software. Microsoft currently has 94 apps in iTunes store, unfortunately I cannot tell you how many they have in their own Store cause I couldn't open the store for few minutes, it stalled on me, but once I did I couldn't arrange apps by publisher/developer. You simply can't click on Microsoft Corporation in developer title to see all of their apps. It just boggles my mind how designer over there operate. Don't they go to see what others are doing or everyone is trying to reinvent the wheel these days.
  • Too little too late. I have been a loyal Windows Phone user since the very beginning. Started with Lumia 900 and ended with a Lumia 950. Even had the HTC One M8 for Windows. I championed Windows to all of my friends and family. Now I own a Samsung Galaxy S8+. I still use all of Microsoft's services on my S8. I have very little use of Google's services. Microsoft's services is why I chose Android instead of iOS. My wife switch to iOS a few years ago. Cortana was all she really missed. She hates Siri and says she's an idiot. Of course you can get Cortana with limited functions on IOS and Android. If the Surface Phone becomes what everyone is hoping for, then I will return to Windows Mobile. If not, I guess I will have to stick to Android. I am another loyal customer that has lost faith in Microsoft. Maybe my faith was misplaced to begin with. I can understand Microsoft wanting to keep control over the OS like Apple. However if you are selling your goods to multiple manufacturers, they will always want to put their spin on it to differentiate from the competition. Wanting to keep so much control Microsoft should have built the phones themself to begin with. The PC business model just doesn't work in the mobile space. If they didn't want to build their own phone from the start like Apple then they should have struck up an exclusive deal with someone like Samsung, who was rising in the mobile space. Not Nokia, who was having trouble staying afloat. Or they should have taking the Android route and aloud manufacturers the ability to differentiate their software from competitors. Microsoft has made to many poor decisions in the mobile space. Maybe they could try the exclusive rights to Windows Mobile with Samsung or even Sony or LG now. If you make a phone with our OS we will stop making you pay all of those pesky Android royalty fees for our patents and not charge you fees for Windows either.
  • Sean,  you were not a loyal windows fan from the "beginning".  You were a loyal windows phone fan since YOU started using phones.  From the beginning was long before your 900.  Try going back to pocket pc.   I had 3 of them....Then windows mobile 6.5,  then a windows 7 device,  windows 8 device...then told MS to **** off when they stopped the 1020 from going forward,  and cut all the promises that were made when windows 10 was so triumphantly introduced.   Oh well...they made alot of noise then then just shitcanned the entire thing for business facebook.
  • An entire paragraph is missing, I think. The part about responsive web apps kicking the traditional apps to the curb which makes a lot of this moot, but that would require Edge to evolve very rapidly indeed.
  • No type c port 😭
  • I'd give it time. My guess is you'll see a few lappies with this even if it isn't surface branded.
  • We talk often about Microsoft and we never talk about Intel. It used to be called the WinTel ecosystem. Intel would make a great new processor and allow people to be more productive. Microsoft would add capabilities to Windows that raised utility. For instance, a windows powered desktop costing $2K could do the same thing as a $15K Sun powered workstation. In 1987, I went on long term leave from a government Lab to attend grad school. At the time they were just installing Sun Workstations. When I stopped in during breaks, I saw the guys logging into the network at lunch and flying against each other using a flight simulator. Was this the origins of the xbox? Steam? But these workstations cost 10 of thousands of dollars. What hurt Windows in the post iOS world? Intel. Intel could not produce a CISC chip that could work in the mobile space (poor power efficiency). But we all know the utility of Chrome, iOS, and OSX do not approach the utility of Windows 10. However, for many consumers they don't need the utility of Windows. But as we can clearly see, a Chromebook in the classroom is easy to purchase, setup and secure. Windows 10S appears to offer the same attributes, while adding the higher utility of Windows. Does anyone in this forum believe a Intel iCore powered Windows device (costing the same as a Chromebook) does not offer a classroom far more utility? Does anyone in this forum believe that if Microsoft can build a Surface Laptop with 14 hours of battery life is not about to release a Surface Pro 5 with equal or more battery life? Stayed tuned on MAy 23rd. Intel is now selling modems to Apple. Intel now has 5G modems in carrier test facilities. Intel now has FPGA integrated on die with their processor technology. Does anyone actually believe that Intel does not want to power mobile and connected devices? The steam engine was invented about 1775. The electric motor about 1875. The last steam engine used in Atlanta GA was run at a Randall Brothers facility (they make any kind of trim, door, window for your house you would care to buy), shut down and sold in the 1990's. Most factories used steam engines into the 1930's My point is we are basically 10 years into the smartphone, mobile connected device world. Intel is going to compete. Windows is going to compete. They still have something to offer and the balance sheet to prove it. Does this mean the WinTel ecosystem is going to dominate 95% of the mobile connected device ecosystem? Not likely. But I would believe they will get 40% or more to these devices. There are 6 billion people on the planet. That means 1 billion plus devices will be WinTel devices. When? don't know. 2020 is my guess.
  • Am I missing the point here? Packaging an existing win32 app into a store app, is really, really simple and every developer not doing that, cannot call himself a developer!
    Once a win32 app is packaged and published into the Store, it will not run on 10S? If not, than yes, the Store is not useful to most veteran windows users so much... and it still will be to students and non technical (read: web browsing) users.
  • The question is, why would they want to give 30% of their income to Microsoft? If Windows Store had reasonable  amount of users, it could make sense but it's not the case at the moment.
  • Because most software is solve thru a store of some type. When you purchase a game from Steam is not Value taking a cut? What about Amazon? It's not really like Microsoft is 'taking' money from them, because anything sold thru a store means that the developer has already sold it for less than 'list price'. Point is, this makes it easy for software to be found and installed.
  • I don't think it's fair and honest to go ahead against developers. It's not their fault Microsoft is in such a pathetic situation. Go tell Adobe they are not developers because they do not port their entire app suite into the Store...jeez man.
  • I'm doubtful and hopeful at the same time.
  • What Microsoft needs to do if they want Windows 10S to be a success, is to make Windows store exclusive apps. Apps that are so compelling that students and people would rush towards. And absolutely, I repeat absolutely not available on android or ios. That would make Windows 10S popular that developers would be completed to bring their apps to the store. It sounds selfish but sometimes you have to take care of your self before others.
  • What comes out at Build will be telling and then the May 23rd hardware event in China, too. Lots of developers have taken a wait and see approach. Microsoft is not such a hot date as it use to be.
  • After reading the article.. .man, have you forgot about Windows RT and the failure it was? Good luck with Windows 10 S.
  • I would jump back to Windows Phone in a heartbeat if it had 1/3 of the apps competing ecosystems have.
  • Windows now runs developers apps (W32), with them doing nothing. There are few good native UWAs that are really good (Groove is one), People is terrible. MS canned there really awesome Win8 apps (Food, Health) instead of updating to UWA and letting them shine. People will be told from the rooftops (like with RT) that they have a locked OS and no freedom. My point is I just dont yet see how this will work although I want it to. The company I work for has users on Windows 10, but they lock us out of the store, claiming not secure enough yet we can install any W32 apps were want. This is a hard battle for MS with so many things to get right, even then people may not go (Zune).
  • The vision for enterprise is for them to be able to host their own store.
  • This is all based on if Windows S sells. You kind of need the Apps already in place to get the sales. Working in a large enterprise educational environment, our long term strategy is to move away from Windows on mobile devices or at minimal down play its role and go to a more cost effective solution. We had hopes for W10 S, hoping it would be a nice hybrid that would handle some W32 apps on arm hardware but it appears that is a pipe dream.
  • I've been railing against anyone who doesn't under that the UWP is not about creating desktop apps that can run on a phone. It's a modern Windows application framework P E R I O D
    And Microsoft again failed to get that message across.
    Thanks for this article and clarification for readers who just don't get it.
    The big question is can Microsoft motivate developers to step up?!
  • No, you, other fans and MS still don't get it! Developers that are interested in publishing to an AppStore, target MOBILE devices because it has been like this ever since Apple and Google launched the appstores. So they need a pocket device to target, which MS does not have now anymore and further, they have proved ZERO commitment to what they had, lack of respect towards both users and devs and lies over lies. So no, MS cannot motivate devs in any way. They had several chances before to motivate, but blew them up miserably.
  • Correction to my previous comment: It's not about creating desktop apps that can run on mobile. Admittedly, MS screwed up. My problem is with developers not seeing the big picture of the UWP. The desktop is not dead. Developers shouldn't ignore the UWP. It offers them a framework that can be targeted at ANY W10 device present and future; hence, I don't believe Microsoft is abandoning mobile: It will redefine it.
  • People will not buy into this based on an empty promise of apps will come soon. A lot of people have been there already and there is a high level of distrust in Microsoft. They should have gotten some big names on board and showcased the apps. Even their own office suite is not available yet and their is no guarantees it will live up to its win32 counterpart. As well as apps I think it would have been a good idea to allow a select list of "Microsoft approved" win32 programs from outside the app store so users can install Chrome, paint shop pro and other essential software. That's the key here, there's just too much essential software that people absolutely must have that is not available. It needs to be available before people buy, not after.
  • can i install windows 10 s on an existing computer ?
  • Regarding the May 23 event, I suspect the device they introduce will indeed be mobile, foldable, run full Windows on Arm, have cellular capabilities...and be prohibitively expensive - similar to Surface Studio. It will also be just as exciting, if not more so, than Surface Studio. Price? My guess is $1,499-$1,999, aimed squarely at enterprise and business customers - just like Surface Studio. Given that it will be a full computer with unparalleled mobility for the size, many will be able to justify it. Oh, and if "Surface Studio" is for professional Creatives, "Surface Office" will be for business professionals.
  • UWP will have the future when Microsoft shows commitment to it.  I am a heavy LinkedIn user and I was suffering using Windows phone app, which was like a joke.  I was so happy to see that Microsoft is taking over LinkedIn. I thought that now I will get a great UWP LinkedIn app that will work across my Windows devices. To my surprise it didn't happen. Even more, Microsoft is stopping support for current LinkedIn app for Windows phones.  Instead we will get "new desktop app". Why desktop? If it is so easy to make it real universal UWP why not make it? People are not buying products first but the company vision and company's ideas and believes expressed to the community.  I can feel Microsoft is only testing the waters with mobile, UWP, Continuum, App Store. They are not committed to it and are ready to abandon, delete it for different attempt in any time leaving users behind.  Just to make it clear I find Continuum & UWP as real game changers but left in beta phase.