Microsoft announced a four-pronged effort to bring developers and their apps to Windows at its build conference today.
- The first of these prongs—a way for Web developers to present their sites as apps—was already announced at Mobile World Congress earlier in the year.
- The second prong is logical but not altogether surprising. In Windows 10, developers will be able to specially prepare existing Windows apps, whether Win32, .NET WinForms, .NET WPF, or any other Windows development technology, and sell them through the Windows Store
- The third prong Project Islandwood is Microsoft going after Android and iOS developers. iOS developers will be able to take their iOS apps and build them for Windows with only a “few percent” of the code in order to fully port it to Windows Phone.
- The forth prong is Project Astoria, will allow Android apps to run in Windows. Unlike Islandwood, which will require developers themselves to recompile their software to bring it to Windows, Astoria will in principle work with any old APK, without requiring the developer to do anything but publish the app in the store—as long as the APK sticks to the APIs that Astoria will provide.
Read more about Microsoft bringing Android, iOS apps to Windows 10 HERE
Also Microsoft demonstrated one of the intriguing possibilities from its single platform/multiple form factors approach for Windows 10: the ability to use your phone as your desktop computer.
In contrast to Apple’s “Continuity,” which aims to make moving between phone, tablet and desktop seamless, Microsoft’s Continuum instead has the phone you’re using adapt its interface depending on the context you’re using it.
In an on-stage demo, Microsoft’s Joe Belfiore connected a phone to a monitor, keyboard and mouse, and instantly the UI he was using adapted to the new inputs and outputs. While the operating system interface we saw on screen didn’t look exactly like Windows 10 on a laptop or desktop computer, the applications shown (especially PowerPoint) did. Instead of making minor adjustments to a presentation using a 5-inch screen, you can simply connect to an HDMI-compatible monitor and have all the space and tools you would on a full PC.
This shows developers are committing their efforts to Windows 10 but of course, phone hardware isn’t built to deliver full-on desktop interfaces. That being the case, Belfiore said the feature will run on future devices
Check out Windows twitter page HERE for more info on Build 2015