Microsoft Plunders iOS, Android And Supercharges Windows 10
Windows 10 has a big problem. Much as I like the new operating system when it comes to the company’s desktop and mobile apps, developers do not and that may doom it on smartphones and tablets. Now Microsoft has an ingenious answer: steal from iOS And Android…
The company used its annual ‘Build’ developer conference today to confirm the news: Windows 10 – both on desktop and mobile – will be able to run iOS and Android apps. That’s potentially millions of titles across all categories, even including games (Candy Crush is a launch partner).
Unfortunately there’s one small snag: the apps need to be ported to work.
The Good News
The good news is this doesn’t mean a complete code rewrite – Microsoft has SDKs in Java and C++ for Android and Objective C code for iOS – but it does mean you can’t just download an app from Google Play or the Apple App Store and have it work. Developers do need to run it through the conversion software.
Of course Microsoft is playing both a short and long game here: the short is to get lots of high quality apps onto Windows 10 ASAP, the long is using the SDKs as a gateway drug to get developers interested in the platform to make dedicated apps. Microsoft is even referring to the SDKs as ‘bridges’ and ‘ramps’.
Still the good news is Microsoft is not being draconian about this. At Build it confirmed that those developers who simply want to port unmodified apps across could do just that, but for those who wished to customise them more for Windows 10 and get access to the likes of Cortana, Xbox Live, Holograms, Live Tiles and more will find further tools to do so
It isn’t only Android and iOS that Microsoft is targeting either. In addition to those SDKs, Windows 10 will also offer one for websites to easily create web apps which can then add native notifications and in-app purchases as well as automatic listing in the Microsoft Store.
Now in theory this functionality makes Windows 10 sound like a slam dunk: one unified platform across desktop, laptop, tablet, phablet and smartphone which iOS, Android, Windows and powerful web apps.
The problem is dangers still lie ahead…