With every Windows 10 announcement, we are seeing evidence of Microsoft becoming more innovative. Last month at the Build 2015 conference, Microsoft came forward to answer the many rumors that it would provide a way for mobile apps to be on Windows 10 were true. Instead of starting from scratch to develop mobile apps for Windows 10, Microsoft will provide a platform for developers to bring their code to Windows 10. While it won’t be a simple cut and paste solution, Windows 10 will create unique bridges for Android and iOS each so code can undergo minor adjustments before being available on Windows 10.
Matt Henley, vice president of Twentyseven Global Kansas City, said, “The biggest issue I see with widespread adoption of Windows 10 as a mobile platform is not the OS – it’s always been about the apps. If Microsoft can pull this off, it gives them the fast-path to a large app store since it will be easy for developers to rapidly port their existing iOS and Android code to the Windows platform.
“However, that’s a big ‘if’,” Henley continues. “Push button porting is rarely just that, and Microsoft will always being playing catchup with iOS and Android SDKs as they continue to evolve over time. We look forward to seeing how this plays out.”
Microsoft is creating two software development bridges for Android and iOS developers to use to import their mobile app code onto Windows 10, according to ZD Net. For Android, Microsoft will allow Android Open Source Project (AOSP) to run as a subsystem so developers can submit a version of their app written with Java or C++. For iOS, Microsoft has created an Objective-C complier where developers will recompile their apps to work for Windows 10. Each bridge allows these mobile apps to be rebranded as Universal Windows Apps.
The goal is to provide a simple process for developers to bring their codes to Windows 10. For example, if the developer is using a Google API, there will be Microsoft replacements for the API. The Verge outlines the experiment Microsoft has already performed getting Candy Crush Saga onto their Windows Phone with very little changes required.
If it works, Windows 10 devices will be a hot ticket item. Not only will developers be focusing on getting their apps on Windows 10 devices, but users will also seek out these devices so they have access to both Android and iOS apps in one place. Microsoft chose to incorporate both Android and iOS apps into the Windows 10 platform because many countries do not have access to iOS apps.
This all-in-one device idea that Microsoft is trying to implement with Windows 10 is stretching further. Microsoft announced last week that they will be offering a Phone Companion app to connect their PC to any smartphone they use, including Windows, Android and iOS. Instead of trying to compete in the Android versus iOS war, Windows is trying to offer an all-encompassing solution that answers the needs of any and every user. If they are successful, Microsoft and Windows 10 is poised to claw back market share from Android and iOS.