Leaked Images of Microsoft’s Universal Windows Store Appear Online
Little by little, more evidence of Microsoft’s initiative to bring its disparate Windows experiences in line with each other keeps hitting the web. Just under 24 hours ago, leaked images of info-slides made by Microsoft for application developers popped up on the Twitter account of Russian tech writer Roman L. (@AngelWZR). If they’re the real deal, they seem to show Microsoft’s vision for unifying the Windows Store for both Windows 8 and Windows Phone.
Take a look at the tweet that reveals the image:
Universal Store Apps #wp81 pic.twitter.com/MZMYhN8BXz
— Roman L. (@AngelWZR) February 12, 2014
The slide seems to indicate that Microsoft is going to be making the process of creating and selling apps easier for developers. A post on CNET explains that the slide’s mention of “a single Visual Studio ‘Shared Solution’ template” will trigger “two Visual Studio projects for each version and two installation packages for submission to the Windows Phone Store and the Windows Store.” In essence, as long as both platforms can handle the application, the work to make apps for both platforms will be streamlined and relatively automated.
We first heard about Microsoft’s forthcoming attempts to unify its two different application stores way back in September, so it’s not too surprising that the evidence of this initiative is starting to make its way online now. And not long after that, we heard about Threshold, the codename for Microsoft’s plans to further streamline its divergent Windows experiences. It stands to reason that bringing the two different Windows Stores in line with each other would be a great first step in that regard.
But while attempts to help developers create applications for Windows 8 and Windows Phone simultaneously will be a great help to users of both platforms, one still has to wonder whether or not Microsoft will bite the bullet and bring Android apps into its ecosystem in an official capacity. Doing so would only increase the desirability of Windows overall, and could conceivably beat Google at its own game, considering yesterday’s news that Chrome OS will soon be able to access Windows desktops through the company’s partnership with VMWare.
Google is coming for you, Microsoft. The company is finding ways to bring users into its own ecosystem by giving them the option to use your operating system and programs without being locked into your platform. The best way to fight back, of course, is to do the same.