One Small Step for Microsoft: Universal Apps

Source: Thinkstock

Source: Thinkstock

Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) introduced a developer’s tool that will allow users to produce apps that can be used on Windows phones, PC, and even the Xbox One. The announcement came as part of the keynote speech at Microsoft’s BUILD 2014 conference. A press release announcing the news was also released Wednesday.

Cross-platform applications are a first for Microsoft. It is part of the company’s transition to a mobile first strategy without abandoning desktops completely by encouraging content that can be used by a wide variety of Microsoft products. Developers will be able to create one app that hypothetically would work across all Windows products. It would also unify Windows as one platform across all devices it puts out — from smartphones to Xbox.

Microsoft’s Kevin Gallo posted a blog about the new unified Windows platform. Gallo, who will serve as a technical head for the universal Windows platform strategy, wrote that the change will expand the reach of Windows apps.

“We’re enabling universal Windows apps for a common Windows runtime today, and we know we have more work to do, including expanding the range of devices running universal Windows apps so developers can reach more customers in more places, from Xbox One and the Internet of Things scenarios, to millions more desktop Windows users,” he wrote.

In a move that further encourages developers, Microsoft has also made its Windows Library for JavaScript open source, allowing developers who write apps using the JavaScript programming language access to pieces of prewritten code useful to their work. The JavaScript is available on Github as a part of Microsoft Open Technologies.