Universal Windows Platform's Big Opportunity Is Here
To achieve critical mass, Microsoft is pulling out all the stops to convince developers to build or port their existing apps to the Universal Windows Platform (UWP). Because over the years many developers have followed the money focusing on Android and iOS, Microsoft has invested heavily to show they can bet on the UWP without giving up on what’s now their bread and butter.
Microsoft put its best foot forward at last month’s Windows Developer Day event. To port the old to the new, Microsoft emphasized its Desktop Bridge for Windows, designed to simplify that process by allowing existing Win32 apps to call on UWP APIs and distribute them via the Windows Store. Microsoft said the bridge now makes it relatively simple to share code between Win32, .NET and the UWP.
Meanwhile, in its ongoing quest to make it painless for Android and iOS developers to make the UWP additive, Microsoft has invested heavily in its Xamarin tooling for cross-platform development with Visual Studio. Microsoft also released its new SDK for Android, code-named "Project Rome," which the company describes as a major update with a collection of helper functions, custom controls and app services that it says simplifies common developer tasks for building UWP apps for Windows 10.
Microsoft released other SDKs for Google Analytics, Facebook and Cortana and has made its entire library of developer documents available to the community.
What sticks and what doesn’t remains to be seen, but Microsoft is reaching far and wide to make the UWP a hit.
Jeffrey Schwartz is editor of Redmond magazine and also covers cloud computing for Virtualization Review's Cloud Report. In addition, he writes the Channeling the Cloud column for Redmond Channel Partner. Follow him on Twitter @JeffreySchwartz.