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Microsoft wants you to be able to run any app in all three ecosystems

Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) currently curates three environments -- Xbox, Windows 8, and Windows Phone 8 -- all of which have different development libraries and require a lot of work to port from one to another.

But Microsoft hopes that with the Xbox One and Windows/Windows Phone 8.1 releases, these platforms can be brought together to the extent that a developer can make single app that can run on all three devices.  That's the vision new Windows Chief Terry Myerson -- formerly the head of the Windows Phone unit -- is pushing as Microsoft reorganizes following the acquisition of phonemaker Nokia Oyj. (HEX:NOK1V) and the pending departure of CEO Steve Ballmer.

At the a Financial Analysts meeting, he remarked:

The first of those [beliefs] is that we really should have one silicon interface for all of our devices," he said. "We should have one set of developer APIs on all of our devices. And all of the apps we bring to end users should be available on all of our devices. [We want] to facilitate the creation of a common – a familiar – experience across all of those devices, but a fundamentally tailored and unique experience for each device.  [We] should have one set of developer APIs on all of our devices.

Of course it may be impossible to escape some sorts of optimizations for more serious apps; after all Windows Phone is a very different screen size, while Xbox has extra media and gaming hardware resources.

Windows 8 tablet
Critcs complain about Microsoft's lack of a unified tablet/phone Windows Store.

Some are surprised that given Microsoft's push of various apps including the Office Suite to the cloud that it still lacks a single unified app store for its tablets and smartphones.  Apple, Inc. (AAPL) already has such an app store.  Microsoft might be able to follow a similar model to Apple in order to deal with the screen size problem -- allowing phone apps to run on the tablet, in upscaled form -- while making higher definition apps tablet/PC exclusive.

It's important to understand that at this point it's just talk -- we have no idea when Microsoft's unified environment will actually be ready for the market.  But Microsoft already has a unified interface (the Modern UI, aka "Metro UI") across all of its upcoming devices, so we're not that far off.  Microsoft's many developers should prepare themselves for this shift.

Sources: Microsoft, NeoWin



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RE: What will come of this?
By DiscoWade on 9/20/2013 7:01:47 PM , Rating: 2
Uh, no.

(1) Windows Media Center does not have tiles.
(2) WMC is designed specifically for a remote control.
(3) WMC doesn't have square edges or all capital letters on anything, even in W8 WMC.
(4) WMC scrolls up and down, not left and right.


RE: What will come of this?
By inighthawki on 9/20/2013 7:10:22 PM , Rating: 2
WMC was an early version of Metro. Zune built upon this for it's interface, and then soon after it became more standardized with Windows Phone.


RE: What will come of this?
By Piiman on 9/21/2013 1:26:18 PM , Rating: 3
All I can do is LOL at that.


RE: What will come of this?
By OoklaTheMok on 9/23/2013 8:55:43 AM , Rating: 2
You may not like it, but he is correct. The Metro design language has been incorporated into a few products before Windows Phone, such as in WMC and Zune most notably. At its core, it is a typographic interface and tiles were added later.


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