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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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Terrible, terrible idea.
By imaheadcase on 9/21/2013 2:05:02 AM , Rating: 2
I have yet to see something done that is cross platform that works. I've yet to see a phone app that works great on a desktop or other way around. Nevermind a console app, if they include games into applications they are taking LSD at MS.




RE: Terrible, terrible idea.
By haukionkannel on 9/21/2013 5:00:30 PM , Rating: 2
Well it is all about timing. We don't know when this merging will happen. Allready mobile devises can send signal to external view screen. Now they are powerfull enough to produce 1080p guality craphic, soon they are powerfull enough to produce 4K resolution picture to the external view screen. (maybe we even see 4k screen in high end phones. It would be silly, but there are silly mobile devices allready in the market, so why not) When this happens, there is no reason to have separate platforms for desktop and mobile devices.


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