Developers are a unique and crucial component surrounding the health of a platform ecosystem. Microsoft has a rich history of big developers targeting their platform. However, the mobile revolution has largely passed Windows 8 and Windows Phone. The new strategy for Microsoft involves maximizing every investment made by developers to reach more users and deliver more value. Most people span device types and ecosystems, and likewise developers must create solutions that reach their customers on every platform. Professional tools such as Visual Studio and Azure empower developers to create applications with a common back-end across platforms.
Appealing to the harsh and fast paced developer environment is a good way for Microsoft to encourage companies to bring their apps to Windows. Microsoft isn’t only offering the status quo for platforms to target but has created a new paradigm of interaction for developers to dream new solutions for the future of their customers and applications. Releasing an entirely new form factor like the HoloLens could also scare developers away because of the added complexity, but Windows remains the foundation of any HoloLens application.
Learning new languages and syntax is painful and slow, but Windows aims to support mainstream standard languages to make developers happy. Supporting existing code investment means saving companies money in rewritten code and debug time. Microsoft seeks to please when developers are required to target iOS, Android, the web, and Windows, by making Visual Studio support a range of emulators, devices, and languages. Existing code has never gone farther than it does today; this saves time coding that can be spent testing and experimenting.
Build is still months away but developers can get a head start by trying Universal Windows apps in Visual Studio. Any developer who is unfamiliar with Visual Studio should get a free trial and test out Microsoft’s online tools for teams and back end. Microsoft obviously has an agenda to get more apps developed for Windows, but that doesn’t mean developers’ other apps can’t benefit. Apps on all platforms can get better, faster, and more secure together by sharing code across ecosystems and in the end the consumer wins.