It was unveiled yesterday that Microsoft is planning to merge both Windows Store and Windows Phone Stores into one mega store in an upcoming version of Windows. Today, more information regarding these plans have made their way onto the web, claiming that it isn’t just the Stores that will be unified, but the whole entire development process for Windows and Windows Phone.
The original excitement towards yesterdays news was that merging both Stores would mean Windows 8.1 machines would be able to run Windows Phone apps. This isn’t the exciting part. According to Paul Thurrott, Microsoft is unifying the development tools, SDK’s and API’s too. This will allow Microsoft to have one single app store across all its Windows devices, whether they be tablets or Phones, and maybe even Xbox’s.
This means that developers will only have to develop one app for all devices, given they actually code support for devices. This is very similar to what the iPad and iPhone do with Apple, a developer can code an app for iPhone, but then also co-develop the same app for iPad under one name and one app. This is something Microsoft desperately needs for Windows, and now it seems to be happening.
It’s currently unclear when this change will take place, we know it will be with the next version of Windows, but these days the ‘next version’ of Windows is always unclear. It could turn up in Windows 8.5 (or Windows 9, we don’t know what they’re going to call it yet) but it could also turn up in the Windows 8.1 GDR 2014 update which is scheduled to arrive a little earlier than Windows 9.
Either way, it’s an exciting time for Windows users and developers. Soon developers will be able to develop for multiple devices with the same API’s, SDK’s and other developer goodness. Users will soon also be able to use their favourite apps seamlessly across devices, whether it be Tablets, PC’s, Phones, you name it.