Windows 10 to Run Recompiled Android and iOS Apps

Tom Warren, reporting from Microsoft’s Build conference for The Verge:

The idea is simple, get apps on Windows 10 without the need for developers to rebuild them fully for Windows. While it sounds simple, the actual process will be a little more complicated than just pushing a few buttons to recompile apps.

Only the problem is simple: Windows Phone doesn’t have enough apps, and doesn’t have any developer momentum. It’s a third platform in a two-platform world.

The solution sounds complicated. Games are one thing — cross-compilation and shared code bases work fine for many games. But for actual apps, running apps designed for platform A on platform B never looks or feels right, even if technically it “works”. Running apps from platforms A and B on platform C? Yikes.

During Microsoft’s planning for bringing iOS and Android apps to Windows, Myerson admits it wasn’t always an obvious choice to have both. “At times we’ve thought, let’s just do iOS,” Myerson explains. “But when we think of Windows we really think of everyone on the planet. There’s countries where iOS devices aren’t available.”

You can please some of the people all of the time, or all of the people some of the time — but Microsoft remains constitutionally drawn to the pipe dream of pleasing all of the people all of the time.

Wednesday, 29 April 2015