Part of Microsoft's plan for Windows 10 is to steal away Apple apps

windows 10 store


The Windows Store today.

Windows 10 has a whopper of a problem: Its app store is terrible.

It's a tough nut to crack. Nobody makes apps for the Windows Store because nobody uses the Windows Store, meaning that nobody makes apps for the Windows Store, which means that nobody uses the Windows Store.

At this year's Microsoft Build conference, though, the company announced a clever plan to break the cycle by making it a lot easier to bring iOS and Android apps to Windows 10.

Today, Microsoft released the first version of the Windows Bridge for iOS, giving app developers their first look at the tools to get there. The tool is still very incomplete, but Microsoft is enlisting the help of developers to improve it fast, releasing it under an open source license so anybody can tweak its code and improve it to suit their own needs.

In the short term, Microsoft will ideally get a wider range of higher-quality apps, making it more likely that people will both choose Windows 10 and that they'll spend more cash on the Windows Store (of which Microsoft gets a cut).

In the long term, Microsoft is obviously hoping it'll chip away at Apple's dominance in smartphones, as Windows Phone becomes more competitive with more apps.



Windows Phone chief Joe Belfiore

And if iOS developers are finding that they're making more money with Windows, they're more likely to shift their priorities accordingly, releasing their new apps and features for Windows 10 first.

Microsoft also says that its tools for bringing web apps to Windows are now available via the Visual Studio development suite. Meanwhile, the similar tool that will let developers bring Android apps to Windows is in invite-only private testing. Finally, a third tool for bringing Windows 7 and 8 apps to Windows 10 will be available next year.

It's a very un-Microsoft-like move for the company, from top to bottom. Historically, the company has always pushed Windows-first development. The fact that it's opening the doors to apps from competing platforms means that the company is thinking a lot more practically about its future.?

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