Follow us:

Brier Dudley's blog

Brier Dudley offers a critical look at technology and business issues affecting the Northwest.

April 2, 2014 at 10:14 AM

BUILD: Microsoft finally announces “universal apps”

SAN FRANCISCO _ Perhaps the biggest item on the to-do list in Redmond was figuring out how to unify development of apps for Windows Phone and Windows PCs.

adapt

Today the company confirmed that it’s addressing the situation with a “universal app” approach that includes new tools for developers to simultaneously build apps for phones, tablets and PCs.

Early word of the approach surfaced in February but the company waited until its big developer conference to reveal the new approach.

Benefits for consumers include the ability to buy apps that run on both their phones and their PCs, instead of having to buy a version for each platform.

As an example, Microsoft showed how it has built “touch first” versions of Office apps that scale from small to large screens. A variant was released for iPad last month but the company is still finalizing the Windows versions.

uniapps

winuni

Microsoft’s also hoping that developers will build their new apps with the Cortana virtual assistant and voice recognition system.

“It’s like a natural command line for the future,” said David Treadwell, vice president of the operating systems group.

But the future is a work in progress. Treadwell attempted to craft a tweet by speaking to Cortana and she jumbled a few words, drawing chuckles from the 5,000 developers in the audience.

cort

Although people spend far more time using apps than the browser on mobile devices, Treadwell talked up the potential of Internet Explorer 11 for running HTML apps on both phones and PCs.

Drawing a larger applause was Treadwell’s announcement that it is releasing its Windows Library for JavaScript, or WinJS, tools for app development as an open-source project.

Comments


Advertising
The Seattle Times

The door is closed, but it's not locked.

Take a minute to subscribe and continue to enjoy The Seattle Times for as little as 99 cents a week.

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Subscriber login ►
The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription upgrade.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. For unlimited seattletimes.com access, please upgrade your digital subscription.

Call customer service at 1.800.542.0820 for assistance with your upgrade or questions about your subscriber status.

The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. Subscribe now for unlimited access!

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Activate Subscriber Account ►