Windows 10 is closing in fast, as recently announced, and will be launching this summer in 190 countries and 111 languages. Windows 10 will not just be “another big OS release”, but a unified platform for a wide range of hardware, from low powered boards (system on a chip) to smartphones, tablets, notebooks, desktops, servers and even the Xbox. For developers, there will be one, unified application model, that spans the entire product line, called “Universal Apps”.
The beauty of universal apps is, that the developer has the flexibility to write an app once that runs across all Windows devices, sharing user interface and app logic and assets. For the maximum flexibility, parts of the app, such as certain controls in the UI can be tailored explicitly for the various devices, giving the app the full advantage of certain specifics of the various devices such as the phone dialer in the Windows Phone OS.
There is no need however to wait for Windows 10, now is the perfect time to start building universal apps and to make your apps ready for the future! Windows 8.1 and Windows Phone 8.1 already support the universal app model and existing Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8 apps can easily be converted to universal apps. Most apps will work right away after migrating them, so there is minimal extra work to be done.
Visual Studio 2013 and the new Visual Studio 2015 Preview have the capability to convert existing projects to universal apps, but as Visual Studio 2015 will be the developer tool for Windows 10, I highly recommend giving it a try when moving your existing apps to the universal app model. The latest preview edition can be downloaded for free.
To learn everything about Windows 10 from a developer’s perspective, follow the Build conference, April 29 through May 1 in San Francisco. For everyone who doesn’t plan to travel to the conference, Microsoft Switzerland will be hosting live streaming events of the keynote on the evening of April 29 together with our experts in a relaxed atmosphere with snacks and drinks. One event will be held in Wallisellen , and one in Lausanne for all enthusiasts.