We're not breaking news in saying that Microsoft has suffered to get traction for its app stores, namely on Windows 10 Mobile. But, today, the firm makes a huge step in getting more and better apps onto its other Windows 10 platforms: the Desktop Bridge.
However, like most major moves that Microsoft makes, it all starts on the PC.
First revealed under the codename Project Centennial at this year's Build 2016 conference, the Desktop Bridge is now available for developers – in the Windows Store on PC – to use to convert their standard desktop Windows apps (with the tool's Desktop App Converter) into apps that are compatible with Microsoft's app store.
That compatibility standard is known as Microsoft's Universal Windows Platform (UWP), and it allows said apps and games the flexibility to be sold from any device that can access the Windows Store. Specifically from which types of devices is entirely up to the developer.
(Microsoft details other tools and support for developers – like Cortana, Live Tiles and more – within the Desktop Bridge that you can dig into on the Building Apps for Windows Blog's latest post.)
Here's where the cool part comes in
All this means for you, the Windows fan who just can't bring herself to buy a Windows 10 phone for its lack of apps, is that you're – hopefully soon – going to have plenty more reasons to do just that.
Marking the release of the Desktop Bridge today is Evernote coming to the Windows Store through use of the tool, as well as names like Arduino (the maker's app) and DoubleTwist (the audio media player app).
Sure, these aren't SnapChat or Tinder, but they're focused on Windows's current base: professionals and casual users alike that use the OS to get things done.
With this free tool available to all app developers, the obvious goal is to attract the top app makers to the Windows Store through a simple conversion tool aimed to eliminate as much friction as possible in getting their apps onto its store.
Microsoft's own Kevin Gallo writes on the Building Apps for Windows Blog's announcement post, "This then enables the path to gradually migrate the app or game to reach all Windows 10 devices over time, including phones, Xbox One and HoloLens."
Now, all we need is another set of compelling phones to showcase said apps on – ahem, Surface Phone? – and we have the underpinnings of a Windows phone revival. Sure, we're getting ahead of ourselves, but if it weren't for the app situation, this editor at least would be rocking a Windows phone right now.
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