Microsoft has given developers an early peek at its Windows 10 developer strategy and Universal App platform, outlining how it will enable the creation of apps that deliver a good user experience across a diverse array of devices.
The company briefed developers on the app platform for the upcoming Windows 10 ecosystem at Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona, reiterating its intention to enable a "write once, run anywhere" capability.
Kevin Gallo, Microsoft's technical lead for the Windows Developer Platform, said on the Building Apps for Windows blog that the firm is looking to break down the distinction between desktop and mobile applications with the Window 10 app platform.
"The platform enables a new class of Windows universal apps. Apps that are truly written once, with one set of business logic and one UI. Apps that are delivered to one store within one package. Apps that are able to reach every Windows 10 device the developer wants to reach. Apps that feel consistent and familiar to the customer on all devices, while also contextually appropriate to each device's input model and screen size," he said.
This means not only supporting a number of screen sizes, but enabling a number of interaction models covering touchscreens, mouse and keyboard and pen input.
To address this, the Universal App platform will feature a number of platform capabilities that will carry out most of the runtime adaptation work automatically, enabling the developer to focus on the core functionality, according to Gallo.
Building on the WinRT runtime introduced with Windows 8, the new platform will feature adaptive user interface support that enables an app to adapt to the available device capabilities and how the user is interacting with it.
Windows 10 will also provide support for natural user input such as speech, handwriting or sketch input, gestures and user gaze, without the developer having to worry about processing the input for meaning, Microsoft said.
Microsoft is also providing a number of cloud-based services for developers to make use of, such as Windows Notification Services, Windows roaming data and the Windows Credential Locker, but also an expanded version of Cortana, OneDrive and Application Insights.
"Windows 10 is about making it easier for you and your code to do more and go further with a new platform built to maximise and extend your existing investments, both in your code and your skills," Gallo said.
Microsoft is expected to detail more about the Universal App platform at the Build developer conference in April.
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