SAN FRANCISCO: Microsoft has gone even further with its cross-platform strategy, announcing that it will enable apps developed for Apple iOS and Android devices to run on Windows 10, while also delivering a new Visual Studio tool for code editing that runs on Windows, Linux and Mac.
During an eventful keynote session at the Build 2015 developer conference, Microsoft executives explained how they were working to enable developers to create a compelling user experience on top of their platforms.
"We want to move people from needing Windows to choosing Windows to loving Windows," said chief executive Satya Nadella.
This means not just creating a new opportunity with the Windows 10 ecosystem, which will allow developers to target everything from mobile devices to supercomputers with a universal app platform, but also to be able to re-use existing code.
To this end, Microsoft introduced four new toolkits that will enable developers to port existing code to Windows 10. One of these will enable Android Java and C++ code from Android apps to run on Windows, while a second will enable developers to take iOS objective C used for iPhone and iPad apps and compile it within Visual Studio as a Windows app.
"You might be wondering if this actually works," joked Microsoft's executive vice president for Windows, Terry Myerson, "Well, today we can reveal that this is how games publisher King brought Candy Crush Saga to Windows Phone," he added.
Another toolkit enables developers to bring existing apps written with .Net and Win32 APIs into the Windows Store and take advantage of the universal windows platform capabilities. Adobe is already using this to bring PhotoShop Elements into the Windows Store alter this year, Microsoft said.
The fourth enables code developed for server-hosted websites to the Windows Store and opened as an application, enabling developers to take advantage of the ecommerce features of the Windows Store to support in-app purchases.
Also during the keynote, Microsoft unveiled Visual Studio Code. Described as a lightweight code editor aimed at web and cloud applications, this is available to download from today as a free application for Windows, Linux and Mac OS.
Microsoft has already delivered made many if its Office apps cross-platform, with versions for Android, Apple and Windows 10.
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