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Microsoft Desktop App Converter Simplifies Development

By Steve Anderson
April 04, 2016

When it comes to getting apps for a new platform, it can be both difficult to do and extremely necessary. Microsoft, however, may have a great idea afoot for getting that job done: converting the huge number of currently-existing applications to Windows Universal Platform (UWP) applications. To do that, it's brought out the new Desktop App Converter, a tool that may make app development quite a bit easier for Windows operations.

With the new tool, Microsoft likely hopes that the bulk of the currently-available Win32/.Net applications will be converted and brought to UWP. If that's the case, that's several million apps coming in soon, as there are around 16 million such apps in play at last report. With the converter, developers can make one app, and convert it quickly to work on different platforms, from the desktop to the mobile to even Xbox One and HoloLens.

That in turn should increase development—one app being available on multiple platforms nearly simultaneously means an easy way to pursue several revenue channels at once—and it should also give users a lot more app to work with as well. Since the apps also get access to the application programming interfaces (APIs) currently available for UWP, that makes the potential app development much broader, and opens up development with functions specific to Windows 10.

This even may have an impact on game development, as developers could take titles currently on Steam and convert them to UWP, putting these titles in the Windows Store. This could theoretically mean a whole lot more development for Xbox One as well, especially if the control issues could be hammered out.

With this, developers can get more apps in play on more devices, improving time to profitability and thus increasing development. When it's easier to be profitable, more developers jump into the system and bring out more apps in total. This could even be the thing that gives the Windows Mobile platform a shot in the arm; Apple and Android have long benefited from an entrenched user population, and the only way Microsoft could really compete would be to offer something Apple and Android either couldn't or wouldn't. Being able to offer a complete app portfolio across several different devices might be just what Windows Mobile needs, especially in trying to break into the enterprise market. A system where the apps are the same whether on desktop or mobile could be a real winner for enterprise users, and prompt some switching.

Microsoft has a long way to go to break the mobile stranglehold that Apple and Android have on the market already, but with the Desktop App Converter, it may have struck a chord with developers that will bring in tons of new apps. That could be just the thing to drive some users out of entrenched camps and into Microsoft's fold.

Edited by Stefania Viscusi

Contributing Writer

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