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Microsoft announces universal Windows apps for PCs, tablets, Xbox and phones

NEW DELHI: Microsoft unveiled Windows Phone 8.1, the new iteration of its mobile operating system, and an update for its Windows 8.1 desktop and tablet OS, at the Build 2014 conference. It also announced universal Windows apps that will allow developers to create apps work across phones, tablets, PCs and even Xbox One - the company's new gaming console. 

What is more fascinating is that developers will have the option to sell the same apps across the different Windows platforms and if users buy an app on one platform, they'll be able to use it free of charge on others. The same also applies to in-app purchases. However, Microsoft has clarified that the decision to charge per-app or per-device for a universal Windows app will be up to the developer. 

Unified Windows apps will be identified with a new symbol, which will be visible to users in the coming weeks in the app listings on the Windows Store. 

With universal Windows apps, developers will be able create universal Windows apps for a common Windows runtime. So their apps will be available on different devices optimized for them. 

David Treadwell, corporate vice president, operating systems group at Microsoft, made the announcement, elaborating that attributes like user interface, app model, APIs, tools and Store will be shared and streamlined across platforms. 

"Since universal Windows apps run on the same Windows runtime, developers have a common way of building and architecting apps for phones, tablets and PCs; from how they handle suspend and resume and do background processing, to the way they manage in-app security," said Microsoft's Kevin Gallo, director of developer ecosystem and platform in a blog post. 

It is worth pointing out that Windows Phone 8 had introduced the same core set of operating system components used by Windows 8 to Windows Phone. Apple also offers universal apps across iOS devices like iPad and iPhone. Android phone apps are also capable of running on Android tablets. 
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About Sridhar Mahendrakar

Its my passion to explore myself with new ideas and i love to write; a compulsion; something that gives me an avenue to express myself. I write when I am happy; when I am sad or when an issue touches my heart.


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Graduate Engineer @ Indian Space Research Organization