Is Microsoft leading the way to a unified platform?

Isn’t it a pain when you have to buy or download an app 2 or 3 times if you want the different versions created for your PC, your tablet and your mobile device? Isn’t it a much BIGGER pain to be the one that has to develop or test 3 separate versions of that application?

Microsoft thinks so, and they may be just the first platform to dive into the idea of unifying their platforms. Over the past few years Microsoft has been working to update its different versions of Windows (PC, phone, tablet) to one cross-reaching operating system for all three.

The motivation behind Microsoft’s transition to a unified Windows is largely centered in making it more appealing for developers and app testers. It’s no secret that they would like to capture more of the mobile market share, and attracting developers to build their mobile app arsenal is the best way to do just that. Developers now will be able to create one app, and with minor adjustments deploy them across all Microsoft devices, allowing for much easier testing as well.

There is no denying that Android and Apple have a stranglehold on the mobile market, and as a result the vast majority of developers program for those two platforms. The question is will this added ease of developing and deploying draw developers to the Microsoft side of the market, or will it spur on the other major players to roll out similar unified platforms? Likely both, but only time will tell.

Of course this benefits the users as well. Microsoft is looking to capitalize on the fact that they will be the only platform in which you can purchase or download just one version of any application for all your Microsoft devices. This is something that both Apple and Android cannot offer currently.

It is likely that Android and Apple won’t be far behind. Especially if Microsoft is successful in rolling out this new unified Windows. The pros to the app testers, developers and the users seem to largely outweigh the cons, and in a world where everything is increasingly mobile, you can be sure that the largest players aren’t going to just sit on the sidelines.

As testers or simply mobile app enthusiasts, what are your thoughts on Microsoft’s new universal windows? And how will it affect the other major players in the mobile app market? Be sure to share in the comments!

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