Microsoft’s “Universal Store” could be Windows’ lifeline…

Whilst many seen Windows as being the software so established within the enterprise that its lifespan was indefinite – we're all beginning to realise this is not the case.

Apple, in the fourth quarter of 2013, exceeded all PC sales for the first time. Google, this week, announced support for Windows applications on their Chrome OS – with perfect timing as the guys and gals over at Redmond prepare to end support for their still popular OS; Windows XP.

Microsoft fanboys haven’t been left completely out of the mix in terms of good news from their favourite company however. Reputable leaker, @AngelWZR, has leaked a couple of slides clearly displaying “Universal Store apps”…

Whilst developers have expected such a move for a long time, and Microsoft has made promises, it looks like the company is very close to fulfilling their initial vision of a single platform where applications can be released cross-device and retain a consistent user experience.

The second slide shows common elements across Windows and Windows Phone; with 80% of the XAML able to be shared…

If we take a look back at Microsoft’s biggest competitors - none are anywhere close to providing such an enticing option. Apple has maintained time-and-time again that iOS and Mac will never completely converge; despite elements being brought over to each platform with every new release.

iOS apps running on Mac wouldn’t be a natural fit; some adaptation would need to be made for the desktop… particularly on the input-side. No Mac (currently) comes with a touchscreen; unlike Windows where almost every new device touts one.

But with Apple CEO, Tim Cook, confirming they’re entering new product categories this year – who knows what they have a-Cookin’ (sorry.)

It’s a similar case with Google - albeit the web company is playing to their strengths with the Cloud - and as an OS which requires no paid license; are offering enterprises with a method of equipping their employees with cheap devices which now can also run Windows’ applications…

Many IT departments will undoubtedly see this is a more efficient and cost-effective solution.

Chrome OS, then, may well overtake Microsoft in the enterprise. However for both the developer and the consumer; Windows would offer the most versatile OS - being able to switch seamlessly from Desktop, to Tablet, to Phone, to the living room (with Xbox) is the dream for all users…

… And that's something only Microsoft can provide.

Do you think Microsoft could regain lost ground with the release of a “Universal Store”?

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