Microsoft reportedly making a single app store for Windows, Windows Phone

A new report claims Microsoft is working on a single app store for its Windows and Windows Phone operating systems, something the company hinted at during its annual financial analyst meeting.

According to an article by The Verge, the announcement was made at Microsoft's annual company meeting by Terry Myerson, the recently named head of the company's operating systems division. Myerson allegedly said the combined store would come for the "next release" of Windows and Windows Phone, referring to Windows Phone 8.1 and a Windows update that would occur at the same time. The Windows update could coincide with the release of a smaller Surface tablet, which was recently rumored to be delayed because of an update to the company's flagship operating system.

Myerson's statements supposedly didn't clarify whether the same apps would technically work on the operating systems or if developers would make an app for the respective platforms that would share a store listing.

At Microsoft's financial analyst meeting last week, Myerson said the company was working on a common app platform that would be shared across its operating systems, possibly even including the company's Xbox One operating system.

"The first of [our beliefs about how our operating systems should work] is that we really should have one silicon interface for all of our devices," he said. "We should have one set of developer APIs on all of our devices. And all of the apps we bring to end users should be available on all of our devices."

Microsoft has been criticized for its lack of a common store between its desktop and mobile operating systems, forcing consumers to buy apps such as "Halo: Spartan Assault" twice if they wanted to use them on Windows and Windows Phone devices. Google's Android and Apple's iOS, by comparison, allow users to purchase apps that are playable on both smartphones and tablets.

Source: The Verge | Image via Microsoft

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microsoft shouldn't develop or allow a youtube app on the xbox one until there is one on windows phone and not before. common store. common apps. if google doesn't like it they can shove it.

Relax.

Until further evidences, this may only be an Apple-style, unique storefront for more than one platform.

Having a real unified application model presents some inherent major issues and Microsoft hasn't shown any sign of taming them in the short term.

A new application model that would be the result of a fusion between Windows Phone and clean Windows RT (that is "Modern" only apps with a COMPLETE exclusion of the "desktop" mode) would make some sense would be possible in a near future. Meanwhile, this could mean another platform reboot, which would be VERY unpopular. Lets hope they can achieve the merge without scrapping the API too much.

At least, it would finally properly segregates the "business" experience from the consumer one.

I expect this to be the goal for 2014 but with it to see WP actually be Windows RT with a phone specific UI on top instead of the tablet version, the rest of the OS would be the same though. But if WP8.1 brings the APIs together first then the rest of the OS can follow after because it won't matter to app developers then, they're code will just work.

I dunno, I kind of like the idea of a Windows Phone 7 app store, a Windows Phone 8 app store, a Windows RT app store, a Windows x86 app store, an xbox 360 app store, and an xbox one app store. Why bother consolidating when you can add add ADD!!!!

Yeah, seriously. I also hate happy people.

/s

Because they came at different times and had different kernels originally. Now that Windows Phone 8, Windows 8 and Xbox one sharing the same kernel this is possible now. It'll probably be here for Windows Phone 8.1.

neonspark said,
the question is, why was it ever not the same store....

My bet... is Synofsky was the problem. Considering how well things seem to be progressing now that he and his team have been pushed aside. I've no proof mind you, but there seemed to be a power struggle that forced the likes of Charlie Kindle and a number of Windows Phone team members to leave when Synofsky got his way to have Windows take priority and eventually become the core of all of their OSes. I think the only original major Windows Phone person left is Joe Belfiore.

Studio384 said,
I'm exicted for both Windows Phone 8.1 and Windows 8.1's Spring 2014 GDR.

I'd be excited, but they're not being blabbermouths about what's in WP8.1. The little GDR updates are nice, but id like to know more about WP8.1 in a meaty, substantive manner.

Chikairo said,

I'd be excited, but they're not being blabbermouths about what's in WP8.1. The little GDR updates are nice, but id like to know more about WP8.1 in a meaty, substantive manner.

Usually when they are quiet, that's a good thing :-) They said before that they are changing their ways and not announcing things too early anymore because competitors just steal their ideas. They probably have some big things in store and don't want to spoil the fun just yet. Can't wait!

Chikairo said,

I'd be excited, but they're not being blabbermouths about what's in WP8.1. The little GDR updates are nice, but id like to know more about WP8.1 in a meaty, substantive manner.

I expect to hear bits around MWC 2014 in February though this year they didn't show anything. This time around the timing is better though since this thing says a "spring 2014" update. So, a reveal of sorts at MWC 2014, then a full showing a bit later, April probably, with a SDK and then rollout in May. We'll see what happens till then though and if they do infact get GDR3 out before this year ends which is what the OS group is working on along with the GA Rollup updates to Windows 8.1.

Having the same app run on phone, tablet AND laptop/desktop PC would give MS a massive advantage over anyone else. Even better if apps also work on Xbox One.

It would take a while to work like that though, as dev's would also have to make sure their apps work and display correctly with different input methods and screen sizes. Because right now, a WP8 app just wouldn't look right or work well on a laptop for instance. But this will eventually have a lot of potential and dev's will have a massive customer base to target.

NoClipMode said,
Having the same app run on phone, tablet AND laptop/desktop PC would give MS a massive advantage over anyone else. Even better if apps also work on Xbox One.

It would take a while to work like that though, as dev's would also have to make sure their apps work and display correctly with different input methods and screen sizes. Because right now, a WP8 app just wouldn't look right or work well on a laptop for instance. But this will eventually have a lot of potential and dev's will have a massive customer base to target.

you could have the exact same code, but have a different xaml layout for each type of screen/device.

I am still waiting to hear Mr. Myerson offer an update about the "Early adopter" or whatever it was called, program. Another excellent idea that got lost in the Redmond swamp....

The tablet is a niche platform. Why ruin the Windows phone outlet with the tablet? Compromises, by definition, serve no single purpose well.

Please! Microsoft has three platforms, and that's sort of silly. If they really want to leverage their "three screens," then they need a common market for Windows, Windows Phone, and Xbox (doubly so since the XBO is x86 based).

Skulls of the Shogun is their worst offender: three versions, all bought separately? Really?

They need to remember they're main market (PC) is shrinking, their mobile is an underdog at best, and their console has stiff competition. They're not dominant, and they're nor leveraging the strengths in their ecosystem... Only Apple could try to match this (OSX/iOS), and I don't think they're trying.

deadonthefloor said,
Add in XBOX, CRM, Office and Sharepoint and every other technology with a siloed store we're talking.

Xbox should be a given, but maybe not at the start. As for the rest, those are custom "stores" specific to those apps, I don't see how you'd put those in the more general windows app store exactly?

deadonthefloor said,

Much the way Silverlight deep linking works?

Well, if you want to have them in one store then you'd really have a few stores in one general store wouldn't you? Right now you go to the Office store from where? Inside an Office app or the website I'm guessing?

Honestly it's possible to have them in one place but you'd have to have specific areas for them since they need other apps to work anyways. On the flip side, MS is giving Office away with it's devices and so are OEMs so lots of people will have it now more than ever.

RommelS said,
Common Apps Store = Surface Phone made by Microsoft's Nokia Division.

The idea of a Surface phone is dead now that Microsoft has Nokia's smartphone business -- there's just no need for it when the people they're bringing over already have the experience and have their own style.

Anthony Tosie said,

The idea of a Surface phone is dead now that Microsoft has Nokia's smartphone business -- there's just no need for it when the people they're bringing over already have the experience and have their own style.

Besides the fact that the deal has still to be approved MS could decide to phase out, not right away of course, the Lumia branding and unify the hardware under the Surface brand. It does not make much sense to have a Lumia Tablet and a SUrface Tablet.
What will be interesting to see is how quick unbranded devices will be updated now that the software and the hardware will be under the same umbrella.

Anthony Tosie said,

The idea of a Surface phone is dead now that Microsoft has Nokia's smartphone business -- there's just no need for it when the people they're bringing over already have the experience and have their own style.

Unless Microsoft kills Lumia and rebrands it Surface. Which would be a stupid thing to do IMO. Personally I would:

Rename Lumia to Nokia. As in the Nokia 530 and the Nokia 1030. Right now Microsoft needs the power of the Nokia brand to keep Windows Phone growing. In 10 years when they can't use the name anymore they can switch to something else. Sure it will hurt them a bit 10 years from now but not as much as killing the Nokia brand would do now.

Nokia could be Microsoft's 'colorful' Windows Phone brand. It has this candybar appeal but it doesn't work for everyone. So Microsoft should also use Nokia devices to produce a Surface Phone. This would be a more 'serious' Windows Phone for business users and people who think they are too cool for a colorful phone. Made from the same material as Surface and also with a mini touch keyboard/cover making it an attractive option for enterprises.

The Lumia line of phones and tablets should be polycarbonate.
The Surface line of phones and tablets should be magnesium.

Anthony Tosie said,

The idea of a Surface phone is dead now that Microsoft has Nokia's smartphone business -- there's just no need for it when the people they're bringing over already have the experience and have their own style.

You know that the hardware itself can be designed by Microsoft's Nokia Division, and the OS by Windows Department right? In any case, while my comment was suppose to be just a joke, but if you think about it, how can you make a common marketplace if the apps are not compatible to one another.

Ronnet said,

Unless Microsoft kills Lumia and rebrands it Surface. Which would be a stupid thing to do IMO. Personally I would:

Rename Lumia to Nokia. As in the Nokia 530 and the Nokia 1030. Right now Microsoft needs the power of the Nokia brand to keep Windows Phone growing. In 10 years when they can't use the name anymore they can switch to something else. Sure it will hurt them a bit 10 years from now but not as much as killing the Nokia brand would do now.

Nokia could be Microsoft's 'colorful' Windows Phone brand. It has this candybar appeal but it doesn't work for everyone. So Microsoft should also use Nokia devices to produce a Surface Phone. This would be a more 'serious' Windows Phone for business users and people who think they are too cool for a colorful phone. Made from the same material as Surface and also with a mini touch keyboard/cover making it an attractive option for enterprises.


Microsoft doesn't own the Nokia name. Nokia will remain its own separate company, with a focus on its enterprise, network and mapping solutions.

Anthony Tosie said,

Microsoft doesn't own the Nokia name. Nokia will remain its own separate company, with a focus on its enterprise, network and mapping solutions.

Actually, Nokia is also licensing its own name to Microsoft, and Nokia itself cannot use its own name in any new hardware until 2016.

RommelS said,

Actually, Nokia is also licensing its own name to Microsoft, and Nokia itself cannot use its own name in any new hardware until 2016.

Microsoft can only use the Nokia name on featurephones, not smartphones.

RommelS said,

Actually, Nokia is also licensing its own name to Microsoft, and Nokia itself cannot use its own name in any new hardware until 2016.

Doesn't matter, Microsoft isn't allowed to use the name on future smartphones... only feature phones.

RommelS said,

Actually, Nokia is also licensing its own name to Microsoft, and Nokia itself cannot use its own name in any new hardware until 2016.


That's not accurate. Microsoft is licensing the Nokia name on feature phones -- not smartphones -- for 10 years. You're not going to see a Nokia-branded smartphone until 2016 at the earliest, and when that happens it won't be a Microsoft-made device.

Lord Method Man said,

Microsoft can only use the Nokia name on featurephones, not smartphones.

Fair enough. You are right. My bad.

Anthony Tosie said,

That's not accurate. Microsoft is licensing the Nokia name on feature phones -- not smartphones -- for 10 years. You're not going to see a Nokia-branded smartphone until 2016 at the earliest, and when that happens it won't be a Microsoft-made device.

Fair enough. You are right. My bad.

To be honest though, I would like to see a Surface Phone, and if they need to do this, they must do it now. MS is running out of time because they came late in the game, and they've already made a big change from 7 to 8. So take the lumps now while it is early, and put out the Surface phone. It would be a lot easier to create a common marketplace that way. Less likely consumers will get annoyed after they invested money on their phone and apps, and realizes that their phone will not work with the latest OS.

Ronnet said,

Unless Microsoft kills Lumia and rebrands it Surface. Which would be a stupid thing to do IMO. Personally I would:

Rename Lumia to Nokia.


n
I could be wrong but my understanding is that MS cannot use the Nokia name for smartphones.

Didnt they plan this with Xbox as well? Not sure how they will manage that because of the two different ways Apps are designed. the dotted menue from the bottom in WP and the swipe in menue on Metro. But at least they could "sync" the licences for apps and content

-adrian- said,
Didnt they plan this with Xbox as well? Not sure how they will manage that because of the two different ways Apps are designed. the dotted menue from the bottom in WP and the swipe in menue on Metro. But at least they could "sync" the licences for apps and content

In the long run I hope they come up with Modern UI 2.0. A new template with corresponding developertools that devs can use to produce apps that work on both Windows and WP. And more importantly are easily resizable to the screensize (which is easier to manage with a tile interface than without it). So have the tile interface move up/down when in portrait and left/right when in landscape.

This is especially important for the 'sweetspot', tablets with an 8'' screen. Those are usually held best in portrait view. Right now Windows 8 is bad in portrait view. Windows Phone is just about exclusive in portrait view but its apps are designed for small screens. Just imagine being stuck with Office for WP instead of full Office..

-adrian- said,
Didnt they plan this with Xbox as well? Not sure how they will manage that because of the two different ways Apps are designed. the dotted menue from the bottom in WP and the swipe in menue on Metro. But at least they could "sync" the licences for apps and content

The newest 8.1 apps from MS are adding in the dotted menu on the bottom.

http://www.windows8core.com/wp...1-Flagged-emails-folder.png

The dotted menus are part of the Windows Phone apps so I don't see why that would be a problem. The only thing they would have to do is provide a software back button that worked universally across all apps.

-adrian- said,
Oh didnt realize. do you also swipe it up? and is this the replacement of the "right click" menue ?

You can swipe it up on Windows Phone too. You don't have to tap on it, or on the ...

And this opens when you right click, just like it did in Windows 8.

With Windows 8, Windows Phone 8, Xbox One, etc. all sharing the same kernel now - this shouldn't be too hard to do now :-)

If this is true then the 4:3 Surface-mini rumor better be false. A 4:3 tablet running Windows Phone apps is a mistake. Even the 1280x800 8" tablets that are coming out this quarter for Windows 8 would be better suited for Windows Phone apps.

Avatar Roku said,
If this is true then the 4:3 Surface-mini rumor better be false. A 4:3 tablet running Windows Phone apps is a mistake. Even the 1280x800 8" tablets that are coming out this quarter for Windows 8 would be better suited for Windows Phone apps.

I'm not so sure that's the case. If they are able to do anything like what Apple did with the iPhone/iPad, they will make it easy to develop apps that work well across any hardware no matter screen size (iPhone3-4S/iPod/iPad/iPadMini/iPhone5).

I don't think it's about a 4:3 tablet running a Windows "Phone" app in the near future, it's just about the Windows App itself (not for phone, surface, or desktop).

Avatar Roku said,
If this is true then the 4:3 Surface-mini rumor better be false. A 4:3 tablet running Windows Phone apps is a mistake. Even the 1280x800 8" tablets that are coming out this quarter for Windows 8 would be better suited for Windows Phone apps.

when they say wp and rt are merging,what they really mean is the whole api set will be unified across wp,winrt and windows 8 metro, it doesnt mean windows phone apps will run as they are on windows rt devices. the apps will have to be updated or written to support all screen types,but the exact same code base can remain. compile once and run on all.

This news somewhat dampers the death of RT and the fact there's only Microsoft making the Surface 2 to run RT. I imagine once they release this 8.1 service pack in March time (8.2 then?) with the unified store there will be a lot of new tablets coming out from their OEMs with, well, 8.2" screens. It's good this news has leaked, stops me from being tempted by any other small form tablet right now.