Microsoft’s partnership with Chinese multimedia giant Tencent goes a long way back, with the latter bringing its popular instant messaging apps to the Windows and Windows Phone platforms. And now it looks like Tencent might be taking the next step and release a UWP QQ or WeChat app.
According to some presentation slides , from Microsoft’s WinHEC event in China, originally spotted by Walking Cat on Twitter, the company demoed an upcoming WeChat/QQ app. The demo came as part of the Windows 10 Anniversary Update overview, where Microsoft focused on pen and inking support in Windows 10.
Seeing as Microsoft’s Windows 10 has one of the fastest operating systems adoption rates, and the company is pushing ahead with its UWP strategy, the fact that Tencent is bringing its popular apps to the Windows Store is by no means a surprise. Or rather it wouldn’t be, if the company hadn’t said it wouldn’t be creating a UWP app only a few months ago.
Citing the continued delays in deploying Windows 10 Mobile to handsets and the ever-shrinking user base for the platform, Tencent announced it had abandoned plans to create a UWP app earlier this year. Plans for the app were originally revealed as part of Microsoft's original Windows 10 launch announcement over a year ago.
It’s not exactly clear if Tencent was eventually convinced to put out a UWP app by Microsoft or if someone inside of Microsoft didn’t actually get the message. And to make matters a bit more confusing, in its official statement in January, Tencent only mentioned abandoning Windows 10 Mobile.
The former possibility seems to be much more likely, especially given the previous interest that Tencent has shown in the Windows platform as a whole and Microsoft’s willingness to incentivize big-name companies to bring their apps to the platform.
In either case, we’re bound to find out more and possibly see the app as we get closer to the launch of the Windows 10 Anniversary Update which is scheduled for this summer.
Tencent said in a financial report last September (via ZDNet) that 639 million of its 860 million QQ users - around 74% - logged into the service on mobile devices, but that clearly leaves a significant number of users accessing it on PCs. The company already offers a desktop QQ app, supported on Windows versions as old as XP.