Microsoft makes Windows operating systems that runs on smartphones, tablets, notebooks, and desktops. Now the company is leveraging the similar code based in those operating systems to enable support for Universal Windows apps.

The company is giving developers ways to create apps that will run across all Windows devices using Windows Runtime and tools including C, C++, C#, .NET, HTML and JavaScript.

Developers will be able to create apps that work the same across all devices, or which offer a different look and feel depending on the device you’re using.

Update: Microsoft says universal apps will also be able to run on TVs using an Xbox One game console… eventually.

universal windows apps

For example, a news app could have a single-column layout on a smartphone and a multi-column view on desktop, tablet, or notebook systems.

Does this mean we’re going to see games like Crysis running on smartphones now that Microsoft supports “universal” apps? Probably not. It’s up to developers to take advantage of Microsoft’s tools to create apps that can run across platforms… and they’ll still be limited by CPU and GPU speeds, as well as screen size and other hardware limitations.

Not every Windows app is likely to be a universal app anytime soon. But with Universal Windows apps, Microsoft is continuing to blur the lines between developing for phones and developing for desktop platforms.

Developers will be able to sell universal Windows apps in the Windows Store allowing customers to pay once and get apps that they can run on their phones, tablets, and other devices.

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4 replies on “Universal Windows Apps will run on phone, tablet, PC”

  1. That’s where Microsoft advantage lies. Visual studio brought programming to masses. If the SDK is good for making universal apps I bet the programmers are going to choose over for coding.

    1. marketshare is what will matter, and no ms’s tools aren’t good and their programming environment is ugly. Perhaps they need to release visual studio for free as well.

      1. Given how desperately MS is lagging behind in the smartphone/tablet domain I they’ll begin making everything they’ve got that can bring more MS users to those domains free.

  2. Hello Microsoft, it’s about time you realized where you competitive advantage lay. Looking forward to the future of Windows for the first time in a long time. And a single phone sized device as my only needed hardware, running Windows.

    Sorry Canonical, but this ship is sailing past you unless you execute faster and more effectively…

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