Friday, September 27, 2013

Microsoft plan to combine Windows and Windows Phone Store in a Single App

Microsoft is planning to combine its Windows Phone Store and Windows Store into a single app store. Sources familiar with the company's plans have revealed to The Verge that Terry Myerson, head of the operating systems group, confirmed the move in an internal company meeting today attended by thousands of Microsoft employees. We're told that Myerson committed to the "next releases" of Windows and Windows Phone, which we understand to be Windows Phone 8.1 and a special update planned for Windows 8.1. Both are due to be ready in spring 2014.

Myerson didn't reveal how the single Windows Store would work, nor whether Windows Phone apps will run on Windows in the new model. The Windows head previously publicly commented that he sees the future of Windows RT in phones and small tablets. "Windows RT was our first ARM tablet. And as phones extend into tablets, expect us to see many more ARM tablets, Windows ARM tablets in the future," said Myerson during a recent analysts meeting.

It's possible that Microsoft may take an approach that's similar to Apple's App Store, where tablet specific apps don't run on the phone, but phone apps scale to run on a tablet. Microsoft has long promised a "common app platform" between the two operating systems and Myerson said previously that "all of the apps we bring to end users should be available on all of our devices." If Microsoft is planning to make Windows Phone apps available on Windows 8.1 or Windows RT 8.1 devices then it's well positioned to have them run in a Snap View alongside tablet optimized apps. We'll know more with the "next releases" of Windows and Windows Phone.

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