Microsoft: Android and iOS apps, Edge, Win32 programs in store

Martin Brinkmann
Apr 29, 2015
Updated • Jan 4, 2018
Companies, Microsoft

Microsoft kicked off this year's BUILD conference with a bang as it made several interesting announcements today.

For starters, the company revealed the name for the new web browser which it called Spartan up until now.

Microsoft Edge will be the default browser on Windows 10 devices. It may be no coincidence that Edge is also the name of the rendering engine used by the browser.

Windows 10 devices will ship with Internet Explorer as well but it won't be the default browser and is only included for legacy compatibility purposes.


Moving on, the company revealed several new features coming to Windows Store. One of the most thought after is integration of Win32 programs in the store.

A new SDK enables companies to include programs in the store similar to how apps are currently offered in it. Gone are the days where desktop programs are only available as links in the store.

The integration includes support not only for installations of programs integrated in the store but also updates and removals.

Still not all though. Android and iOS developers get access to two new SDKs which simplifies the porting process to Windows 10. While it won't be a one-click solution to convert apps into universal applications that run on Windows 10, but it will improve the process and reduce development time.

Another interesting feature is Continuum which turns a Windows 10 smartphone into a PC (or something close enough) by connecting it to a HDMI monitor, keyboard and mouse.

Microsoft plans to bring its Windows 10 operating system to one billion devices within the next two or three years.

The goal includes all devices the operating system runs on and while the free for the first year offer will certainly push the system on devices, it is an ambitious goal.

Closing Words

We don't know much yet about the integration of desktop programs in Windows Store. For instance, what are the requirements to get programs listed in store. Will it be free or paid only? What about adware? How are updates handled, especially those that are time-critical because of security issues or bugs?

Depending on how it is implemented, it could be a useful feature for as long as this is one optional way to discover, install and update software on Windows devices.

The new SDKs to get Android and iOS applications ported to Windows could give Microsoft an edge as well but it all depends on how it is received by companies and developers. If it really cuts down the time it takes to port apps to Windows, it could give the ecosystem a much needed push in the right direction.

Now You: Did Microsoft reveal features today that you are interested in?

Microsoft: Android and iOS apps, Edge, Win32 programs in store
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Microsoft: Android and iOS apps, Edge, Win32 programs in store
Microsoft revealed new information about the upcoming operating system Windows 10 on the first day of the BUILD 2015 conference.

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  1. DJ said on April 29, 2015 at 10:35 pm

    Continuum sounds promising. However, I only like Windows phones “from a distance” at the moment. What I’m missing there are more privacy/permissions options (i.e. what you get in iOS by design now, and what you can do after rooting Android), so I can choose whether an app has access to camera, contacts, calendar… The current setup is unacceptable. Also, they should improve their desktop sync application to allow for local (computer – phone) sync of contacts, reminders/tasks, and calendar.
    Once they fix these two “minor” failures, I’m gladly going for Lumia. :)

    1. Ghacks_Reader said on April 30, 2015 at 2:53 am

      This feature is already in Windows Phone 10.

    2. Andrew said on April 30, 2015 at 7:34 am

      I feel you on that, though I think I am going to take the plunge when my nexus 4 craps out, try something new…

  2. Rik said on April 29, 2015 at 10:56 pm

    One OS to rule them all?

  3. george said on April 30, 2015 at 2:59 am

    Martin, first sentence should read “Microsoft kicked off …”

  4. Dwight Stegall said on April 30, 2015 at 7:20 am

    Microsoft Edge? Are they serious? Now I’ve heard it all. rotflmao

    That thing is worthless. No bookmarklets and no bookmark manager. :)

    1. Andrew said on April 30, 2015 at 7:32 am

      Well edge is the new rendering engine derived from trident, so it seems to fit. Not to mention the icon of ‘e’ has some easy to notice for people who got used to running the ‘e’ for internet.

      Anyway, give it some time for the finished product, you have to remember that it isn’t complete… compared to Opera that didn’t have squat when they released their first chromium based version.

      1. Uhtred said on April 30, 2015 at 9:16 pm

        What browser you use?
        “I’m on edge”

        er… not exactly inspiring confidence…

        I think the continuum thing tho is going in the right direction… personal portable smart tech that connects to devices we need to use when we need it…. it’s next stage in hotdesking after adjustable desk levels… almost time get rid of those heavy laptops

  5. ilev said on April 30, 2015 at 8:35 am

    “Microsoft plans to bring its Windows 10 operating system to one billion devices within the next two or three years.”..

    Windows 10 won’t surpass current XP’s market share, which is higher than Windows 8/8.1, in 2-3 years.

  6. chesscanoe said on April 30, 2015 at 5:56 pm

    Glad to hear Aero will be supported. While I only use it for my Win7 theme and one other application, this support of a little thing indicates they have time for the small stuff now. The big ticket items must work right by Win10 release or they will have to work 3 times harder to win converts, even if it is free.

  7. All Things Firefox said on May 1, 2015 at 12:48 am

    I’m really glad that Win32 applications will be included in the store. I just hope that they don’t lock down the desktop so that programs can be installed only from the store. However, I would support the ability to do this (to avoid malware for less-savvy users) but I really don’t want the store to be the only way of installation for everyone.

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