A notorious problem given by Android and iOS‘ dominance in the mobile space is the lack of interest developers have in putting their effort into less successful and widely adopted platforms such as Windows Phone. However, in its grand plan, Microsoft announced compatibility of apps between the desktop and mobile versions of Windows 10 under the “Universal Windows Platform” umbrella.
To encourage devs, the Redmond giant also worked on some porting tools, the so called Windows ‘bridges’, namely “Project Islandwood” and “Project Astoria” – for porting from iOS and Android respectively – which after a troubled beginning are seeing their roads separating, with the former going forward and Astoria officially shutting down as of today, after a period of apparent hiatus.
According to Microsoft, the decision of leaving just one bridge open (other than those from win32 apps and the web, which are obviously still options) is due to the fact that having both iOS and Android to draw from would be ‘confusing’.
The company’s suggestion for Android-only developers is to take a look at the just-acquired Xamarin, which however requires the code to be in C#. With Astoria, Java-written apps would have worked on Windows 10 with minimal alteration.
However, considering Windows’ (and, more crucially, Windows Mobile’s) dangerous shortage of applications on its virtual market and iOS apps’ general superior quality (although there are definitely exceptions to the rule), it may turn out to be the best idea for Microsoft.