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Microsoft unveils ‘Universal Windows Apps’ for phones, PCs, tablets, and even Xbox

During Microsoft’s Build 2014 keynote, Microsoft corporate vice president David Treadwell announced that developers will have the ability to make what the company calls “Universal Windows Apps.”

According to Treadwell, the goal is to deliver the same app experience across different form factors, namely phones, tablets, PCs, and the Xbox One. Universal Windows Apps will have different views for each of the aforementioned form factors, with the bulk of the code remaining the same across all devices. This runs counter to how apps are developed for Google Android/Chrome and Apple platforms, which require developers to make one app on tablets and phones and another for PC.

Developers are free to use any language they’re most comfortable using, which include C++, C#, and HTML/JavaScript. Even though the bulk of the code is used to make the apps universal, developers can tune the user interface in order for it to play nice and make it device-specific.

Developers can start making Universal Windows Apps, which are based on Windows RT, when the Windows 8.1 update lands on April 8. Internet Explorer 11 and Paint for Kids will be the first set of Universal Windows Apps. No word on whether Universal Windows Apps will make their way to the Xbox 360.

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