Pigs are flying as Apple iTunes, Ubuntu Linux head to the Windows Store

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During Microsoft’s second Build 2017 keynote, executive vice president of the Windows and Devices Group Terry Myerson announced that iTunes will be coming to the Windows Store. He said Windows 10 Home/Pro and Windows 10 S users will get the “complete” iTunes experience including Apple Music and full support for the iPhone.

Myerson also revealed that the Linux-based Ubuntu operating system will be offered through the Windows Store as well. This stems from the Linux Bash Shell feature added to Windows 10 last year, which enables users to install and run Linux operating systems without the need to create a dual-boot scenario. That said, SUSE Linux and Fedora are heading to the Windows Store too.

Myerson made these announcements after officially revealing the next major update to Windows 10. Code-named Redstone 3, it will arrive this fall officially as the Fall Creators Update, and will expand on what Microsoft introduced to Windows 10 in the first Creators Update released in April. One of the improvements will be in the Windows Store, which will see new app solutions across multiple platforms.

For example, UWP capabilities are coming to Visual Studio Mobile Center. UWP is short for Universal Windows Platform, which is an architecture that enables apps to run on Windows 10 and Windows 10 Mobile no matter what kind of hardware is running underneath. This new capability will provide a more unified app experience across all Windows 10, Android, and iOS devices.

“For consumer apps, we added 35 new payment instruments this year and now support payments in 247 markets globally. We have also seen monthly in-app purchase sales double year over year in the Windows Store,” Myerson added.

He went on to talk about specific apps that will appear in the Windows Store. Spotify previously announced its intention to offer a UWP app after the introduction of Windows 10 S. Now Autodesk plans to expand its UWP presence in the Store by way of its Autodesk Stingray graphics rendering engine, which will not only take advantage of proprietary UWP features, but support Microsoft’s Windows Mixed Reality platform.

“When Autodesk introduced their UWP SketchBook last summer, it became their fastest growing new platform introduction with an average of 35-percent sales growth every month throughout 2017,” Myers said. “Autodesk SketchBook, the de facto application for painting and drawing, was built from the ground up as a Universal Windows Platform (UWP) app leveraging the pen and touch capability of Windows 10.”

Enterprise application software company SAP plans to invade the Windows Store this month with its SAP Digital Boardroom app. It will be a “next-generation” board portal providing a “single source of truth” for C-level executives wanting real-time contextual information, data summaries, analytic reports, and so on. It won’t be based on Microsoft’s UWP platform, however, but will serve as a progressive web app instead. That means it will rely on web-based technologies yet will deliver an app-like experience.

“This allows SAP to reuse their web content and investments to target multiple platforms, while at the same time take advantage of deeper integration with Windows 10,” Myerson said.