Microsoft has been touting the benefits for companies who choose to target Windows 10 devices by building apps under their Universal Windows Platform (UWP) because it allows the app to reach multiple platforms with one common code base - a lot less work on the app developers part.
This concept recently came under fire from a familiar face as it was reported last week that Microsoft's former CEO, Steve Ballmer who was attending the annual company shareholder meeting, stated that the only solution for getting apps onto the Windows Phone platform was to allow Android apps to run on it.
You might recall that it appears the Redmond companies work in this area hit internal snags and Project Astoria, their bridge for porting Android apps to Windows 10 Mobile, seems to have been quietly set aside. Instead a larger focus has been placed on their iOS bridge Project Islandwood which allows iOS developers to port their apps over to all of the Windows 10 platforms.
However, Microsoft's CEO Satya Nadella, who was answering a shareholders question about apps on the Windows Phone platform during that same shareholder meeting had this to say:
On the application side, the goal we have is, look, we don’t think of our phones to PCs to consoles and even to HoloLens as all these separate platforms with separate marketplaces with separate applications, because the powerful concept of Windows and Windows 10 is that it’s one application platform, one store for developers, that then should attract developers to build once and then have them run across all of Windows. That’s the value proposition: for Starbucks, or for anyone else, to be able to write it and get the returns for that investment on the Windows platform. This is new. We’ve had different efforts in the past but we now have one store and one app platform. Give us time to keep focused on it.
Windows 10 has only been on the market for desktops for about 4 1/2 months and the mobile version of the new OS is only just arriving on new Windows 10 Mobile hardware this week.
Is it unreasonable to give Nadella more time to see how the the UWP can impact apps on Windows?
Personally, I don't think so.
Although he only made this comment a week ago, something happened this week that could be a very strong indicator that UWP just might work giving time.
Uber, the transportation company that is disrupting personal conveyance, released a UWP app for their service yesterday that can be used on desktops, tablets and mobile devices running Windows 10.
Uber on a Windows 10 Desktop/Tablet
Uber on Windows 10 Mobile (Lumia 950)
Granted the use case for Uber on a desktop machine in your house might not be widespread but the simple fact is that this multi-billion dollar company has chosen to jump in across the Windows 10 ecosystem and make it possible. They even incorporated Cortana so you can verbally request your ride if you want to.
After the big companies come in and support UWP then the smaller companies will begin filling in the gaps with their own products and services.
The Universal Windows Platform may not ever save Windows 10 Mobile or build up its market share, so it may always remain an enthusiasts platform, but as I have said before it is hard for these big companies to ignore the dominant desktop OS.
However, there is an outside chance that while they are embracing the Windows 10 desktop then it might just pull the Windows 10 Mobile platform along for the ride.
This is even more applicable as Windows 10 now has a reported 150 million users and is currently tracking to reach 1 billion devices in the next 2-3 years.
Don't forget - every river began as a small drop of rain or snow so every little bit contributes overall.