Windows 10 adoption surpassed 75 million devices in 192 countries within its first month of availability and we’re already seeing a shift in the way people engage with Windows Store and the content they find there. Shifts in customer behavior tend to bring new opportunities for developers, so today I’ll share insight into early trends and highlight a few new and updated tools that are making it easier for more developers to deliver apps for Windows 10 in time for the holiday rush.
Store experience drives increased customer engagement
More people are upgrading to Windows 10 and visiting Windows Store every day. And they aren’t just window-shopping. The average Windows 10 customer is downloading six times more apps than the average customer on Windows 8.
This shift in behavior is due in part to the fact that we have taken steps to change the way people discover and experience apps in Windows 10. Features both inside and outside of the Store that are fast becoming part of people’s daily lives. As customers use Windows 10 it gets better at suggesting information and content that help people DO more in ways that are personal and relevant. For example, Cortana provides app recommendations based on the customer’s personal interests. In addition, the Start menu, Microsoft Edge and the Notification Center will also suggest apps that customers might enjoy.
In the Store itself, we’ve created a more visual experience, added new search and list algorithms built specifically for the Store (vs. standard web search), and expanded the catalog of digital content that people can shop for when they browse the Store (such as music, movies, and TV shows).
New & updated tools for bringing apps to the Store
As Windows Store traffic, downloads and developer revenue continue to grow, we want to make it as easy as possible to develop or update apps for Windows 10. In addition to the Windows 10 SDK and middleware solutions, we’ve invested in bridge technologies that make it easy to bring your code to the Windows platform and reach this growing base of Windows 10 users with existing mobile, Windows and web apps.
In August we open-sourced an early preview of the Windows Bridge for iOS. We’ve received great feedback from the community (including a number of pull requests), which is influencing our development efforts. So far we’ve added libdispatch, initial support for Storyboards, and a vastly improved NSCalender among other new features and fixes. On top of the API and tooling work, we’re starting to build better tests, docs, and visualizations so you’ll be able to quickly and easily see what works, what doesn’t, and what’s currently in progress.
In June we launched the bridge for hosted web apps, enabling you to create new, or convert existing, web apps for distribution via Windows Store. Within the app you can light up native Windows 10 features such as Live Tiles, Cortana integration or push notifications to deliver a richer user experience. To make it even easier to create a hosted web app for Windows 10, today we’re launching integration into Windows App Studio Beta – where you can create one with just a few clicks.
Finally, many of our partners are releasing Windows 10 tools, offering you additional solutions. I’m especially pleased to announce releases from two partners: Mobilize.Net and Unity.
Mobilize.Net recently released a developer preview for their bridge for Windows Phone Silverlight developers. The bridge helps accelerate bringing apps to the Universal Windows Platform (UWP) to engage users across PCs, tablets, phones and more. In this preview release, the bridge provides over 700 platform mappings and translations from Silverlight to UWP, with a further expansion to 1,600 mappings planned for later this year. The bridge will also offer a rich, open source, extensibility model enabling you to add to the mappings and transformations on GitHub. More information can be found in their blog post on the bridge and expect more mappings to be added on a regular basis.
Unity recently announced support for Windows 10 with the release of Unity 5.2, enabling developers to build games that target multiple devices ranging from phones to PCs to Xbox. Paradox and Cocos2d-X now also support building Universal Windows games and we continue working with other middleware providers to help you bring your code to Windows.
If you haven’t already, I’d like to encourage you to download the Windows 10 SDK. If you use in-app advertising, also download the Microsoft Advertising Client SDK, which includes support for video interstitials and ad mediation to improve both fill rates and monetization by taking advantage of multiple ad networks within a single code base. Your Microsoft Advertising ad units are now set up, managed and tracked right in Dev Center for added convenience.
More to Come. . .
Windows 10 adoption is off to a solid start, but there is more to come. Now that the Windows Store is itself a Universal Windows Platform app, we will be updating the Store more frequently to bring new capabilities (and bug fixes) to market faster. For example, we’ve already released Store updates to add device filtering for ratings & reviews (available on the app’s listing page) and to address initial constraints with search. And you can expect us to add new capabilities in the coming months, including support for carrier billing (paying for apps via your phone bill) on PCs and tablets to help you reach customers who don’t have a credit card or traditional payment methods, as well as enabling you to offer in-app subscriptions. We’ll also launch the first phase of a new storefront designed to help organizations to acquire, distribute and manage digital content across their small business, enterprise or education institutions. And, of course we will release Windows 10 for mobile devices.
What are you waiting for? I’d like to encourage you to start developing for Windows 10 today.