Feeds

Microsoft to merge Windows, Windows Phone stores in 2014

Platforms to unite in ONE APP STORE TO RULE THEM ALL

Application security programs and practises

Microsoft is planning to combine the Windows Store and the Windows Phone Store into a single app store for all of its platforms as early as the spring of 2014, sources claim.

The Verge reports that Microsoft's new operating systems head, Terry Myerson, revealed the plan during an all-hands meeting in Redmond on Thursday.

The new, unified store will reportedly debut at the same time as the next major update to Windows Phone – which will likely be known as Windows Phone 8.1 – and a major update to the desktop Windows OS that will ship some months after Windows 8.1 launches in October.

Not much is known about that desktop Windows update, but on Wednesday Microsoft-watcher Mary Jo Foley said that it would come preinstalled on a Surface Mini tablet next year, and that internally it's known as the "Spring 2014 GDR" – Redmondese for "General Distribution Release."

Just how Microsoft plans to manage selling apps for desktop Windows and Windows Phone through a single store, however, is not clear.

As it stands, the Windows Store offers apps for Windows 8 running on PCs with Intel processors and for Windows RT running on devices with ARM chips. Many of the apps in the store will work on both platforms, but not all of them do.

Windows Phone apps, on the other hand, are an entirely different beast. Although Windows Phone is designed to run on ARM processors, apps built for Windows Phone won't run on Windows RT. In fact, developers don't even use the same APIs to create them – so far, at least.

In a conference call with financial analysts last week, Myerson said that Microsoft envisions its platforms converging. "We should have one silicon interface for all of our devices, we should have one set of APIs on all of our devices, and all of our apps should be available on all of our devices," he said.

It will take more than a unified Windows app store to make that happen. But pulling apps for all of Microsoft's platforms under one roof could be an important step toward establishing the concept of a single Windows ecosystem in consumers' minds – even if a truly cohesive Windows platform is still a few years off. ®

The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

More from The Register

next story
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
Chrome browser has been DRAINING PC batteries for YEARS
Google is only now fixing ancient, energy-sapping bug
Do YOU work at Microsoft? Um. Are you SURE about that?
Nokia and marketing types first to get the bullet, says report
Microsoft takes on Chromebook with low-cost Windows laptops
Redmond's chief salesman: We're taking 'hard' decisions
Cheer up, Nokia fans. It can start making mobes again in 18 months
The real winner of the Nokia sale is *drumroll* ... Nokia
EU dons gloves, pokes Google's deals with Android mobe makers
El Reg cops a squint at investigatory letters
Big Blue Apple: IBM to sell iPads, iPhones to enterprises
iOS/2 gear loaded with apps for big biz ... uh oh BlackBerry
prev story

Whitepapers

Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.