Feeds

Microsoft to merge Windows, Windows Phone stores in 2014

Platforms to unite in ONE APP STORE TO RULE THEM ALL

Intelligent flash storage arrays

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. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
Google+ goes TITSUP. But WHO knew? How long? Anyone ... Hello ...
Wobbly Gmail, Contacts, Calendar on the other hand ...
Preview redux: Microsoft ships new Windows 10 build with 7,000 changes
Latest bleeding-edge bits borrow Action Center from Windows Phone
Microsoft promises Windows 10 will mean two-factor auth for all
Sneak peek at security features Redmond's baking into new OS
Google opens Inbox – email for people too thick to handle email
Print this article out and give it to someone tech-y if you get stuck
UNIX greybeards threaten Debian fork over systemd plan
'Veteran Unix Admins' fear desktop emphasis is betraying open source
DEATH by PowerPoint: Microsoft warns of 0-day attack hidden in slides
Might put out patch in update, might chuck it out sooner
Redmond top man Satya Nadella: 'Microsoft LOVES Linux'
Open-source 'love' fairly runneth over at cloud event
prev story

Whitepapers

Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.