Microsoft hasn’t officially announced when Windows 10 will be available but it’s already doing a bang-up job making some of it most important Windows constituents love it: developers.
On Wednesday, Microsoft launched its big developers conference, Build, in San Francisco.
During the show, Microsoft released a bunch of a free software development tools that make it easy for programmers to take their existing Android, iOS, Linux and Web apps and turn them into Windows 10 apps.
We talked to about a dozen developers attending the conference and every single one named this as the thing they are most excited about, although several also voiced some concerns with the plan.
“The rollout of Android and iOS app is the biggest game changer,” one developer who worked for a consultant that writes customer apps for enterprises told us.
If it’s easy for developers to turn their apps into Windows apps, most of them will do it, several programmers told us. And Windows 10 devices (including Windows phone) will suddenly become a lot more useful.
And that should make consumers and business love it and want to buy it.
Another told us that many developers would even start using Microsoft’s new program development tool to write their apps, Visual Studio, which now runs on Windows PCs, Macs and Linux devices. This also makes it easier for Microsoft to bring more apps into its grasp.
William Ziebell, founder of Big Wood Software who is working on a private social network app being built on Microsoft’s cloud Azure, is excited that Microsoft is bringing Macs and Linux into its development fold.
He called this “huge, da bomb. Cross platform support is the Holy Grail,” he told us.
While all the programmers we talked to were psyched, they were also concerned that these tools wouldn’t really work as advertised.
Microsoft warned that existing apps might need “minor changes” before they would work on Windows 10.
“How minor is minor?” one developer told us. “Five minutes work? Or five weeks? It is a concern.”
Another told us that he’s excited to try bringing his Android app to Windows, but “he’s been down this road before,” said Chris Pounds of BeanYogurt, who wrote the Android app Boy or Girl Pregnancy Test. “Remember, even BlackBerry came out with a way to run Android apps.”
But others are not worried that Microsoft will become the next BlackBerry. The company has a giant “ecosystem,” Ziebell says.
The general feeling among the programmers we spoke to at the show was that Microsoft was genuinely trying to do right by them and they couldn’t wait to bring their apps to Windows 10.
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