I have to start off by saying that I’m a huge Microsoft fan dating back to the days of DOS. Call me a fanboy. I’m ok with that. I’m a big believer in what Microsoft has done over the years, and I’m even more excited with what’s to come with Windows 10. Let me explain. And let me explain why you should be as excited about developing for Microsoft technologies as I am.
Windows 8 was the beginning of the future for personal computing. For years we’ve talked about device convergence, but the hardware and software were not capable of fulfilling the dreams of the day. That is no longer true. Smartphones have converged mobile communication, navigation, entertainment, and some productivity into a single device. With Windows 8 and the first generation Surface Pro we were given proof that convergence is now feasible for fully-fledged personal computing. The power of a desktop in the form of a tablet. And with the Surface Pro 3, convergence has been proven to be capable of being incredibly functional, versatile, and downright gorgeous. Gone are the days of needing a separate device for each computing task. “Toasters and refrigerators” can harmoniously live together.
But Windows 8 was just the first step. Enter Windows 10. Windows 10 is true convergence. Currently, Microsoft has Windows, Windows Server, Windows Phone, and Windows RT. They may have others, I’m no expert. Each are distinct operating systems with a special purpose. There may be underlying shared code, but unified these OSes are not. With Windows 10 that changes completely.
Windows 10 will be a truly unified operating system designed to run on any device, from a server, to a desktop, to a tablet, to a phone, to the Xbox, to toasters and refrigerators. Functionality and the user interface (UI) will automatically adjust to the device. Install it on a desktop, you get desktop capabilities and a desktop UI. Install it on a phone, you get phone capabilities and a phone UI. Install it on a tablet…well, Microsoft has redefined the tablet. A limited functionality tablet operating system is no longer necessary. You get the point. You’ll be able to install it on anything.
So, why should you be excited about all of this? Well, aside from it being super cool, the reason you should be excited is that convergence will completely change how developers develop and open up a new world of possibilities. Imagine writing your apps once and having them run on any device capable of running an app. Imagine being able to reach billions of users with a single app that will run equally well on desktops, tablets, phones, and the Xbox. In just a few years, saying you’re a desktop, tablet, or phone developer will likely raise eyebrows of confusion, because you’ll be able to simply say, “I’m a Windows developer.”
This isn’t to say all of this convergence stuff will be easy. Surely there will still be device experts and flexible UI development will be much more important. But with a single, powerful, cohesive foundation from which to work, being a Windows developer is going to offer opportunities never before possible.
So join me! Let’s learn to develop for Windows and change the world!