Universal apps: Microsoft's bid to bring mobile developers back to Windows

Microsoft's messy mobile strategy and incompatible platforms have frustrated would-be app developers. Can Universal apps stop the rot?

By most accounts, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella has inherited a mess in the form of Microsoft's mobile strategy. Moreover, 14 years since then-CEO Steve Ballmer's infamous "developers, developers, developers" chant, Microsoft has confused, frustrated, and in some cases alienated developers with its multiple incompatible development platforms, in particular around mobile devices.

Microsoft's recent introduction of Universal apps attempts to tackle both challenges at once. By enabling developers to build apps that target both Windows Phone devices and Windows 8 tablets, Microsoft aims to clear the air with developers, provide the means for unifying its mobile experience across devices, and jump-start its mobile app ecosystem.

It's a tall order, but it might be a step in the right direction for a company that sorely needs it.

The woeful state of the Windows mobile app market

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