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Microsoft paves the way for devs to port iOS/Android apps to Windows

Microsoft's Build developer conference is taking place this week, and one of the company's key messages for mobile developers seems to be: Please bring your games and apps to the Windows Store.

Microsoft's Build developer conference is taking place in San Francisco this week, and one of the company's key messages for mobile developers seems to be: Please bring your games and apps to the Windows Store.

To jumpstart the porting process Microsoft is debuting new software development kits designed to allow iOS and Android developers (among others) to port their work to the Windows Store "with minimal code modifications."

"The theme is to start with your current code base, and then extend," Microsoft exec Terry Myerson told ZDNet. "We want to embrace devs where they are."

To facilitate that, Microsoft is rolling out an Objective-C compiler that iOS developers can use to rebuild their games to run on Windows 10 Mobile. The company is also designing its upcoming mobile OS to support Android Open Source, and in a few months the company will begin accepting APK submissions from Android developers for the Windows Store.

The storefront itself is also being redesigned as a "single unified experience for Windows 10 customers across devices", which sounds much akin to how the Apple App Store supports iOS tablet, mobile and cross-platform apps.

This is in line with Microsoft's attempt to spin Windows 10 up into a "Universal Windows Platform" that encompasses PCs, tablets, smartphones and the company's upcoming HoloLens headset

The idea is that Windows Store apps will automatically adjust themselves to different supported platforms, and iOS/Android developers who use Microsoft's new toolsets to port their work to the Windows Store will be able to integrate Windows features like Xbox Live into the Windows version of their games.

For more details, check out Myerson's blog post on the topic.

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