Microsoft Launches Early Version of Windows Bridge for Porting iOS Apps to Windows

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Microsoft today announced the release of an early version of its Windows Bridge software, which is designed to let software developers quickly port iOS, Android, and web apps to the Windows platform.

As of today, Windows Bridge for iOS is available as an open-source project under the MIT license and can be downloaded on GitHub. With Windows Bridge, iOS developers can begin testing the software that will let them convert iOS apps built for x86 and x64 processor architectures to a format that will run on Windows 10 and Windows 8.1.

As outlined by Microsoft, Windows Bridge for iOS includes four components to construct Windows apps using existing Objective-C code: an Objective-C compiler, Objective-C runtime, iOS API headers/libs, and Visual Studio IDE integration.
We're releasing the iOS bridge as an open-source project under the MIT license. Given the ambition of the project, making it easy for iOS developers to build and run apps on Windows, it is important to note that today's release is clearly a work-in-progress -- some of the features demonstrated at Build are not yet ready or still in an early state.

Regardless, we'd love for the interested and curious to look at the bridge, and compare what we're building with your app's requirements. And, for the really ambitious, we invite you to help us by contributing to the project, as community contributors -- with source code, tests, bug reports, or comments. We welcome any and all participation in building this bridge.
Microsoft first announced its plans for Windows Bridge at its April BUILD conference for developers, demonstrating an iPad app that had been converted to a Windows 10 app. Tools designed to help developers create Windows apps from their iOS apps could be a huge boon for Microsoft, as app availability has always been one of the major downsides to Microsoft's Windows mobile devices.

Both Google Play and the iOS App Store have always had far more apps than are available on Windows, so Microsoft is hoping its new tools will encourage developers to spend time creating Windows apps, heavily boosting the number of available Windows apps. As of July, there were 1.6 million Google Play apps, 1.5 million App Store Apps, 400,000 Amazon Appstore apps, and 340,000 Windows Phone Store apps.


Microsoft plans to release a completed version of Windows Bridge in the fall. Windows Bridge for web apps became available alongside the launch of Windows 10, and Windows Bridge for Android is available as a technical preview by invitation only.

Article Link: Microsoft Launches Early Version of Windows Bridge for Porting iOS Apps to Windows
 

RDeckard

macrumors regular
Sep 23, 2013
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This is just like when real estate developers try put nice houses in a crappy neighborhood/toxic waste dump.

Good luck with that, MS!
 
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2457282

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Dec 6, 2012
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I know we all hate M$, right? Still I have to say that MS has made significant improvements in attitude and approach since Ballmer left. The only bad thing is that they are going subscription based for everything which is a non starter for me and that they are playing catch up in many if not most areas. If it weren't for the subscription issue, I might have actually given them another look.
 

PaulSorensen

macrumors regular
Apr 30, 2008
106
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Does anyone know if this means that there is a Grand Central Dispatch API available in windows? Asking for a friend.
 

Zirel

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Jul 24, 2015
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Microsoft, you are so dumb...

An half-assed bridge of the old language.

When Apple is strongly adopting Swift, which will be open source.


I love OS X, but Windows 10 is pretty neat. This will only serve to create more competition which will hopefully benefit us with lower prices and better innovation.
Pretty neat, and they still don't even have system-wide spell checker? Okay...
 

OldSchoolMacGuy

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Jul 10, 2008
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It's certainly not as wonderful as Microsoft makes it sound. It allows apps with very limited functionality and doesn't have access to most of the APIs.

And most importantly, it doesn't address the biggest problem. No one is using Windows Phone. Developers aren't developing for the platform because no one uses it. Why spend all the time making your app work right (and this is going to take possibly even more work than building the app much from the ground up on the platform) and keeping it updated if you have such a small user-base and very small potential for revenue from it. It's not worth the time or effort to be on the platform.
 

AjantiDaggar

macrumors newbie
Aug 6, 2015
1
3
"With Windows Bridge, iOS developers can begin testing the software that will let them convert iOS apps built for x86 and x64 processor architectures to a format that will run on Windows 10 and Windows 8.1."

There are no iOS apps running on x86 or x64 processor architectures unless you count the iOS Simulator.
 

itguy06

macrumors 6502a
Mar 8, 2006
849
1,139
I know we all hate M$, right? Still I have to say that MS has made significant improvements in attitude and approach since Ballmer left. The only bad thing is that they are going subscription based for everything which is a non starter for me and that they are playing catch up in many if not most areas. If it weren't for the subscription issue, I might have actually given them another look.
They were this nice in the early 90s too. Embrace, Extend, Extinguish is the motto of Microsoft and it has not changed. A Tiger does not change its spots and while everyone is singing MS's praises they are doing what they did before. They'll work to get "on top" and then slowly become the arrogant POS they have always been.

Better to ignore them and they will go away. We will all benefit from no more Microsoft. And, yes, I've hated them since before I was a Mac user.
 

2457282

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Dec 6, 2012
3,327
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They were this nice in the early 90s too. Embrace, Extend, Extinguish is the motto of Microsoft and it has not changed. A Tiger does not change its spots and while everyone is singing MS's praises they are doing what they did before. They'll work to get "on top" and then slowly become the arrogant POS they have always been.

Better to ignore them and they will go away. We will all benefit from no more Microsoft. And, yes, I've hated them since before I was a Mac user.
I have been with Apple since almost the beginning. My first computer was the Apple II. Before IBM and MS-DOS. Everyone says that Apple without Steve is different and they are right because Tim is different. And Microsoft with out Ballmer is different because Nadal is different. Time will tell whether the difference is good or bad, but your reaction seems a bit over the top IMHO.
 

Rudy69

macrumors 6502a
Mar 30, 2009
669
1,041
Binary compatibility with Windows is part of the reason BeOS died.....this isn't binary compatibility but pretty close. Why develop for Windows 10 when you can reuse your iOS project
 
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TWSS37

macrumors 65816
Feb 4, 2011
1,107
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This is excellent and probably the smartest thing MS has done in awhile. I knew of the Android to Windows port, but iOS opens up even more avenues. The MS app store is going to grow immensely and developers should have no reason to not do this, it's going to open up the largest OS install base on the planet for their apps to be bought. Who loses here?
 
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