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

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.

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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.



Top Rated Comments

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14 months ago
Nadella is someone to watch! He is slowly turning Microsoft around, too bad Ballmer stuck around for so long.
Rating: 12 Votes
14 months ago
Oh the hate, the hate, the hate. For us, developers, that don't blindly hate, this is actually a good thing.
Rating: 10 Votes
14 months ago

Who loses here?

All the Apple drones on this thread who may cut their wrists over this.
Rating: 9 Votes
14 months ago

We will all benefit from no more Microsoft. And, yes, I've hated them since before I was a Mac user.


Yes, we should all only have Apple and zero competition. It will be utopia.

:rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes:
Rating: 9 Votes
14 months ago

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.
Rating: 9 Votes
14 months ago
Now would be a good time for Apple to make a few hundred million dollar investment in Microsoft...
Rating: 8 Votes
14 months ago
Sorry M$, too little too late.

They had the market 10 years ago, but now, playing catch up....
Rating: 8 Votes
14 months ago
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.
Rating: 7 Votes
14 months ago
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.
Rating: 7 Votes
14 months ago

Nice one. Now do Swift.

The only developer I know using Swift is my project manager, and he's doing it for fun.
Last time I've checked, the majority of those 1.5 mil apps were written in objective C.


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.

What did you miss in "work-in-progress"?
Thing is, no one will ever switch if there is no apps. They have to start at some point, and if a develop can release an app on another platform easily and possibly gain more, they probably will. At least, I would do.


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.

What would you gain from "No MS" ? No Office, having to rewrite most of apps in the world, relying on open source stuff that is still a mess to find, or having to buy Mac, which would greatly increase the cost in IT for most companies or create security problems because they don't upgrade computers and systems because they haven't understood how it changed.

Also, I don't see the difference with MS as the king of the world, or Apple.
Rating: 5 Votes

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