As many other Windows Phone / Windows 8 / Universal apps developers (lets just call us WinRT developers) I watched the Build 2015 keynote last night. And I did not like it. I know Microsoft does not know to communicate but the message for me was clear. We, the WinRT developer, are no longer needed.
First, Microsoft announced that WPF apps will be allowed to be submitted to the Windows Store to be used on desktops / tablets. So why would anyone want to develop (or want to have developed) a Windows 8 (WinRT) app, when they can just use WPF and get everything done easier? I do not know.
But allowing WPF apps to the Windows Store is a small news compared to the ability to run Android apps on Windows Phone. The first news talked about porting Android apps to the Windows Phone, but later, statements like this appeared
Android developers will be able to submit versions of their apps, written in Java or C++, to the Windows Store in he form of APKs and have those apps work on Windows Phone 10 devices. Android developers should be able to start submitting apps to the Windows 10 Store some time in the next few months.
So let get this straight. Who would want a native mobile Windows app developed, when they can just take their Android app and use it on Windows? What company would want to keep their mobile Windows team, when they can just use their Android team to make Windows apps?
So I can use WPF to get into the store, and Java to get onto WinPhone and Android. So why would I write a universal app???
— Morten Nielsen (@dotMorten) April 29, 2015
Sure, Android apps will probably not run on XBOX and HoloLens, but I doubt Microsoft will open the XBOX store for all the developers, more likely only chosen companies will be allowed to publish apps. HoloLens will be used only by a small number of people if this price is not really low (which I doubt it will be), so only a few HoloLens apps will be needed.
For me, the situation seems clear, it is the death of the WinRT developer.
Can the last XAML dev to leave please turn out the lights. #Build2015
— Mark Allan (@MarkXA) April 29, 2015