Microsoft has confirmed its Windows Bridge for Android codenamed “Project Astoria” does not exist anymore. This comes just a day after announcing its acquisition of Xamarin, the cross-platform mobile app development firm.
Microsoft’s Kevin Gallo explained the move saying it has been arrived at after careful evaluation of all the feedback they have received. Gallo said it turned out to be confusing to have two separate bridges for developers, one each for the iOS and Android, and hence the decision to terminate its efforts with Project Astoria.
This also comes on the back of rumors that Microsoft is having issues with its Android Bridge or Project Astoria while similar efforts with iOS apps, Windows Bridge for iOS codenamed “Project Islandwood” is fast approaching the finish line.
Microsoft, as part of its long-term vision of populating its app store with enough quality apps, had undertaken what it termed as the Bridges strategy. These essentially are tools that make it convenient for developers to port their existing iOS or Android apps to Windows 10.
The idea behind the Bridges strategy is to ensure developers engaged with other platforms can use their existing code to the maximum extent possible for porting onto devices running Windows 10, which includes Xbox One as well.
Microsoft has also demoed the strategy and its effectiveness, showing how an iOS app can be made to run on a Windows 10 device in just about 5 minutes or so.
As for those who might have already been devoting their efforts in Project Astoria, Gallo said they should have a serious look at both the iOS Bridge and Xamarin both of which should allow for easy portability with Windows 10 devices with little or no code change at all.
Further updating on its Project Islandwood efforts, Gallo said they already open-sourced the code to Github back in August last year. As a follow up to that, Microsoft has also been releasing updates to it regularly with the latest coming just last week and included the first ARM32 preview compiler drop.
Zeroing in on the iOS Bridge also makes sense in that the Apple platform has the most number of exclusive apps compared to Android. Apple also has a very strict app submission regime in place which ensures its only quality apps that make it to its app store. It’s good to see Microsoft out to woo the iOS developers in its quest to have more quality apps on its store.
Gallo also stated its Project Centennial, which aims to introduce Win32 and .NET-based apps to Windows Store, is still in the works though the initial version should be ready soon.