The Windows 10 developer’s dilemma: Go Universal or stick with the desktop?

Microsoft’s Universal Windows Platform offers code-once-run-anywhere upside, but development drawbacks abound

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Microsoft’s newly released Windows 10 offers developers what at first blush appears to be a can’t-miss pitch: Write your app once and run it anywhere Windows exists. With Microsoft’s push toward “one Windows” across multiple device types, ranging from the plain old desktops to augmented reality headsets, the appeal of that pitch could be massive, not to mention lucrative, for developers.

But while Windows chief Terry Myerson promises that the latest incarnation of Windows will “inspire new scenarios across the broadest range of devices, from big screens to small screens to no screens at all,” the reality is that the new Windows gives developers difficult choices, and coding successfully for multidevice Windows is complex and involves compromises. And anyone who remembers Silverlight knows that Microsoft’s visions of developer nirvana should be considered carefully before making a full commitment.

Here, we take a closer look at Microsoft’s latest direction for Windows app developers and whether it’s worth ditching the tried-and-true desktop app approach for a more universal option.

Microsoft’s Universal aspirations

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