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Microsoft debuts early, open-sourced Windows Bridge for iOS

Microsoft on Thursday released an early version of Windows Bridge for iOS, a set of tools that will allow developers to port iOS apps to Windows.




Previously known as Project Islandwood, Bridge for iOS is still in an incomplete form and won't officially launch until sometime this fall, Microsoft said. Developers can however look at open-source code on GitHub, and the company is inviting people to contribute with testing, comments, and their own source code.

The iOS version of Bridge currently supports creating Windows 8.1 and Windows 10 apps built for 32- and 64-bit Intel systems. Users will have to wait for things like compiler optimizations and ARM processor support, the latter essential for phones and some tablets.

Other versions of Bridge are targeting Android and Web apps. Although the Android tools are available only in a private technical preview, the Web app tools are live and fully functional.

Microsoft has plotted an ambitious course for Windows 10, turning it into an universal operating system that can adapt not just to desktops, laptops, and tablets, but also phones and other devices. The company is hoping to have it installed on 1 billion devices with the next two to three years.

Along those lines, it's hoping to reinvigorate the Windows Store by attracting mobile developers who might normally skip Windows in favor of iOS or Android.