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Microsoft previews universal apps for Windows 10 PCs, tablets, and phones

Microsoft previews universal apps for Windows 10 PCs, tablets, and phones

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Microsoft today showed off its vision for letting all its Windows 10 devices play nicely with one another. At its Windows 10 event today, the company previewed how its own universal apps will work on Windows 10 PCs, tablets, and phones without being a jarring experience. The company showed off previews of how that will work on an early version of Office for phones that also works on small tablets. That will include a new Outlook mail client that sports a full version of the Word engine, just like the desktop app. Microsoft also demoed a version of Powerpoint that runs across the various devices, and a gallery app for viewing photos.

One app for multiple devices

The strategy is markedly different from the way Apple's done it, with specialty software for iOS and OS X that are designed differently for touch and mouse respectively. In Microsoft's case, the company's begun work on its own workaround for this with something called Continuum that will automatically switch an app into a fullscreen tablet mode when Windows detects there's no keyboard, then offer to return it back to a window when it senses a keyboard and mouse once again. Microsoft showed that off as well, though it's unchanged from when it was shown off for the first time in September.

Microsoft announced universal apps, which will also encompass the Xbox One, back at its Build conference last April. However, it was unclear where it would first crop up and how Microsoft would implement it in its own software. The feature requires developers rework their software in Microsoft's Visual Studio.

Windows 10 universal apps in photos