Many have wondered what would happen to Windows this week at Build 2015. I had heard chat in the community that predicted some or all of it might get open sourced. That it might be made free (which it pretty much is, already). That Microsoft was, in a way, ready to 'sacrifice' the sacred cow of Windows in some kind of grand admission of defeat.
Au contraire. Microsoft has doubled-down on what it means to be "Windows" in this new era of services and devices. While Microsoft may have lost (at least, for now) several battles on the devices front, they have made some very smart moves that are, in my opinion, almost certain to guarantee a long future for Windows on desktops, laptops, tablets, convertible devices, embedded devices (IoT), and large screen devices. Basically, almost everything except maybe phones and some tablets.
But more importantly, Microsoft has made moves that might just capture that heretofore lost market before. Friends have talked about Microsoft "knee-capping" iOS and Android this week, by making it (apparently) so easy for developers to bring code from those popular platforms to what is and will be a gigantic market of Windows users and devices.
What, exactly, are those moves and the vision behind it?
David Treadwell, Corporate VP of the Operating Systems group, wrapped up a long series of demos at the Thursday Build 2015 keynote by saying, "Thanks for your attention." Then—almost as an aside (although I guess it was a glance at the teleprompter)—he dropped what I think is the best summary of the strategic vision of the OS group at Microsoft.
[This has been a look at how you can use the] Universal Windows Application Platform bridges to take the code you have today, no matter where it was born, [and] bring it to Windows.
Then you can build experiences only possible on Windows across all our family of devices by taking advantage of unique Windows features, like XBox Live services, Cortana, interactive notifications, live tiles, adapting and tailoring your UI, inking, sensors, holograms, and much much more.
He added, "I'm psyched to see what you all do to change the world with the Universal Windows platform."