Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) decided to kill its Project Astoria, an initiative that was intended to build a bridge between apps developed for Android and Windows 10. Kevin Gallo, Microsoft's corporate VP of program management for the Windows developer platform team, said in a blog post that the company instead will focus its efforts on a similar program for iOS apps, called Project Islandwood.
Specifically, Gallo said that the company received feedback that having two "bridge" technologies was unnecessary and confusing. With that in mind, Microsoft decided to focus its efforts on the Project Islandwood so that it could make a single bridge option that will bring iOS code to all Windows 10 devices including the Xbox and PCs. Gallo also suggested that developers that spent time on the Android program should instead take a look at Project Islandwood.
Gallo also noted that developers will have more options now that Microsoft has acquired Xamarin, a transaction Microsoft announced earlier this week. Xamarin provides mobile and cloud-based tools for developing and managing the lifecycle of mobile apps. With that acquisition, Microsoft C# and F# developers will be able to write native apps for iOS, Android, Windows and Mac OS.
The decision to stop working on Project Astoria is notable because about a year ago Microsoft executives made a big deal about these different "bridge" projects as a way to shrink the so-called "app gap" between Windows and iOS and Android.
Microsoft has struggled to make developers see the value in developing apps for its Windows mobile producdts because it still commands just a small percentage of the overall smartphone operating system market. IDC said in second quarter 2015 that Windows Phone made up just 2.6 percent of the global smartphone OS market.
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