Devs: Microsoft wants your apps for Windows Phone and Xbox One (and Windows tablets and PCs)

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Source: Nokia

So Microsoft is buying Nokia. There was a lot of talk about this deal on the tech blogs yesterday, but one that stood out to me was over at Gamasutra.

When asked how Microsoft is going to lure developers over to support the Windows Phone platform, Executive Vice President of Operating Systems Terry Myerson said the plan was to create an environment where apps can be released across all Microsoft platforms (Windows Phone, Windows tablets, Xbox One and of course PC) easily. Devs should be able to do this via HTML5 or native apps. (Honestly I'm not sure what that question has to do with the Nokia acquisition since it's about Windows Phone as a platform rather than the hardware, but I'm still glad someone asked.)

I've recently been playing Halo: Spartan Ops, a Windows 8 twin-stick shooter. It was originally meant for Windows 8 tablets and, I believe, Windows Phone, and to be played via virtual joysticks. You could play it on a Windows 8 PC but controls with mouse and keyboard were a bit clunky. Last week it was patched to support an Xbox controller plugged into a PC, which improved the game quite a bit for Windows users.

So under this new program/philosophy I'm now expecting to see Halo: Spartan Ops hit Xbox One as well (it's already Xbox Live enabled). And if Microsoft gets it really right, progress will be stored in the cloud MS is always talking about, so I can play from phone, tablet, PC or Xbox One and always access the same save files. (Just to be clear, I'm talking about how I hope this will all work; for now Microsoft is just saying devs will be able to launch on various platforms easily.)

While on the topic of Microsoft and the Xbox One, yet another factoid dropped yesterday. Xbox One supports up to 8 controllers (PS4 only supports 4). I'm not sure how practical that is; maybe it'd be fun for party games. But hey, it's a bragging point!

Microsoft also posted details about its NFL & ESPN offerings for Xbox One, Surface tablets, Xbox 360 and PC. The season starts tomorrow so you'd better get ready!

Read more of Peter Smith's TechnoFile blog and follow the latest IT news at ITworld. Follow Peter on Twitter at @pasmith. For the latest IT news, analysis and how-tos, follow ITworld on Twitter and Facebook.

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