It goes without saying that apps were an uncharted territory for Microsoft when it decided to entire the mobile game, first with Windows Phone and then with the release of Windows 8.
The company thrived with traditional desktop software — but a change in outlook was the need of the hour to compete with other technology giants like Google, Apple and even BlackBerry at that time.
As thing stand now, Microsoft’s two major apps repositories (the Windows Store and the Windows Phone Store) are ready for prime time. Both app stores now have the attention of developers large and small, and continually receive a growing number of submissions.
And in order to help people with no coding experience to create a Windows Phone app, Microsoft has just revealed a service that uses a series of templates to design a mobile app.
A post on the Windows Phone blog introduces the public beta version of Windows Phone App Studio.
While it may seem geared towards novice app developers Microsoft says that this tool is not just for beginners. Experienced developers can also put it to great use:
“More skilled developers … can use the tool for rapid prototyping, and then export the code and continue working with the project in Visual Studio. Unlike other app creation tools, with Windows Phone App Studio a developer can download the source code for the app to enhance it using Visual Studio.”
This brand new web-based system is optimized for Internet Explorer 10, and allows a person to sign in with their Microsoft Account and pick from a series of templates to create an app. The templates range from creating an online store front to personal movie reviews.
Once a template is selected, users can add things like images, videos, RSS and Twitter feeds to the app. The system also offers a selection of colors, Live Tiles, splash and lock screens to choose from.
This being the first version of this new service, Microsoft promises that it will be adding even more features to it soon, including those that will be suggested by early users of this system.
A system like this can potentially be a game changer for the Windows Phone platform, if advanced correctly. Many of the apps on Google Play and Apple App Store are the simplest of solutions, but they ultimately add to the bottom line, the final statistics of both these app stores.
Microsoft could also potentially bring an advanced solution like this to the Windows 8 platform, in due time, of course. This is just the public beta of a very interesting service, after all.