Microsoft on Tuesday during its BUILD developer conference announced a new initiative called Universal Windows Apps for developers. It will provide the tools for developers to create new applications that are capable of running on Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8.1, no matter the form factor of the device in question. So, you can optimize the UI to work on a phone, but also for a larger display, while the underlying code can remain the same.
Microsoft demonstrated an Epicurious app, which looked great on a phone but also provided more data and took advantage of the larger screen on a PC. The company said that the code underneath was all basically the same, and that the developer just chose to tweak the user interface. Visual Studio will allow developers to share code across Windows Phone and Windows apps to help make the entire process easier.
Microsoft didn’t say when the tools will be available for developers, though presumably they’ll get a chance to check it out this week during the BUILD conference.