updated 06:25 pm EDT, Wed March 21, 2012
Microsoft tries to show how iPad devs can hop over
Microsoft has shown early signs that it's hoping to lure iPad developers to Windows 8 with a new design guide. The Windows Dev Center example shows the common differences in layout between an iOS app and Windows' new Metro interface, including not just the look but also how certain commands would unfold and how either would respond to gestures. Its most advanced element is an explanation of "contracts," or agreements between apps and Windows 8 that give them permission to share files or search between each other, play out to other audio sources, or toggle settings.
While not a direct instruction guide, it would show Microsoft seeing iPad developers as a key part of its attempt to build support for tablet-native apps. It would mirror a strategy seen with Windows Phone, where Microsoft often focused on courting iPhone developers. Its guides eventually led to tools to more directly help port apps, and in some cases paying for ports with guarantees whether or not an app sold well.
Windows 8 is trying to equally court traditional PC developers, using Intel-based systems, as well as ARM-based tablets that are more explicitly targeted at the iPad. Although Microsoft mostly established the tablet computing category, its approach for the first eight years of supporting generic PCs with pen support let Apple almost immediately overtake it. The ARM systems will be closely direct by Microsoft and designed with an eye towards tight hardware and software integration.