With Microsoft’s Build developer conference just a few short weeks away, the engineers over in Redmond are working harder than ever to present a coherent story for developers looking into Windows 10. Back in September, Microsoft boldly announced that it could and would deliver a unified application platform for developers.
Gone would be the days of letting allocated resources determine where developers exhausted their time. With a unified platform, businesses, developers, and hobbyist were promised that if they wrote their apps once, they would be able to use a majority of that code to target the vast ecosystem under Microsoft’s belt. The information and experiences in applications and games would seamlessly flow between, PCs, tablets, phones, the Xbox and IoT devices.
Before that dream could be realized, there had to be real world steps taken. One such step was unifying the app stores that spanned the ecosystem. As of earlier today, it seems Microsoft is one step closer to fulfilling that promise. In the latest build of the Windows 10 Technical Preview, the Store (Beta) can now surface music, movies, and TV shows alongside apps and games. According to the Windows team, the update is going live today and will continue to roll out over the next 24 hours for the Store (Beta). For some, going to the Store (Beta) results in an app crash. That should be worked out once the update hits their system.
With a combined Store, users will now be able to search and browse through Videos and Music (formerly only possible on the Xbox Videos and Music apps), as well as rent or purchase related content. For those with subscriptions to either Microsoft Music or Videos, your collections can also be viewed through the new Preview apps for both. The preview Music and Video apps can also be found in the Store (Beta).
The Windows team does note, “The experience you will see today is unfinished and we have a lot more work to do. For example – you won’t see movie or TV details like cast and crew and you’ll only be able to stream video content right now. But don’t worry – offline download capability will be coming!”
The last bit of caveats are:
Windows Insiders in the following countries will see Movies & TV available to purchase and/or rent with a few caveats: North America: US, Canada, Mexico, Austria, Belgium (only movies – no TV content), Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, Australia, Japan, and New Zealand.
The Windows team will also be adding the “Music” page to the Store (Beta) in the coming weeks. Now that the stores are finally being merged, developers attending Build can set their focus on other issues, like new API’s, mobile payments, and system integration of apps across the ecosystem.