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Developers can now link Windows 8 and Windows Phone apps

by Patrick Pierra

May 14 2014

Microsoft positions Windows as a single marketing platform for apps.

Just one month after introducing “universal” apps running on both Windows 8.1 and Windows Phone 8.1 with the launch of “Halo: Spartan Assault”, Microsoft now allows developers to bundle apps which are still specific to each platform.

From now on, developers can opt to link two OS-specific versions of the same app. Then, when a user buys one of these versions on one platform, he automatically gets access to the other version on the other platform for free. From a marketing point of view, this should result in a universal-like experience: One buys an app once and can then use it on all Windows-powered devices.

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The strange thing, though, is that a developer doesn’t need to sell both versions at the same price. Theoretically, a user could buy a Windows Phone app sold at a lower price and would then be able to download a higher priced Windows version on his tablet or laptop at no additional cost.

This could presumably lead to some frustration in the opposite situation, if a user discovers he could have paid less than the price he actually paid by buying the app on another device.

(Developers, consider submitting your best tablet apps to the Tabby Awards competitions. Sign up for the free Tabby Awards mailing list to be updated about submission periods.)

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