Do you ever wonder why your favorite developer or software company isn’t available for Windows just like they are for other platforms? You might assume that the answer is because they are working on something new and untested, but there’s a much more simple answer — money.
Even though there are plenty of high-quality Windows development tools available, most developers who want to build great experiences for their users first and foremost develop for the Mac or Linux computer. This means that not only do you have to look outside the standard big fish to find some quality development talent, but also you have to learn how these developers operate and their individual quirks.
If you’re looking to make the switch from iOS or Android development to Windows development, this article will explain everything you need to know about the two main operating systems and their corresponding development tools.
What is Windows?
Windows is a collection of software created by Microsoft Corporation. It is primarily intended for PCs, but also includes tablets, smartphones, and a universal Windows application called Windows 10. Some functionality is also available for Microsoft’s previous operating systems, including Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows ME, and Windows NT.
What is a Windows app?
A Windows app is just that — an application developed for the operating system. You can think of a Windows app as a regular app for your mobile device that is running on a different computer. When someone downloads your app, they are actually downloading the Windows app.
This is likely why traditional app stores have dwindled to nothing since the release of Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android. A Windows app can either be released as an app installer or as a standalone app. A standalone app is not distributed to the user’s device, but can be easily installed on another computer.
A Windows app is developed using the .NET framework and publishes as a Windows app. Although the majority of software developers are familiar with the .NET framework through their work on Windows apps, Mac or Linux apps also make use of the .NET framework.
How to make a Windows app
The overall process of creating a Windows app is similar to that of any other app — creation, distribution, and usage. The main difference is that your app is distributed not as an installer but as a standalone application. You can think of this distribution process as creating a special app version that can only be installed on a device running Windows.
There are a variety of ways to create a Windows app. One way is to use Visual Studio and the .NET framework. Another way is with the development tools provided with Windows 10.
Windows vs. Mac or Linux development
When it comes to Mac or Linux vs Windows development, the choice is yours. You can choose to target either platform exclusively and ignore the other, or you can choose to use both and see how each platform works in real life. The main benefit of using Windows is that it is more widely available and has a large developer community that can assist you with issues before you start experiencing difficulties.
On the other hand, Mac users have a wide range of development tools available to them, including tools that target the entire software development lifecycle — from idea generation to documentation and documentation that details the technicalities of each stage of development.
Cons of each approach
While each approach has its own set of advantages and disadvantages, when looking at them in isolation, both Mac and Linux development can seem very attractive. However, when comparing the two, you have to take into account the specific needs of your project and the available development tools on each platform.
For example, the best Mac development tools don’t necessarily suit the needs of a Windows application. Likewise, the best Windows development tools might not suit the needs of a Mac app. In other words, you have to consider the overall picture and not just the parts that are directly applicable to you.
Now that you know all about Windows and how to create a Windows app, it’s time to put all that knowledge to use. With a few adjustments, you could easily create a great app for the platform — with fewer resources, of course.