Microsoft Offers Open-Source Windows Bridge for iOS
Microsoft releases an early preview of its tool for bringing iOS apps to the Windows platform and also open-sources the technology.Microsoft this week delivered on its vision of building bridges to non-Microsoft platforms with an early version of its bridge for running iOS apps on Windows. At its Build 2015 conference in San Francisco in April, Microsoft announced a series of "bridging" technologies to enable developers to bring their existing iOS, Android, Web and desktop code and skill sets to the Windows Store. Now the company has released an early version of its Windows Bridge for iOS and in turn has open-sourced the technology under the MIT license. The Windows Bridge for iOS, formerly known as "Project Islandwood," is still a work-in-progress. Microsoft delivered this early version on Aug. 6, but the final release will come later this fall. Microsoft hopes the open-source community will help shape the technology in the meantime. The extra time also will enable the bridge to take advantage of new tooling capabilities that will ship with the upcoming Visual Studio 2015 Update, said Kevin Gallo, vice president of the Windows Developer Platform, in a blog post. "Microsoft's move here illustrates that the only serious way to engage developers today is with open source," said Al Hilwa, an analyst at IDC. "The Visual Studio team is clearly one of the lead groups at Microsoft in transforming how the giant works with open source."
The Windows Bridge for iOS enables iOS developers to create Windows apps using their existing Objective-C code and skills. In a separate blog post, Salmaan Ahmed, Microsoft's program manager for Windows Bridge for iOS, said the bridge comprises four components: an Objective-C compiler, an Objective-C runtime, iOS API headers and Visual Studio IDE integration.