Microsoft’s announcement yesterday that it would be expanding Linux support to include OpenSUSE and Fedora distros on the Windows Store came as a surprise, but just as surprising was the news that Apple’s iTunes would also be arriving on the platform before the end of the year.
At its Build developers conference in Seattle, Executive Vice President of Windows and Devices Terry Myerson revealed the addition of iTunes. Apple’s first app on Microsoft’s storefront will include full iPhone support and come with access to Apple Music and the iTunes store.
There is, of course, already an iTunes Windows app, which has been around since 2003. It’s unclear whether the new version will differ in any way from what’s already available, but it could be redesigned to better support Microsoft’s operating system, and hopefully be a bit more user-friendly than the current Windows version.
The move is part of Project Centennial, which allows developers to bring their existing .NET and Win32-based Windows apps to the Windows Store. In addition to iTunes, Microsoft announced that progressive web app SAP Digital Boardroom is coming to its store sometime this month.
With iTunes already on Windows, why should this matter? Other than the new version potentially being slightly better, it has a lot to do with Windows S. Microsoft’s streamlined version of its OS, unveiled at its education event last week, only allows apps from the Windows Store to be installed – something the company says will make Windows S safer and more efficient. Adding iTunes means that users who buy a Surface Laptop won’t have to upgrade to Windows 10 Pro to access Apple's software.