In a new video aimed at developers on Channel 9, Microsoft has once again explained what Project Islandwood is all about.
With Project Astoria all but dead at the minute, the iOS Bridge which is designed to bring iPhone and iPad apps to Windows 10 has become much more important.
The project would allow developers to code for Windows 10 in Objective-C, use much of the same APIs as on the iPhone, access native Windows APIs and add their own APIs for features Microsoft did not implement and because the project is open source, return those back for other developers to benefit from.
The last bit is particularly important, as it would allow the project to evolve faster than with just Microsoft contributing, meaning the longer it runs the easier it will be for new developers to jump on board.
According to a Project Islandwood team member on Github in late September:
The core WinObjC team is smaller than I think many people suspect so some fixes/updates take a bit longer than might be expected, but we are working hard on everything.
Having said that, we are growing the dev team pretty aggressively. So, in a few weeks, you should start to see almost all aspects of the project start to move forward more quickly.
A developer who looked at the Project in early October however noted:
I am sorry, but what was promised in the project Islandwood session video and what was finally presented are two completely different things. The project is in a pitiful state, with a quasy archaic iOS 6 level API, and even as that, so much of it is implemented as stubs or, worse, in a very naive and incorrect manner. This project is at least two years away from being able to call it remotely ready, by which time it would be five years of API behind the times. Especially in UIKit and networking, there has been so much advancement in the API, with a lot of the older API being deprecated for good reason. It seems to me a shame to set such an old baseline as your goal, when a lot of that would no longer be used in modern iOS projects.
I am sorry, but to me this project seems like a PR stunt by Microsoft. It is not taken seriously. You cannot have such an undertaking with “smaller than I think many people suspect” team and expect to be taken seriously. At least with the Android port, you had some baseline of implementation. Here the state of affairs is sad.
Having seen the video, do our readers think Project Islandwood will be able to take over from Project Astoria in boosting the Windows Store or is Microsoft once again over-promising and under delivering? Let us know below.