Windows Phone has been pushing its way into a market dominated by Android and iOS. Developers want their applications to be seen by as many people as possible. Since the majority of mobile phone users have phones that run iOS or Android, the decision for an app to support Windows Phone has often been an afterthought. Microsoft is changing that with Universal Windows Platform Bridges.
Project Astoria, AKA Project A, will provide developers with the tools to change their Android app to a Windows Phone app. Android developers can still use their favorite IDE for debugging and testing.
Project Islandwood does the same for iOS applications. Xcode projects can be imported into Visual Studio. From there, developers can build and debug their soon-to-be Windows Phone app.
Both projects allow developers to use their original code and will only need to make a few changes to it in order to make the transition. The bridges will also allow developers to take advantages of Microsoft services.
Microsoft has made it easier and more cost-effective for apps to support Windows Phone in addition to the traditional Android or iOS devices. This will increase the number of apps available in the Windows Store and make Windows Phones more appealing to users.
Project Astoria and Project Islandwood are both still works in progress. Microsoft is currently looking for developers to assist in testing and molding the products. Interested programmers will need to apply here for Android and here for iOS.