Universal Windows apps will work on PC, tablet, phone, and Xbox One

Microsoft has taken a big step in making a more consistent experience across its devices. The company showcased universal Windows apps at its Build developer conference, allowing developers to create a single app that works across Windows PCs, tablets, phones, and even Xbox One. "All of us want the same app experiences across all devices," Microsoft's David Treadwell said.

Developers will benefit from Microsoft tools that allow it to tweak an app's interface based on the form factor it's running on, and whether it's being used with or without a mouse and keyboard. For Xbox One, developers will be able to tweak their apps to use the controller and Kinect.

Consumers will benefit from Microsoft's universal app approach because a single purchase will grant access to every platform. "I don't have to buy a different app for the phone and the PC," Treadwell said (via The Verge). And, thanks to the cloud, data should sync across all versions of the app, including any in-app purchases.