Fortune [hat tip @rptony]: The so-called ‘bridge’ he was referring to was the company’s new plan to allow Android and iOS developers to take existing mobile apps and port them over to Windows devices, with little effort. Developers will be able to use software development kits (SDK) to reshape their existing code to suit Windows devices. The SDK will allow Android coders to use Java and C++ while iOS developers can use Objective C to optimize applications.

Microsoft has always created excellent development tools. I’d never poo-poo this effort. Will it be as good as Apple’s Objective-C compiler? It doesn’t really matter, if it works. If the end product is good enough to bring an iOS App mostly to Windows they’re on to something.

I haven’t tried any of these tools yet, but I will. In the meantime think about this for half a second. Microsoft is giving us a way to put UIKit apps on another platform before Apple did. It feels like the roles have reversed in some way. Apple is the 800 pound gorilla and Microsoft is the nimble competitor clawing its way up the hill. It’s easier to take big chances like this when you’re a bit down.

One more thing. Rumor has it Microsoft wants to build a Swift compiler to do the same thing.

 Strange times.