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Daily Archives: May 15, 2020

  • UWP is dead… sorta

    Posted on May 15th, 2020 at 07:47 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    You remember the Universal Windows Platform, UWP, right?

    It started out as the future of Windows programming. In Windows 8 days, UWP apps were known as Metro-style apps. You got them from the Windows Store, which was due to become the source of all Windows stuff – with Metro guiding the way.

    As I said a year ago:

    You can define “UWP” in a million different ways – the API, the interface, the “Store app” location. There are parts of UWP that’ll be absorbed into other Microsoft products. That absorption is under way now. You can think of the absorption as a manifestation of UWP’s longevity. But the push on devs to build UWP apps or be left in the dust? The “Win10 über alles” mindset? That’s headed out the door.

    UWP is on its way out and there’s nothing the fanbois can do to stop the shift. We saw the same thing happen with ActiveX and Silverlight – Microsoft getting devs all fired up about using a new technology, only to have the rug pulled out from under them.

    You can draw your own conclusions, but everything I’ve seen points to an extended, painful demise of UWP as we know it. And I, for one, won’t miss it.

    I took a lot of flak from the faithful for that at the time, but guess what? It’s happening right now.

    Last week, Mary Jo Foley reported on an interview with MS VP for the developer platform Kevin Gallo, saying:

    When Microsoft launched UWP originally with Windows 8 (and continuing with Windows 10), officials promised that the platform would provide apps with better performance and security because they’d be distributable and updatable from the Microsoft Store. Developers would be able to use a common set of programming interfaces across Windows 10, Windows Phone, HoloLens and more, officials said, when selling the UWP vision. The downside: UWP apps would work on Windows 10-based devices only. Developers would have to do work to get their apps to be UWP/Store-ready. And Win32 apps wouldn’t get UWP features like touch and inking.

    Arguably, Gallo told me, “we shouldn’t have gone that way,” meaning creating this schism. But Microsoft execs — including Gallo — continue to maintain that UWP is not dead.

    I love that “arguably” part.

    Paul Thurrott has been sorting through the session list for the Build 2020 conference — the place MS dazzles the devoted developers, developers, developers — and found:

    “Learn how the Windows app platform is evolving and unifying Win32 and UWP so your present and future apps can easily target 1 billion+ Windows devices,” the description of a session titled Unifying and evolving the Windows app platform reads.

    He found a few other Build 2020 sessions that discuss UWP — and they all have the same tone. “Project Reunion” is the way of the future, and UWP gets kicked to the curb.

    Again, I won’t miss it one bit.