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    WINDOWS By Ed Tittel In Windows 10 and 11, there are two parallel architectures for building executables. Let’s call the older and more familiar archi
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    • #2594916

      Assume two copies of the same program are installed, one a UWP, the other a .exe version.


      Am I correct in assuming that a UWP version will be auto-updated ‘occasionally’ white the .exe would not?  I have encountered programs that required updating to run (iPhone apps), where functionality has been changed/reduced.  What if I liked that particular function but it’s no longer there.  Tough cookies, right?

      Does an .exe program installed on your device (in my case, a desktop pc)get the auto-updates?  Will it cease to function if the underlying API’s are modified or deleted (lack of support form the programmer).

      Does a UWP program require access to some server somewhere for the correct operation of the program?  Same question for the .exe version.


      My programming experience has been on pc based applications (Autocad, LabVIEW, etc).  Yes, those programs had updates applied, but they were usually major upgrades to the programs.  If there was a serious issue with the program, a patch would be issued.  In some, but not all, internet access was no required.

    • #2594990

      Dear Wdyblash:
      Thanks for your response and your questions. I’ll repeat them in abbreviated form, then provide such answers as I can.

      1. UWP auto-updates: Most such apps come from the MS Store (or a similar “source” in the winget lexicon). MS Store apps are usually checked daily in the background, and updated whenever they need it (a newer version is in the store than on your PC).

      2. Do .exe programs get auto-updates? Depends on the application: some — MS Office is a good example — have an update check & apply function. This can be configured to be periodic and automatic, or periodic and provide only notification. Thus, the answer is maybe yes, maybe no depending on the application.

      3. Will a .exe program cease to function if the underlying APIs are modified or deleted? Most likely, yes but that depends on if and when such APIs get called. If they’re not called, they probably won’t affect the rest of the application’s runtime environment. If they do get called, they could cause the application to throw an error (if the code includes robust error handling) or crash (if it doesn’t). Again, it depends on the application.

      4. Do UWP or .exe apps/applications depend on access to some server somewhere? Again, it depends. Many, but not all, applications interact with servers on a regular basis (especially for updates). As to whether that access is required or not — think of an application that reads a database on a remote server — it depends on the application. Some may not run without such access, others may offer reduced functionality without such access, and still others may be unaffected.

      5. Internet access is kind of a special case for server access. It’s pretty routine for all kinds of stuff nowadays.

      You raise some interesting concerns. I hope I’ve been able to address them. Thanks again for writing.


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      • #2595088

        Most likely, yes but that depends on if and when such APIs get called. If they’re not called, they probably won’t affect the rest of the application’s runtime environment.

        Any executable that runs on Windows is subject to this kind of problem should Microsoft remove or disable an API that had been documented and supported.  It doesn’t matter whether you are talking about a UWP app or a “legacy” application written to the Windows (Win32) API.

        Having said that, Microsoft’s developer documentation contains many instances where cautionary language such as,  “It may be altered or unavailable in subsequent versions of Windows” is present.  However, notwithstanding such warnings, Microsoft historically has maintained backward compatibility.  Of course there are no guarantees.

    • #2595164

      Dear EricB:
      You make some good points. Thanks for sharing them with us.

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