Microsoft kills 'Project Catnip' PWA for Windows Insiders

Windows Insider App
Windows Insider App (Image credit: Windows Central)

What you need to know

  • Microsoft killed plans for a Progressive Web App, dubbed "Project Catnip," for Windows Insiders today.
  • Project Catnip was to be a single hub for Insider to keep up with news, release notes, and more.
  • Microsoft is still exploring solutions for some features it was looking at with Project Catnip.

While today brought the arrival of Windows 10 preview build 19551 on the Fast ring, it also marked the death of a project Microsoft has been working on for some time. Microsoft is no longer working on Project Catnip, a Progressive Web App (PWA) for Windows Insiders, the company noted in its release notes for today's preview build.

Microsoft's reasoning comes down to technical limitations, though it notes that it's still exploring solutions for some of the features it was working on with Project Catnip. From the blog post:

We're no longer planning to do external testing or a public release of our "Project Catnip PWA" for the Windows Insider Program. Due to some technical limitations, we were not going to be able to offer the experiences we wanted to for Insiders through the PWA. We're still looking at solutions for some of the features we investigated in the PWA. Thank you as always for your enthusiasm.

Project Catnip was first teased in 2018 at Microsoft's Ignite conference, giving us an early look at what it had in store. The app would be a PWA, allowing it to be installed on all devices, from Windows to Android and iOS. The purpose of the app was to give Insiders a single place to access news about the Insider program, flight information, Insider profiles, and much more.

In early 2019, Microsoft officially announced the app as Project Catnip, revealing that its canary ring had filled up quickly and that it would "let you know when it's available for all" Windows Insiders. With its death, it doesn't appear all Insiders will get a chance to try the project out. Here's hoping Microsoft has something else up its sleeve for Insiders in the future, though.

Dan Thorp-Lancaster

Dan Thorp-Lancaster is the former Editor-in-Chief of Windows Central. He began working with Windows Central, Android Central, and iMore as a news writer in 2014 and is obsessed with tech of all sorts. You can follow Dan on Twitter @DthorpL and Instagram @heyitsdtl