Microsoft Teams and Progressive Web Apps coming soon to the Windows Store

As part of its Edge Web Summit 2017, Microsoft announced that Progressive Web Apps (PWA) will come to Edge next year. However, what's even more interesting is that Microsoft will start actively crawling the web for quality PWAs and add them to the Windows Store. One of the first of these PWAs to hit the Windows Store will be Microsoft Teams, which Microsoft says will arrive "in the coming months."

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Progressive Web Apps are beginning to enter the spotlight as the potential future for apps, largely because of their ability to deliver a native app-like experience across multiple platforms. This cuts down the costs associated with developing multiple native apps that serve the same purpose on different platforms, and could potentially prove useful across mobile and PC. On Windows 10 in particular, PWAs can run completely offline with support for Live Tiles and the Action Center.

With its Windows Store efforts, Microsoft says it will seek out quality PWAs on the web before converting them to APPX files and making them searchable in the Windows Store. While nothing is ever a silver bullet for the dreaded "app gap," PWAs could have the potential for drawing big apps into the Windows Store without requiring companies to spend capital on maintaining a separate, native app. This also makes Windows 10 S a little more attractive, assuming PWAs grow into current expectations.

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That brings us to Microsoft Teams, which currently has a desktop app that isn't present on the Windows Store. It seemed like an odd omission when Teams was launched earlier in 2017, but things are starting to come more into focus now that Microsoft has revealed plans to bring PWAs to the Windows Store.

There's no word on when exactly we can expect Teams to hit the Windows Store. However, Microsoft says PWAs will hit Edge next year and will be available by default in Insider builds starting in October.

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

  • Mobile?
  • The point of a PWA is it will be *everywhere*. Mobile, Desktop, Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, (heck - even Linux could get in on it!) it doesn't matter - it's the same thing. Just like a website, only with the features of an actual app.
  • pretty confused too since I am using teams on my windows 10 mobile (so to me it is already on the windows store....). Is there something I missed, or is just because I am not a 100% sure what a progressive web app is as opposed to a web hosted app please? Is the difference desktop vs mobile?
  • For someone claiming to be prettyconfused, your answer isn't.
  • That's a great news for Windows Store and the ultramobile PC devices.  All the Windows Store apps, web apps and progressive web apps will run on that mobile platform especially if a foldable screen is included.
  • Mobile is the endgame, yes. Progressive Web Apps is quite possibly the best (maybe ONLY) way for Microsoft to have a chance at resurrecting a respectable pressence on mobile.  PWAs make the native platform irrellevant. They will run on any platform, and are the long overdue "web-ification" of apps.  Together with some other impressive web technologies, PWAs can close about 90% of the performance gap for just about every high-performance aspect of an app you can think of. - PWAs give good loading speeds and app-like responsiveness when you are using the app. - WebGL gives high performance 3D graphics - High performance Audio capabilities already exist in HTML5 - WebAssembly gives high performance 3rd party libraries for just about anything else that needs the boost. - Decent web standards exist for things like GPS location, and PWAs can be the push to fill in other gaps in native OS/Device services. - Adaptive Layout techniques are already in wide use to create visuals that adjust to different size screens. The timing is just about perfect... PWA support in Edge and the Windows 10 Store can't come soon enough!    
  • I've stopped to count that the web is the future of the apps when it was announced for the 1000th time and it didn't work.
  • they already have a mobile app for Teams
  • Lazy developers
  • ok ok active developer 
  • *smart developers
  • x2 and forward thinking. 
  • This could really solve the app gap. Developer will more than likely develop a PWA that can run on Andriod, iOS and Windows unchanged than developing 3 seperate apps. And the way things are going, developers will not write an UWP Windows 10 app. I have been hearing that Microsoft been looking for an alternative to UWP apps and I thing they have found it in PWA.
  • An ISO of some sort is going to HAVE to be established if there is ever going to be an IoT that is universally compatible and consumer friendly. I personally have not purchased a number on high-end items because they were not compatible with my phone. This could make life a lot easier for everyone, on any OS, to purchase 'and be able to USE' any high ticket item in the future.
  • Did Microsoft just kill UWP? It was just a matter of time with the way they have been treating it, but I didn't think it would come this quick. Another reboot...
  • I always hated the platform specific apps....may be PWAs can level the playing field for the smartphone platforms?
  • We'll still need some apps but 99% of companies should not be actively developing a desktop website, mobile website, api's and apps for every device when one progressive website can do it all.
  • No, UWP is UWP, irrespective of the actual technology platform used to deliver the software experience. A Win32 app can be considered UWP if a bridge like Centennial is used to package it for the store. What's unique about PWA is that it runs in a chrome-less browser. That's the beauty of the approach; developers write the app once, and the client OS adapts it to the platform on tge device. Unlike a conventional web wrapper, PWAs can run offline and access OS features like notifications, location services, and share targets.
  • So MS has give up on UWP already?
  • Microsoft has supported different forms of web technology based apps in the store since Windows 8. Progressive Web Apps are the next step in that evolution. One big difference is that now Google is doing that as well for Android. There are still reasons to go native for some apps where that makes more sense.  As far a UWP, while the universal idea is kinda dead with only one real platform (PCs) it's still a great platform for touch and pen friendly apps. Just like PWA, there are certain apps that will be a lot easier to build with UWP/XAML/C#.  It's always about using the right tool for the job (and sometimes, the tool you're most comfortable with or can work fastest with, even if it's not the best for the job) so I don't think UWP will go anywhere for a while
  • From my reading on PWA, Google developed the specifications and standards for PWA.
  • Unexpected? A year ago at Google's Chrome Dev Fest a Microsoft rep said they will add PWAs to the store (I think it was in the vendor panel or maybe in his talk). It's not a huge surprise Microsoft is bringing a web app like Teams to the store this way, instead of building a completely new UWP app in C# and XAML
  • Is it just me, or does UWA (=universal web app) fit better as an acronym for the definition of a PWA app?
  • IF EDGE, could run windows store apps in tabs i will start using EDGE