What you need to know
- Project Reunion combines Win32 and UWP app development.
- It provides a common API platform for new and existing apps.
- Any apps on Windows 10 are now just "Windows apps."
Microsoft is closing the gap between Win32 and UWP app development with Project Reunion, an effort to componentize the Windows API and UWP API so developers can modernize and build apps that work across all versions of Windows 10. In the past, app development on Windows 10 has been clear cut with two options; a classic Win32 app using the Windows API, or a modern universal app with UWP APIs. With Project Reunion, all apps are just "Windows apps."
The Redmond-giant has been pushing this idea since Build 2019 but is now formalizing the movement with Project Reunion. The company says this new effort will streamline app development across supported versions of Windows 10.
Project Reunion is an evolution of the Windows developer platform that will make it more agile, modern, and open. Projects like WinUI 3 and WebView2 are already part of the Project Reunion journey, allowing developers to take advantage of new, modern APIs on either UWP or Win32 built applications.
In layman's terms, Project Reunion makes it so developers can build apps that have the latest OS features without having to worry about older versions of Windows 10. Developers can compile the newest APIs directly into their apps instead of depending on the OS itself to have them.
Microsoft is pushing the idea that there's no such thing as a Win32 or UWP app, and that everything that runs on Windows 10 is just a "Windows app." The idea is that it doesn't matter which framework developers use, as long they use APIs that are native to Windows. In the future, users shouldn't be able to tell the different between a Win32 or UWP app. If it runs on Windows, it's just a Windows app.
It's going to be interesting to see if Project Reunion helps bring legacy Win32 programs forward with more modern interfaces and features unique to Windows 10. Microsoft would like all legacy apps to take advantage of efforts such as WinUI 3, and Project Reunion should help push that forward. What are your thoughts on Project Reunion? Let us know in the comments.
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