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Is there a future for true Universal Windows Platform (UWP) apps on Windows 10?

Microsoft Store
Microsoft Store (Image credit: Matt Brown | Windows Central)

Today, Microsoft's Universal Windows Platform (UWP) is about much more than truly modern universal applications. It's a platform that allows developers to take advantage of all the new Windows 10 features introduced over the last couple of years, regardless of whether your app is universal, a legacy Win32 program, or even a progressive web app. UWP in its current form welcomes many app types, and while that's great news today, it is a bit of a compromise when it comes to Microsoft's future ambitions for Windows.

The original plan for the Universal Windows Platform was this idea of truly modern universal apps that let developers build once and scale across many different device types and versions of Windows 10. These universal apps target common core UWP APIs, and as such can run on modern versions of Windows 10 such as Mobile, HoloLens, and Xbox. This was quickly pushed aside when it became apparent that developers were not adopting Microsoft's new universal platform, which led to Win32 programs being allowed into the Store.

Allowing Win32 programs to tap into the universal platform today is not a bad idea at all. In fact, it makes sense, because the most popular version of Windows 10 on the market right now is the one that supports these legacy programs. Because of this, it's fair to assume that the concept of true UWP apps is dead. Movement on the universal app front has been slow, with most developers opting to shove their old legacy programs into the Store instead now that this is an option.

Is there a future for true universal apps?

So does this mean that Microsoft's vision of truly modern universal apps is dead? I don't think so. It's true that right now, not many developers are building native UWP apps on Windows 10, but that doesn't mean it's going to go away. It will always remain an option for developers, because the future of Windows depends on it. The version of Windows 10 available today is an OS built on decades of legacy code, which makes competing with more modern platforms like iOS and Chrome OS incredibly tricky for Microsoft.

The Windows Core OS (WCOS) effort is attempting to build a new version of Windows 10 that scales across different device types and guts the OS of legacy components and features in favor of native UWP apps and experiences. It's a truly modern version of Windows that's primary app platform is universal Windows apps. Of course, it will still run Centennial Win32 programs in some form, but Win32 apps will no longer be the primary, native app platform on Windows Core OS. This doesn't mean full Windows 10 today is going to go away, but it does mean that Microsoft wants true UWP apps to be the main way developers build Windows apps in the future.

I think that over time, Win32 programs will slowly take a back seat when it comes to building and using apps on Windows 10, only existing for legacy applications or programs that require APIs or functionality that simply won't be coming to UWP. Windows Core OS can run Centennial Win32 programs, but this functionality is only really there to fill any gaps that true UWP can't or hasn't yet filled.

Now, this isn't going to happen overnight, but this is Microsoft's long-term goal for Windows. As such, I firmly believe that true UWP apps are here for the long haul. I imagine that over the next few years, Microsoft is going to continue building out the Universal Windows Platform with more features and capabilities for developers to take advantage of. The end goal is to make UWP a viable replacement for legacy Win32 programs, but that's going to take time. It will be a long while before we start to see developers building desktop-class applications (like Photoshop) as true UWP apps, but that is the future Microsoft is building towards.

A long-term goal

Just like Win32 programs, developers are welcome to build native UWP apps in a number of ways, using languages such as C#, JavaScript, XAML, HTML, React Native, and more. A true universal app is one that targets only core UWP APIs, allowing it to function on versions of Windows 10 that do not include legacy APIs like full Windows 10 does today. In this context, PWAs are native universal apps. Unsurprisingly, legacy Win32 programs aren't natively universal, as they use other APIs that are not part of the core UWP API framework, and as such can't run on "modern" versions of Windows like with WCOS.

It's also important to stress that Microsoft wants UWP to be more than just mobile and lightweight apps. It wants developers to choose UWP for desktop-class apps as well. One of the big reasons we're not really seeing that yet is because the platform isn't mature enough right now, and there's no real incentive to rewrite Win32 apps as native UWP. It takes time for an app platform to mature, but UWP is slowly getting there. Interestingly, Adobe is just coming around to the idea of a full Photoshop app on iPad. It's been eight years since the iPad launched, and Adobe is only now starting to think about building a desktop-class application for it. Developers should eventually begin to do the same on Windows with the Universal App Platform.

Understanding Windows Core OS

I mean, it's pretty laughable to assume that in 10 years time, Win32 will still be the primary platform for Windows apps. Once Windows 7 is long out of support, there's little incentive to build new Win32 programs as it would be more beneficial to build a native UWP app at that point. I imagine the only apps that will still be Win32 are ones that already exist today, assuming by then they haven't been rewritten as native UWP apps. Of course, there will always be people who need legacy Windows and legacy Win32 programs, and full Windows 10 will always exist for those people. But for the rest of the world, most people would be okay with a true UWP experience, assuming the universal apps are there.

So, yes, I think there is a future for true UWP apps on Windows 10. Microsoft's end goal is to make it the primary app platform for Windows, regardless of whether it's on Windows Core OS or versions of Windows 10 that natively support legacy programs. In fact, I think Microsoft's WCOS effort is proof that the company is committed to true UWP apps alone, it's just a really long-term goal that's going to take a lot of time to achieve. I'll be talking a bit more about the Windows Core OS project and the future of Windows, but in the meantime, what are your thoughts on the future of UWP apps? Let us know in the comments!

Zac Bowden is a Senior Editor at Windows Central. Bringing you exclusive coverage into the world of Windows 10 on PCs, tablets, phones, and more. Also an avid collector of rare Microsoft prototype devices! Keep in touch on Twitter: @zacbowden.

  • Can you please publish a subject about how to upgrade Lumia 1020 from win 8.1 to win 10 .. Insider app is not working anymore on win 8.1
  • Toss that phone. Any modern budget device will outperform it.
  • Again, there is some likelihood, but even remotely. that there is association with one of the extreme outlier, beyond medical definition, when presented with a red apple and an orange, unlike normal person, fail to tell the difference, even given the chance to physically touch the fruit, assuming there is a good evidence of color blind.... Under normal circumstances, normal person would adopt caution when unsure. As this is a special case, the more unsure, the more insecured.. the louder the unprocessed opinion..
  • He's not wrong though. The Lumia 1020 has already been surpassed by every modern phone and even if you wanted to put Windows 10 mobile on it, the performance would be very sluggish and you wouldn't be able to get the latest version of Windows 10 Mobile on it either.
  • I agree, we are all here to learn from each other.. the request demands more effort to reply..if one has no such time, for the sake of upholding good community spirit.. better not to answer...
  • Right on.
  • You can get the very latest W10M rather easily nowadays to be honest.
  • Budget phones have 40mp cameras now?
  • What good is a 40MP sensor if the phone is too slow to get the shot? Either way, even budget phones will get decent photos and be much faster with a far superior ecosystem compared to the L1020. The processor in that thing was outdated at launch, let alone several years later.
  • Still, my L820 (which had the same processor) is as performant as an Galaxy S7 (except gaming of cause) on the UI.
  • It's not just the faster processor that makes a difference. I upgraded to the S9+. It has been so nice not fighting with outdated apps, incompatible browser, etc. It will take me a while before I get used to going to the play store and not having to wonder if an app will be there. I installed the launcher SquareHome 2 to get the Windows Phone experience. Yeah, it's time that people moved on.
  • Yes avenger. The p20 pro has a 40mp camera. The only phone to come close to the 1020. To the person asking about getting 10m on the 1020, search it, it takes a bit of work, but it can be done. I found 10m worked great on mine.
  • so you found it but won't say where?
  • I did it 2 and a half years ago when nadulla cancelled w10m on my 1020. So, no, I don’t know where it is now. I know it’s possible with a quick search.
  • There is a possibility to upgrade from Windows 8. 1 phone to Windows 10 mobile... However, there are risks and it is assumed that the user is comfortable with some degree of hacking.. I see high risk for WC to suggest steps how to do it without taking some degree of responsibility if the process leads to complete loss of function.. I did it it once back in 2015 for a very old Windows 8. 1 phone... It upgraded to a very very early version of windows 10 mobile.. the performance was not great.. so I bought a used 950XL...
  • Do a few searches on the web, XDA forums will be a good source to get your started if you can't find other easier tricks. As for running WM10 - you might want to look to see if there are any limitations for your camera. I don't think there are, but make sure. If you can run WM10 without losing camera features, even on your 1020 WM10 is faster than 8 or 8.1 and has all the modern features/Apps. (I say this based on testing the 920, 925, 928. I also carried the 928 until last year as my main Verizon device, which I changed once I could find a fix for the screen color issue with the Icon, which is now my main Verizon device.) Good Luck.
  • I think this might help. If it doesn't on the other hand, the youtuber actually replies to DMs and comments, so yeah, go strong.
  • They were dead on arrival. Too limited and no platform that caters to them exists. Only good for porting mobile apps to desktop form factor, or cross platform mobile development. Microsoft has yet to release a true UWP app that wasn’t worse than the Win32 app it replaced, on top of wasting a f**kton of screen real estate.
  • Exactly! Microsoft lost all credibility. No developers are going to write any apps on UWP or PWA and author is talking about beauty of Windows S (with 3 apps in the store)
  • The biggest problem with UWP is people thinking it is 'limited' when it can do MORE things than Win32, and often run faster than Win32 software while using less RAM. There is a reason Win32 software 'gains' access to UWP features, as Win32 can't do these. Maybe you are still confusing it with WinRT, which was rather limited.
  • UWP is a way more limited than win32 (e.g. file system, networking, system info) and in most cases the only way to solve the problem is to use appservice which is win32 app within uwp envelope. Also don't forget about installation limits like you can't just install uwp app if sideloading is not enabled.
    Don't forget about debugguing. Currently there are not much services which can be used to debug client side errors. Even appcenter (which is microsoft service) can't do that.
  • Photos?
    MS Teams?
    MSN News?
  • Good article, but I feel like it's deja Vu, and I've read the same information a year ago and a year before that. This would have been the perfect article to mention any upcoming UWA platform changes, or if none are known, say that. Does MS have some big changes coming for it? They've been tight lipped as far as I know about UWA. I love the idea is UWA but aside from Groove, and the Mail app, I don't see much of real quality apps.
  • Can't see any future for UWP without mobile... Where is the incentive for developers without a mobile platform...? 😣
  • I don't see why the death of Windows 7 would necessarily increase the incentive for developers to build UWP apps instead. UWP still has its limitations compared to Win32 and developers are probably still going to stick to what they know and what works, even a decade from now. Without a mobile platform, UWP won't survive very long. Assuming Microsoft never gets back into mobile anytime soon, then 10 years later Win32 might very well still be the main development platform on Windows.
  • Lets imagine that the 43% of desktops on Windows 7 shrinks to 5%, allowing Windows 10 to grow from 32% to 70-ish%. There are very few companies that wouldn't place their app in the Microsoft Store, not just because of market demand, but also because the store is basically product placement for them. Getting people to leave Windows 7 is a very difficult task though.
  • Let me stop you at... "UWP still has its limitations compared to Win32" There are a few limitations/differences, but I would bet those are not what you would expect. Right now UWP has a majority of Win32 APIs directly available, and UWP also has features that cannot be done in Win32. Technically this makes Win32 limited in comparison to UWP. (I realize this is subjective, as new capabilities don't always make up for old capabilities.) UWP can deal with threading and handling content and data in ways that are foreign to Win32. UWP also has access to newer device interfaces that Win32 does not. If you are developing a really complex piece of software that is processing a large amount of data with a lot of threads, UWP will run circles around Win32 in performance and the coding with be a tiny fraction of the code required in Win32. The perceptions and nightmares of WinRT in Windows 8 still persist a bit too much today. There are differences between Win32 and UWP, but unless you are trying to hook into Windows or touch other software, you won't hit them. (And even then, there are tricks and ways around them most of the time.)
  • Thx
  • The only things UWPs are (and will be) limited is close-to-hardware stuff.
  • Where are all the great UWP apps to prove your point. Where are all the Microsoft UWP apps, not Centennial wrapped Win32 apps but real pure UWP apps? At this point, creating them now may be too late but if you want anyone to follow; lead. Enough of the do as I say not as I do approach, put you UWP where your mouth is or stick it and sit on it.
  • "I don't see why the death of Windows 7 would necessarily increase the incentive for developers to build UWP apps instead." It's not about increasing the incentive for UWP, but rather killing it for Win32, no one's gonna care about losing 8/8.1 users when weighting Win32 and UWP's pros and cons. The real incentive for UWP is Microsoft's increased telegraphing that Win32 is obsolete and will not be a core component of Windows in the long run, running on an emulation layer that'll likely not be installed by default after a transition period. "(...) developers are probably still going to stick to what they know and what works, even a decade from now." No, they won't, otherwise Apple would've had to still be producing PowerPC desktops and laptops powered by classic Mac OS to this day. Adapt or die, you know.
  • I wonder how great a todays PowerPC-powered colorful, halftransparent iPhone would look like.
  • Full photoshop coming to iOS is making me finicky. Is this the end of modern windows i-e UWP, WCOS and CShell as we know it? Is this where iOS and android/chrome OS complete their duopoly?
    Let's hope not. Three players are good for competition and consumers. I hope desktop grade application creators wouldn't ignore windows as modern apps and services developers did.
  • You know what's more interesting than full Photoshop for iPad after 9 years of iPad Launch? Chromebooks do support professional photo edition software like Gimp thanks to their ability to run Linux desktop apps.
    Developers didn't have to work for 9 years to port Gimp to ChromeOS, since ChromeOS already runs Linux apps.
    Perhaps Apple and Microsoft should see the advantages of open source and embrace it as the future.
    Adobe can still compete with Gimp by making their software free and open source and get income from school and government donations to their company for massive installations.
  • Gimp is not a professional photo software. I use it, but only because I am developer and paying for Photoshop to use it very rarely makes no sense. However if a professional doesn't have money for Photoshop, he should be doing something else, as simple as that. And if he doesn't see any difference between Gimp and Photoshop then he is definitely not a professional.
  • The problem with removing traditional apps is that modern apps, whilst I love them, cannot cope with low level stuff. The best example is drivers. Going the RT route and restricting users to drivers handed out through Windows Update is awful because Windows Update usually lags well behind the latest drivers, it will not be possible to use old versions to avoid bugs and Windows Update is awful at installing complex drivers and often makes a big mess of them. Windows needs to retain the capability to allow low level access for apps that need it. It also needs to allow apps to talk to each other so that apps don't need to run as administrator to affect other universal apps. The struggle getting them to work with Steam and Steam Controllers/Steam Link is obvious, but this issue comes up in many little ways. The struggle to get Edge plug-ins to talk to UWPs is another example. Hiding away the executable so you have to work even harder to get things talking is just one of those spiteful little moves that really pushes average users away and annoys advanced users greatly. It's not like you can't access the executable, MS just gets off on making the process as labyrinthine as they can I guess. I get that these restrictions are all about security, but if you only prevent others impacting your system by preventing yourself from being able to achieve necessary and common goals, you've gone too far. Welding the doors to your house shut is definitely a security plus, but remains an unpopular move.
  • Thx, we need more inputs along this feedback...
  • I developed a Xamarin form running Skiasharp 3D graphic engine.. for UWP desktop. Without much modification, the app runs in W10 IoT Smart watch, so as 950XL smartphone. the versatility of UWP...
  • You realize there are no Windows smart watches or phones, right? It is pointless to target them. You could have done the same thing on Android or iOS. The difference is the billions of smart watches, phones, tablets, TVs, and autos that actually use those platforms. Instead, you only have a possible user base of Windows 10 PCs. A user base that doesn't frequent the store and will rarely leave the browser. Realistically, you are looking at a very small population of users, probably less than 100 million. No reason to target Windows at all unless you have a resource intensive program that is too complicated to make a PWA for.
  • It is a cross platform 2D vector graphics library that comes from Google but ported to .NET. The same Xamarin Form code can be compiled with over 90 to 95% share code to iOS, Android, Linux, Samsung Tizen.. in addition to WPF, UWP, Webassembly and soon PWA... One GUI to rule all platforms... There is a much bigger world out there for c# developers.
  • If one GUI across all platforms you are better off making webapps. I think it is terrible if an app uses the design language of a competing platform. It always feels weird to use Google apps inside of iOS because they look, feel and work differently from all iOS apps.
  • And here you go ... Xamarin uses the design language of the OS it's running on (except you mess up big time as a dev).
  • Don't get me wrong, I earn most of my money from Xamarin.Forms, but Xamarin.Forms cover like 5% of UI capabilities of respective platforms. Yes for many apps that can be enough especially if you are tight on the budget, but claiming that it is some magic technology is like claiming you don't know anything...
  • UWP will come, "but": If you are a developer, and only 32% of people use Windows 10 as their desktop OS in 2018 (43% for Windows 7, 5% for Windows 8, rest split between MacOS and Linux)... Why on Earth would you make a UWP app!?! It's more work and only targets 1/3rd of your customers. If you write a win32 app, you target 75% of your customers. As long as Win32 is more economical, that's what developers will develop. The only thing that will drive UWP apps to success will be the death of Windows 7 marketshare.
  • UWP (or whatever it's renamed) and it's dev toolkits will be ready for primetime closer to when windows7 use hits 10% or less. I know MS miscalculated many things including UWP but lets get real, no dev is going - or should be expected - to spend $ to migrate a Win32 desktop app to UWP when they must also do these two things:
    1. lock out customers (not using Win10)
    2. offer less functionality (immature API set or UWP)
  • We need a projection when Win7 reaches < 10% perhaps more Win7 specific virus attack
  • UWP has no future without true mobile(not ultramobile).i don't understand why its so hard to digest.i am still a great fan of windows 10 mobile but microsoft ruined it badly.
  • Only true if 1) Creating UWP is easier than Win32 (or at least not way more difficult); 2) UWP has almost all Win32 features / performance (one missing feature could be one blocking issue for that app); 3) There is reason to choose UWP over Win32 (when there was mobile, there was reason, although not enough. win10 desktop + win10 everything else < win10 desktop + win desktop previous versions).
  • "which led to Win32 programs being allowed into the Store." No, this was ALWAYS planned for Windows 10. Reference: Project Centennial, Desktop Bridge
    "Enabling existing Classic Windows applications (Win32, .NET, COM) to be part of the Store ecosystem is a key part of Windows 10." - John Sheehan - Microsoft - April 2015 Everyone paying attention to Windows 10 and UWP and the Store would have heard this information, it isn't new. It was also well known that Win32 and .NET software would slowly gain access to UWP features so that Win32 software could slowly adapt to the new UI and later move core functionality. I see no changes in UWP or the Desktop Bridge or Win32 access that hasn't always been a part of the Windows 10 and UWP timeline. It was always known that UWP adoption would take time. People also forget that UWP didn't ship until November of 2015, as it was not in Windows 10 RTM. The Apps in Windows 10 were still based on the legacies of WinRT and not running on the newly rewritten .NET core and only had a tiny fraction of the features. Developers writing Apps for Windows 10 using the SDK preview of UWP couldn't even submit a UWP App until a couple of weeks before 1511 was released. (This is one reason 1511 was a bit of a mess, as there were new issues with UWP and even Microsoft moving the OS core Apps of Windows 10 to UWP fully created a long break in new features for the Apps.) The state of UWP and developer adoption has been tepid, but that was expected as it is not just a new development platform/framework it is also a new development model. This last part is where developers get stuck, as they don't see the benefit of using UWP with the way they are coding today, but once they make that jump it is far easier and a massive reduction in code. (Things like MVVM, new data models, new object models, full OO, etc.) There was/is a similar problem for developers coming from *nixes to NT as they often tend to keep doing things that are no longer necessary on NT and they have trouble finding 'equivalents' when one doesn't exist in their paradigm as it is worthless on NT. This creates confusion for the developers and also results in rather poor performing software as the code is doing a ton of extraneous things. It is a learning curve and can be a barrier, and this all comes from NT being Object Based instead of the Textual-Parameter File-I/O Based model that *nix uses.
  • So why isn't Microsoft doing it first? Why not push the Office-suite to UWP? Really strange to have both UWP and win32 versions of the same app.
  • Because windows 10 only has like 40% market share of windows PC's.
  • The rewrite of such a big app takes a lot of time.
    That's why you can now use UWP APIs in a w32 app.
    If you have a big app to migrate, you won't have to rewrite everything from scratch, you can write the new parts using UWP, and migrate the old stuff when you need to change it.
    Release after release your app will become more and more uwp and less and less w32, and one day you'll be able to drop all the w32 calls and become fully uwp. For now i'm pretty sure they try to keep parity between office on w7 and w10, using w32 or equivalent uwp calls depending on the os, because w7 was still largely over w10 among the pros, and you can't tell them the app you sell them has not the same features depending on the PC.
    That corporate market share currently changing quite fast, and with the coming end of support of w7, they'll drop that backward compatibility
  • "with the coming end of support of w7, they'll drop that backward compatibility" Nah, they aren't waiting that long, Office 2019 is already slated to support only Windows 10.
  • Windows is being held back by legacy, this includes--x86, Win32, and Windows 7. The future is ARM/WCOS/UWP. The fact is that IoT devices will be making ARM/UWP the number one ISA/app platform of Windows by far, over x86/Win32, in the next few years. The sooner all of these legacy components fade to the past, the sooner the future of Windows, where Windows truly competitive w/ iOS/Android, can happen. Win32 can live on in emulation/virtualization where necessary.
  • x86 is no legacy, i'm sure it will stay the best platform when you need performance.
    ARM is growing because a lot of usages don't need that level of performance.
    Future is not to be dependant on the cpu's architecture.
  • "Windows Core OS can run Centennial Win32 programs, but this functionality is only really there to fill any gaps that true UWP can't or hasn't yet filled." "Unsurprisingly, legacy Win32 programs aren't natively universal, as they use other APIs that are not part of the core UWP API framework, and as such can't run on "modern" versions of Windows like with WCOS." So on one hand you say Win32 apps (using Win32 API) can run via centennial...and later you say Win32 apps wont run because they use other APUs that are not part of the core UWP API framework. So what is the case now?
  • Zac is not a tech head. He just writes what he hears or is told by tech savvy friends and connections at MS.
  • WC should not ignore Microsoft recent patents related to blood pressure wearable discussed at MSPU..
  • C++ > C#. I rest my case
  • C++> Managed C++>C#????
  • You got it right mate
  • I am already sick of listening about this WCOS. When are we finally going to see some real sh*t??????
  • Some bloggers believe Surface Hub2 is running on a variant of WCOS The future is not too far away...
  • Like I said, I am sick of hearing this "not too far away", "coming soon", etc. Still waiting to see real sh*t... Where is it exactly? Where? Also, spare me "it needs time", "technology needs time", etc. please
  • People defending Windows seven are cute.
  • Mobile was the platform for UWP. It exists in Windows on the PC so you can run your mobile apps on your PC. As Microsoft abandons consumer applications then you need to look at what productivity and enterprise features do UWP apps have. Not much really. Most enterprises deliver software via group policy, system center or their own internal repositories. There is no mileage in store apps and users are not allowed to install them either. UWP makes sense for consumers on mobile who want to run the same apps on a PC. Consumers tend to use what is delivered on a PC. They then download Chrome using Edge so they can use Google's consumer services. Their next visit is itunes if they have an iPhone. If Windows Core OS is as successful as other Surfaces it may get 1% of the "mobile" market in it's broadest sense. Pretty much the same market share when Microsoft killed Windowsphone. There is almost no business case for a developer to create a UWP app in a world where the majority of personal computing is done on IOS and Android. There is some case for the enterprise. However, the enterprise still has plenty of Windows 7 devices out there.
  • Microsoft believes between the existing smartphone form factor and that of the 2 in 1 like Surface Pro, there are many possible new categories of mobility PC All supporting UWP.... for mobility... for screen size approaching that of smartphone without significantly compromising the input productivity that of a typical 2 in 1 Surface.. =in decreasing size
    Surface Go =>??suggested by Panos Panay interview ?? =>Andromeda
  • Maybe they believe that now after all of their other efforts have failed. What they'll believe a few years from now after these efforts fail is anyone's guess. Stick to the cloud & enterprise.
  • Apps were somewhat of a interest when Microsoft still talked about mobile. But the apps store has never amounted to anything more then a token attempt compared to other platforms. I wonder even if Microsoft thinks there is any future in UWP at this point?
  • Microsoft has been working on their UWP apps for 6 years now. UWP is dead in the water IMO.
  • No, they haven't. Don't confuse UWP with WinRT, they're two different beasts.
  • I'm still not convinced UWP apps will gain traction. Is there a future? Yes, of course. But, that can either be a future of what we have now, a little better future, or at some point in the unforeseeable future a good future... The fact is that it isn't gonna happen anytime soon, so what does it matter?
  • I build UWP LOB apps as a professional, including Winforms, WPF, Silverlight for corporations for 15+ years. Native UWP, along with the Composition Api's are the best thing to happen to dev for Windows in a long time. Yes, not having mobile hurts its appeal but Microsoft is in no way backing away from UWP as platform. Long live COM, if you know what that is and why it matters. Anyway, they need devices, not just mobile and developer mindshare. Andromeda could help, my suggestion is to release it like Hololens, put it in devs hands. Then a wide release, where hopefully by then enough devs/companies/mobile operators have worked with it to close the app and support gap a bit. My 2 cents.
  • Your 2 cents worth 100 dollars to me :-)
  • UWP was a nice idea, cool tech, but too much mobile oriented and forgot about desktop type apps. Even the UWP of Windows Central UWP is not updated.
  • Exactly, WC UWP shall set the best example what UWP should inspire..
  • I've sent an "Ask Dan" about the state of the WC UWA and emailed them about it more then once a good while ago now. Not even a single reply. I can understand if they don't want to update it, but not mentioning the app in any way for quite some time is silly to me. I even told them if it's a matter of money, I'd happy pay for the app. No reply.
  • It is hard to say what happens in 10 years. But until Microsoft makes Office UWP it is safe to claim that no one will convert their big app to UWP, and it will take many years after that for majority of apps to be converted. So if you ask me whether Win32 will be major player in 10 years the answer is yes because any transition will take long and it isn't likely to start anytime soon.
  • True, compatibility matters
  • Microsoft chooses react native for Skype over Xamarin Form speaks volume of the uncertain future using c# for cross platform
  • I don't know if that says much about the uncertain future of cross platform c#. I think it just says React Native is more appealing for a number or reasons in this context, Skype has a very broad device distribution set and with the lowest common rendering be a browser. No brainer.
  • I agree Zac that UWP has a future, but it will take time. The things that will take time are the death of Windows 7, the growth of devices using a version of Windows that do not support Win32, the UWP API growing to meet nearly all programming needs, and finally, programmers biting the bullet to learn UWP and starting with a new code base for their existing applications. If you are writing a new application today, I can see the argument for still doing it in Win32 if you have to support Windows 7. If you are a traditional Windows programmer of the Win32 school, switching to UWP is a pretty large learning curve. A lot of the .NET classes have new versions for UWP. That can be confusing. But I think Win32 has to go. Its time is up and needs to move aside for a more modern program execution model and API. UWP is more secure and it is more transparent about how it can use resources on your device. It won't use resources and certain types of data if the end user does not give it permission. I remember when apps were switching from 16 to 32 bits. This was a big deal and allowed much easier memory access. This took many years for 16 bit applications to finally die off. Then there was the switch to 64 bit applications. This switch is still going on. The application I work on needs to access over 4 GB of addressable memory, so that is the main reason we have to be in 64 bit, but many still have not moved to 64 bit. The move to UWP will take even longer than 16 to 32 bit, and 32 to 64 bit because it is even more complicated. It requires significant rewrite of code.
  • If UWP has a future, why isn't the Windows Central app updated at all? It doesn't feature fluent design and stuff... I guess one of the signs that UWP won't be that popular at all.
  • UWP was originally designed for mobile apps, then MS killed Windows Phone. So UWP was also dead at the same time. UWP and the Store must be redesigned for PCs.
  • For an Editorial about such a hot topic and important one, I'm surprised there hasn't been any WC staff participating in this thread. Yeah, I know they are super busy.
  • UWP is great even without mobile.
    For example our game Outlander is available on both Xbox One and Windows 10 with a single code! One code and it runs on two very different hardware forms. Microsoft has done a great job in that regard.
  • I just looked up your game. I'll try it out. A little advice... Add more details about the game in the description, add more screenshots, consider adding a video of game play. These things go a long way. Many people pass over a game that doesn't have these things. Thanks.
  • If you are developing a game, then you want it to work with Steam. Steam does not support UWP. If you are developing business software, then more than half of your market is on Windows 7. Windows 7 also does not support UWP. The question is why would anyone target UWP? UWP could be useful for those targeting mobile, iot and desktop at the same time but who is doing that?
  • The problem with all of this is, UWP - at this point - is not “universal”. It is Windows 10. Win32 is the universal platform, as it runs on all versions of Windows currently in use. “It will always remain an option for developers, because the future of Windows depends on it” The future of Windows is currently tied to UWP. If no one uses UWP to create new software, then Windows has no future. As stated in the article, the original point was to get developers to write for mobile and desktop. At the time, there was a mobile platform, and yet few devs used it. Today, with Windows having zero mobile presence, there is absolutely zero reason for anyone to use UWP. Which is why no one is using it. Which leads to the inevitable “how much of a future does Windows have”?
  • Yeah, I don't think the solution is to make things work on old versions.
  • We are a team of XX (significant number) developers. After an effort that spanned nearly two years we have coded an entire platform for 'A specific vertical' applications - consider it a modern enterprise ERP entirely in UWP. It renders beautifully on different device sizes and we often demo it on HoloLens or the 84" Ms Surface Hubs and our clients are always amazed and sign up for the future! Btw the least expensive of these devices is a $179 Arm laptop and our Apps flyon it! I know of other shops that are building enterprise apps in UWP. Also we have apps that run on Windows 10 IoT Enterprise mobile. Yes the Iot device is practically a windows mobile still being built by our OEM partners for business. If ever new foldable or other mobile devices come from MS or their partners - we are ready! Future for UWP is real and coming.