Microsoft announced today that it is retiring Windows App Studio, its web-based app development tool. But this isn’t as alarming as it seems at first: Its replacement, called Windows Template Studio, is already available.
“Windows Template Studio is the evolution of Windows App Studio,” the Windows Apps Team revealed today. “We took our learnings from the code generation engine and the existing wizard to provide a strong foundation for our code generation and developer experience in Windows Template Studio. Best of all, it is open source.”
As you may know, I’ve long promoted Windows App Studio as an accessible way to get started with app development. It started out as a tool for Windows phone apps, if you can believe that, but it was updated over the years to support desktop Windows, including Windows 10.
Windows Template Studio is an extension for Visual Studio, and as such, it’s more sophisticated than its predecessor. But the reality is that most developers would need to pull their Windows App Studio projects into Visual Studio anyway. So this transition actually makes some sense. And it’s still free: You can use Windows Template Studio with the free Visual Studio 2017 Community Edition.
Windows App Studio will be discontinued over time, Microsoft says.
On July 15, only existing users will be able to login to the Windows App Studio website, and they will be able to download their finished applications. On September 15, the web-based application editor will stop working. And then on December 1, Windows App Studio will be formally shut down.
It’s the end of an era, sort of. But I suspect that Windows Template Studio has a long life ahead of it.