Microsoft Confirms UWP is Not the Future of Windows Apps

Posted on May 8, 2019 by Paul Thurrott in Dev, Windows 10 with 147 Comments

As I predicted, Microsoft is effectively killing UWP by ensuring that all its capabilities are available to once-legacy app development platforms.

“You’ve told us that you would like us to continue to decouple many parts of the Universal Windows Platform so that you can adopt them incrementally,” Microsoft corporate vice president Kevin Gallo writes in a blog post aimed at developers. “Allowing you to use our platform and tools to meet you where your customers are going – empowering you to deliver rich, intelligent experiences that put people at the center.”

To be clear, this is a positive change: Instead of blindly pushing forward with its failed strategy to make Universal Windows Apps (UWPs) the only truly-modern platform for building Windows apps, Microsoft has, over time, opened up more and more UWP functionality to non-UWP platforms. This includes legacy platforms that Microsoft once deprecated, like Win32, WPF, and WinForms. So what’s old is new again.

Naturally, the firm needs to continue the marketing narrative, however, and Gallo told Mary Jo Foley that neither UWP nor the Microsoft Store was dead. (I have stated point blank that UWP is dead and I recently questioned whether the Microsoft Store had a future given that most users install apps from elsewhere.)

“By the time we are done, everything will just be called ‘Windows apps,’” Gallo told Foley. The ultimate idea is to make “every platform feature available to every developer … [But] we’re not quite there yet.”

As the most senior public face of Microsoft’s Windows 10 developer efforts, Mr. Gallo has to say it like that. But I do appreciate that he was honest about the mistake the firm made when it tried to jam UWP down developers’ throats—“we shouldn’t have gone that way”—and that doing so created a “massive divide” between legacy Win32/.NET developers and UWP developers.

As Foley notes, Microsoft’s new strategy is to make all developers features available to all of the Windows frameworks. Left unsaid, however, is that this is a refutation of the original strategy and that Microsoft only made this change, over time, because most developers rejected UWP.

Put another way, UWP is dead. Not literally—it’s still the only way to create WinCore apps that run across Windows 10, HoloLens, Surface Hub, and IoT—but effectively. And the way we know that’s true is that Win32, WPF, and WinForms have all been “elevated to full status”—Gallo’s words—in Windows 10 all these years later.

Microsoft is doing what developers want. And what developers want is not UWP. Or the Microsoft Store, as it turns out.

“Apps … don’t need to be in the Store,” Gallo admitted.

Or, as Mary Jo put it, “the days of trying to push Windows developers to build and/or repackage their apps to be UWP/Store apps seemingly are over. It’s now Windows apps or bust.”

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Comments (147)

147 responses to “Microsoft Confirms UWP is Not the Future of Windows Apps”

  1. pachi

    Very unfortunate. I very much appreciate Store apps, UWP or not, as the whole platform for updates and installs is infinitely superior to an installer :(

    • dontbe evil

      In reply to pachi:

      Totally agree... But people and bloggers like paul have spoken

    • skane2600

      In reply to pachi:

      No doubt the UWP installation process is simpler for developers than legacy approaches in many cases, but it's also true that the UWP installer is more limited. Given that many UWP apps are less sophisticated then legacy ones the lack of installer capability is less of an issue.

    • hrlngrv

      In reply to pachi:

      As a user, I prefer portable software. Portable Waterfox handles updates well enough for me.

    • warren

      In reply to pachi:

      The good news is that Paul is wrong. Microsoft is merely putting UWP and Win32 on equal footing -- the Store definitely isn't going anywhere.

      • skane2600

        In reply to warren:

        Well, if "equal footing" means all Win32 programs can be included in the store without modification (which is what it should mean), the way the store operates will have to change. Some Win32 programs can't be installed given the current restrictions on Store apps.

      • dontbe evil

        In reply to warren:

        Paul has been often wrong in latest few years about MS, I don't know what's happened and why MS still keep a good relation with him. I still remember when I sai windows 10 maps app is going to integrate turn by turn navigation, he said that would never happen

      • hrlngrv

        In reply to warren:

        the Store definitely isn't going anywhere.

        Nor is it gaining an appreciable number of Win32 apps, thus nor is it gaining relevance. Perhaps the little relevance it has is sufficient for the next few years.

  2. codymesh

    having read the article, I can't help but to think that the title is misleading/clickbait. Terrible

  3. blackcomb

    LMFAO!!! You don't say!!! Consumers won the battle. Microsoft can't force this crap on us.

  4. mattbg

    Hopefully this means they can bring desktop Outlook notification functionality on Windows 10 up to par with the free Windows Mail.

  5. juans

    really Paul? And they also effectively "killed" .net core. It doesn't take a lot of thought to see that. UWP is following the same footsteps as .net framework. A standard came out. If you adhere to this standard you can move your application forward. The same is happening on the presentation side. They came out with Xaml Standard. One can assume that in the future, the best from all of the presentation frameworks will be combined into the Windows presentation framework. Then let's hope they find a way that it will also work across xamarin. They maybe get rid of xamarin and have one code base and one presentation layer to use for everything. That's the dream.

    And they shouldn't kill the store. The store was bad because they were forcing everyone to use it. I you had a way to distribute and sell your own, there was no reason. But if you're a small dev and you don't want to think about the financial end, or distribution, or have your software pirated, then it's a good avenue. It should be a choice and they're finally doing the right thing now and making it so.

  6. YouWereWarned

    The most encouraging thing about The Store, whether it lives or dies, is how useless it is for finding apps. I suspect the same disorganized logic underpins the analysis of all of the "telemetry" gleaned by Microsoft to market to us, so not to worry. The generation of toasters pictures 6 months after you buy one is the apparent state of the art.

    As the last person using WP10, was greeted today by by 53, count 'um, 53 "apps" for mobile in the store. Yup...dead.

  7. garrygbain

    I'm a developer and have been for decades, but not so much these days. I still have a couple in the store (but needs updating). I think the store is a great platform to promote and sell apps, otherwise the only alternative is to build a website and work all your time on SEO and hope for the best. The best thing from a consumer perspective is the store is the safest place to find and download an app. No need to worry about virus's ect.

    MS getting shot of UWP is not good. It was a great idea and just needed to mature over time. The problem MS have is they promote something then too soon drop it leaving people feeling you just can't get on board with anything they do. Windows Phones (sorry to bring it up) another example. They should have had a 10 year manufacturing plan, anything less would not cut it. They also should have expected a loss during those years. What did they think "we'll be number 1 in 2 years" not a chance. Shame.

  8. dontbe evil

    Am I wrong or the title changed?

  9. nbplopes

    It does not look like UWP was the only one being demote in priority. It seams that the Windows Store was as well. The recent Office move out, even if temporary, is now sustained politically.

  10. waethorn

    When they start supporting Flatpak apps, you know Microsoft is just phoning it in on Windows 10.

  11. Bats

    Microsoft is saying this because they don't really have anymore developers who are interested in developing for Windows. They rather develop for Android or iOS.

    It's a new world order now. It's Android/iOS first, the web second, and Windows 3rd.

    • skane2600

      In reply to Bats:

      That's a very strange conclusion to reach. Effectively you're claiming they said something like: "We wanted everyone to know nobody wants to develop for Windows anymore and we're telling you this because we think it's good for our business".

      No company makes negative statements about itself out of the blue without any good reason. Even if your "new world order" theory were true, there wouldn't be any reason for Microsoft to point it out.

      What you can conclude from their real statement is that their UWP initiative hasn't been successful so they want to assure Win32 developers that their chosen API will continue to be developed.

    • dontbe evil

      In reply to Bats:

      So i wish you'll use ONLY ios and android starting fron today

  12. bart

    Where does that leave security if apps don't need to be Store apps? Will Windows apps be containerized?

    • hrlngrv

      In reply to Bart:

      Maximal security sometimes gets in the way of functionality. Would a containerized Excel be able to use substantial 3rd party stochastic simulation add-ons or interact via scripting with non-MSFT database or statistical systems? If it couldn't, there's a substantial portion of the financial services industry which would have no interest in containerized Excel.

      • nerdile

        In reply to hrlngrv:

        Yes, packaged or containerized apps can do all that - but the developer has to ensure that they consume the 3p component in a way that is compatible with the packaging/container model. This is a basic tenet of app isolation whether you are talking about desktop apps in AppContainers or server apps in docker containers.

        • hrlngrv

          In reply to nerdile:

          OK, how does one use the packaged software model for a scripting language like Python and functionality akin to OLE? Would all software need to be rewritten to conform to the packaged model?

          I understand what isolation provides. I'm just not convinced it's suitable to all current interprocess scenarios in use. Not without rewriting most software.

  13. doofus2

    I said it when WinRT came out and I'll say it again, the people who designed and implemented WinRT should never be allowed anywhere near a computer again! It was incredibly stupid and destined to fail. Devs had to go all-in on WinRT. You couldn't produce a WinRT app that would work on the dominant systems in the real world (XP and 7) which meant that you had to double or triple your effort for no gain (your existing Win32 programs, then WinRT, and finally WinPRT). So, you had zero users and zero developers. Ingenious!

    The final straw for me personally was when WinPRT81 came out with the idiotic "AndContinue" APIs. They were such a colossal blunder in design that I gave up WinPRT/WinRT development ... and this was after having one of my WinPRT apps featured in an MSFT video (sales weren't great). It was clearly hopeless because the competition was too tough (entrenched iOS and Android) and the developers too incompetent to compete effectively.

    I don't know how many times I thought to myself, "what were they thinking", while going through the WinRT API docs. It was unbelievable.

  14. Stooks

    Not being a programmer I simply do not care about what is used to make the programs.

    That said I do think the store is a great idea and I hope they allow all Windows apps into it. The install, update and removal process is good, very good. The fact that UWP/Store apps had to create their own registry hive was another great idea (vs jacking with the system registry and not cleaning it up when removed.)

    • skane2600

      In reply to Stooks:

      Well written applications do clean up the registry although the significance of having a few bytes left over after an application is uninstalled is greatly exaggerated.

      As I mentioned before, the standard Registry was made global for a good reason and private mini-registries aren't an appropriate substitute in many cases.

  15. wright_is

    It isn't just developers. I have yet to work at a company that doesn't disable the Windows Store by policy in their domains. That means no UWP apps, only traditional applications pushed out by IT and the PC is locked down and the user can't add their own applications without authorization from management.

  16. irfaanwahid

    In reply to hrlngrv:

    I started with Pascal and moved to VS6/VB6 and switched to .Net (VB/C#).

    There has to be real benefit to the developers and incentives to switch to a newer dev platform.

    Unfortunately UWP did not have any of it, unless Mobile picked up.

    I was all in for the vision of code once and make it available everywhere (with lil tinkering). But that never came to fruition.

    • hrlngrv

      In reply to irfaanwahid:

      I was all in for the vision of code once and make it available everywhere

      Has that ever been reasonable for workplace software? Other than CRM, email and various document viewers, what business software is needed on both PCs and phones? If there never was much, and may never be much, what benefit would this universality have provided to MSFT's enterprise customers who account for most of MSFT's revenues and profits?

      With respect to consumers, how many nonwork apps do you use on your PC, phone and maybe Xbox?

      Certainly non-UI code should be able to run on any device with sufficient processor power and memory. Business logic for incorporating local and state sales taxes (US-centric) into sales proposals shouldn't need tweaking between PC, tablet, phone, possibly other device types. Nor between Windows, Linux, macOS, or other OSes.

      The problem was always UI coding. Developing a compelling UI for both a 6" portrait-orientation phone screen and a 24" landscape-orientation desktop monitor effectively means developing 2 different UIs, unless the app would only run in a fixed size 6" diagonal portrait orientation window on the desktop monitor. Write once was always irrelevant for UI development. Heck, consider Windows 10's UWP Calculator applet. On a PC it can display a history/memory pane. Can it do so on phones, or would that involve switching between calculator keys/display, history, and memory views? Does UWP handle that with just a few tweaks, or is it a bit more involved? On PCs, if one drags a side of the Calculator window, at some point Scientific mode changes from a 5 across x 7 down grid of keys to a 7 across x 5 down grid, automatic geometry management comparable to what Tk provided a decade or two ago.

  17. christian.hvid

    I don't wish to complain, but I'm kind of sick of this binary mindset that things are either wildly successful or dead. UWP is basically a layer on top of the WinRT APIs, which is a core part of Windows and the foundation on which the Windows 10 shell is built. That's not going to die; if anything, it's going to continue to evolve.

    Also, Microsoft almost never completely withdraws support for a development stack once it's out there. WinForms has been declared dead on more occasions than I care to count, but it's actually alive and well, and fully supported by Microsoft. And to Gallo's point that UWP features are being decoupled and integrated into a broader Windows development story - I have a hard time seeing that as dying. I call it rejuvenating.

    What is absolutely dead, of course, is the notion that Windows itself is a universal platform. Calling WinRT based apps "universal" just because they could run on several flavors of a minor operating system was silly at the time, and even more ridiculous now.

    More importantly though, UWP marks the end of an era where Microsoft could force developers to adopt a new framework or technology just by saying so. It was hard enough to get developers on board with WPF (it took at least five years of cajoling) and it turned out to be impossible with UWP. The so-called death of UWP is evidence that the developer community is making its own choices these days, and that can't be anything but good.

    • hrlngrv

      In reply to christian.hvid:

      I'm kind of sick of this binary mindset that things are either wildly successful or dead.

      Agreed since this covers my preferred browser, not to mention the Linux desktop.

      The UWP stuff other than WinRT may be worthwhile, but an argument can be made that WinRT is not what Windows PC users want. If WinRT has a future with HoloLens, Surface Hub, Xbox and IoT, then NBD, though those combined are a small part of MSFT's business.

      I figure MSFT was right during Build 2011, at least the Jensen Harris talk: then Metro/WinRT was for sparse UI apps, traditional Win32 stack for dense UI software, and both had their uses. Where MSFT erred (OK, @#$%ed up big time) was pushing the notion that UWP was the future for PC software. The idea of universal apps was always BS. Perhaps one could put a music app on one's smart toaster, but would the toaster have had decent speakers? OTOH, an app for different individuals' toastedness preferences for different types of bread would be great for a toaster, but how much usage would it have seen on smart refrigerators or phones?

      Finally, forcing developers. Developers mostly aren't idiots. They'll develop software with a sufficient potential customer base. WinRT/UWP apps for the most part never had particularly large potential customer bases. Thus developers' lack of interest in WinRT/UWP development. FWIW, MSFT could have implemented its own R Open as UWP, but it didn't. (It could also have made Notepad UWP, but didn't.) Developers didn't fail to notice that MSFT itself didn't act as though UWP was the future of PC software. Why didn't MSFT convert more of its own software to UWP? Because it knew its own customers didn't want that.

  18. darkgrayknight

    You can say "UWP is dead", but really what Microsoft is saying is: UWP, Win32, .Net, PWA?, etc. are all various ways to make "Windows Apps". And, this will allow greater flexibility to merge code bases and extend existing apps. Creating a UWP front end to an existing Win32 would actually be a great way to develop a non-touch Win32 app to have a touch interface. In all cases this is a good thing (as you are saying, I just wouldn't exactly say it that way).

  19. dontbe evil

    and here we go:

    still no replies or article updates from paul

  20. venividivinci

    im glad iTunes made the move to put itself in the store. not to be annoyed by apple software update is a blessing

  21. derekamoss

    For the last time and I wish someone would make an article out of this so people would quit saying its the downfall of the store. You can still install Office through the store. Go to the page of your office 365 plan in the store or go to the excel page and instead of clicking install click the ... menu next to it and click install on a device, choose your computer and downloads through the store. It has been this way for 5 months now....

    • Tony Barrett

      In reply to derekamoss:

      While the store will no doubt remain in one form or another - pretty much every vision MS had for it's store, and I mean everything, has failed. If anything, it will just become a general repository for any style of windows app, but it will unlikely attract new developers, and will probably wither on the vine.

      • sandeepm

        In reply to ghostrider:

        how about they scrap it and move that to GitHub. I always detested Ballmer shamelessly copying Apple's stupidity. He even copied the idea of charging developers $100 to get an account, that was retarded. Back in the day, getting Apps on Windows Mobile was so convenient. No one ever needed app stores.

        I'd be fine if apps for Windows were sold on Google and Amazon, no need for a Microsoft branded AppStore, really.

    • dontbe evil

      In reply to derekamoss:

      shh paul and hater don't like truth, otherwise they cannot bas what they hate

  22. JoePaulson

    Maybe the store will have a future as a place to browse and install apps, allowing for a nicer version of "Software Center" in corporate settings, and a "safe" list of applications that a grandma can install without worrying about being hacked.

    UWP is dead though....and I am happy to have "legacy" applications be able to tie into services like sharing and live tiles.

    perhaps we will reach a point where you can use a Win32 API and not even know it!

  23. sandeepm is in the habit of publishing 'UWP is dead' articles annually. In fact, they are infatuated with the word and they also publish a lot of other 'this is dead' / 'that is dead' articles about Microsoft regularly and the bait typically works. You can validate my theory by searching for the word 'dead' on the search bar of the site (just like you would search for 'blood' on the US President's tweets).

    If anyone cares about the real story, read this unbiased article that I found to share my thoughts as well as a lot more detailed (and accurate) than I could be:

    To be warned that this referenced article will not make much sense for the typical passionate gadget geek (...most of you): it is Level 400.

  24. epguy40

    It looks like Mr Paul Thurott should read this recent article from Windows Central -

    Microsoft's Universal Windows Platform is not dead, but it has evolved over the years

  25. meauxx

    I just joined this site and am about to unjoin. Looks like authors have something against UWP and are misrepresenting any Microsoft announcement to make it sound something is wrong.

    Our shop has tried everything (we have been developing for 20+ years) and after 2 years of evaluations went heavy with UWP. We have 3 Enterprise apps on Azure PAAS already. Our developers and the users are loving the rapid development and delivery through MS LOB store.

  26. @chernipeski

    So re: these comments was Paul correct a year out?

    • Paul Thurrott

      This isn't about me being "correct." The press was told that UWP was "dead" by the person who "killed" it (their words) at Build 2019. All I did was accurately report what they said.
  27. Tony Barrett

    The MS suit is just trying to gloss over the fact yet *another* Microsoft effort to change Windows development has failed, but with a positive spin. It's easy to say 'we've listened', because it makes MS look caring and thoughtful, and on the developers side. This was never the case. If UWP had been even a half-way success, MS would have ploughed on regardless. I'm not saying the concept of a Windows store is bad, but the execution was terrible, and as soon as MS pulled Windows Mobile, the writing was on the wall for the store and UWP.

    Think about it. MS have tried everything to drag Windows development kicking and screaming to where they wanted it. They wanted centralised distribution only they control, a cut of ever sale and feed of all the telemetry they collect from it. RT tried dumping win32, and that's been Microsoft's goal for years now, but they never succeeded. I'm afraid it's been failure after failure, and this is just damage limitation.

    • mike-eee

      In reply to ghostrider:

      What's really amazing is how much leniency the Windows group has had for their failures. Silverlight was only given ~4 years, whereas we've had to put up with its failed replacement in the Windows Store for nearly twice as long -- and its feature set is no where near comparable after all that time!

  28. mrdrwest

    The title is misleading IMO.

    While UWP as a primary application platform may have failed, UWP features are being made available across legacy Windows frameworks, so UWP is not dead, It's being transformed: It should be called Project Chrysalis.

    Look at what's happening with .NET 5

    • mattbg

      In reply to mrdrwest:

      It does mean UWP as originally intended/imagined is dead, though, no? That is, as the framework for future Windows development.

      While it's true that features available only to UWP are being disseminated to other frameworks, why would anyone write a UWP app now and how many people will maintain the ones that already exist? They'll far more likely write using the new APIs via .NET, Win32, or PWA and I'd expect that UWP will mostly disappear.

      • hrlngrv

        In reply to mattbg:

        as the framework for future Windows development

        Also in conjunction with the MSFT Store as the sole distribution channel, and Windows 10 as the sole target for all new software.

  29. hz10

    Disagree with the simplistic conclusion.

    My interpretation of the direction is the opposite of Thurrott’s in some sense – UWP will be expanded and morphed together with Windows Forms and WPP into .Net core app eventually with .Net Core 5.0

    Windows UI platform roadmap - BDL2043

    State of the Union: The Windows Presentation Platform

    Here is my take of UWP development that I have expressed on different occasions:

    1.     The best target OS compared with Android and iOS.

    2.     The best IDE (VS). Android Studio is catching up fast, but still has a long way to go before rivaling VS.

    3.     The best user experience compared with apps on other platforms (e.g. Android) for for which I also develop apps.

    4.     The worst app store for developers by far.

    I could write an essay about how poor Microsoft Store is with my first-hand experiences dealing with its glitches one after another. I have been suspecting that Microsoft Store killed Windows Phone. WP came out late, but it had a decent chance to survive and thrive (its market share actually reached double digits in some European countries), but the lack of apps killed it eventually. I blame Microsoft Store for it. It is pretty much the worst in every sense and had glitches one after another.  If Microsoft had outsourced the app store to a competent company, Windows Phone could be rivaling iPhone and Android now.

    To rub salt in the wound, Microsoft introduced the .Net Native toolchain nightmare to hit UWP further. I have never noticed any promised app performance benefit. Instead, one app’s performance deteriorated so much that it became almost unusable under certain circumstances after .Net Native was used. An app’s debug version may behave significantly differently than its release version compiled with .Net Native, so you may not know a problem until users start to complain. It takes 10 to 20 minutes to generate an app package with .Net Native. More than 90% app development problems I have encountered are related to .Net Native nightmare one way or another.

    Sideloading UWP app could make up a little bit for the store’s deficiency, but it seems they have changed the sideloading mechanism many times. I have lost track of it.

    In summary, UWP apps are the first-class products marketed and sold by a third-class store.

    I cannot help mentioning one emerging technology that adds absolute excitement to UWP – Uno Platform. It allows C# UWP code used for creating iOS, Android and WebAssembly web apps. It is truly “program once, run on billions of devices".

    • hrlngrv

      In reply to hz10:

      its market share actually reached double digits in some European countries

      FWIW, also Vietnam and a few Latin American countries for a few months in 2012 or 2013.

      Not enough to make Windows phones viable. Without 10% in US or China, they were doomed because MSFT had no interest in being a distant #3.

      Regardless, with no more Windows phones, UWP is a solution almost no PC users are seeking. As for all other device types which can run Windows and UWP apps, do they number even 50 million? What sort of apps would be hot on Xbox, Surface Hub, HoloLens, smart appliances?

      • skane2600

        In reply to hrlngrv:

        I'm glad you made this argument on the non-premium side too.

        Each platform is different and even between ones that have a lot in common, there is often an opportunity to optimize them if one doesn't get caught up in the cross-platform dogma.

        As you've said before "business logic" can be shared but UI code and resources don't need to be.

    • dontbe evil

      In reply to hz10:

      that's only paul personal conclusion/interpretation ... the problem that unfortunately he's an heavy impact on the internet readers

    • skane2600

      In reply to hz10:

      The Windows Phone simply failed in the marketplace and IMO, the quality of the app store had little to do with it. The top reasons were (IMO).

      1. Late to the market with an iPhone-like smartphone.
      2. Lack of carrier deals
      3. Lack of public promotion
      4. Minimal effort to motivate developers through eliminating fees and percentages.
      5. Lack of apps in the store (see #4)
      6. Making a new API (UWP) that was incompatible with WP 8 with the inability for most of those phones to be upgraded to Windows 10.

      There is nothing particularly wrong about UWP for mobile, but I don't think there's reason to consider it superior to the others. On the desktop, however, UWP is mostly a redundant subset of Win32 so I don't see much value there.

      • sandeepm

        In reply to skane2600:

        Windows Phone was doing fine till the new management came and decided to pretend that it was a technology problem and came up with the Windows 10 solution to a business problem. If they had stuck with the Windows Phone 8.1 architecture, it would have been at 25 to 30 % by now. And Nokia would not have ditched them if they had shown a wee bit of sincerity. Then they made a 360 degree turn with WCOS, which is basically Windows CE architecture all over again. A single trillion dollar company can actually live with more than one operating system, even if Linux is not one of them, you know? Too little, too late, blaming technology for wrong business decisions... story of their life.

        Don't want to bash them more than they need to be, in two years, we will have foldable Windows Phones and no longer need a laptop... could have been two years ago, though, if the had been a bit less sloppy and made good business decisions.

      • hz10

        In reply to skane2600:
        1. True. Numerous examples of late comers winning (Amazon, Google, Facebook all were late comers in their fields).
        2. Half true.
        3. False. I vaguely remember the initial promotion cost is $200 million. Microsoft has a large following.
        4. False. The fee was quickly removed (Apple still charges the fee annually, and Google has a one-time fee.) Microsoft had all kinds of efforts to motivate developers to program for Windows Phone. The list is too long to put here. Have you forgot all those things or you did not make any apps for WP?
        5. True. The reason is the store is by far the worst as I stated.
        6. True, but should not be a show stopper.

        Their biggest blunder in terms of Windows app was jumping to modern UI from Windows 7 to Windows 8. They have corrected many mistakes. Now, you can make a UWP app look very similar to a traditional desktop app if that is what you want, but not the other way.

        • skane2600

          In reply to hz10:

          1: Let's stay on topic: smartphones.

          3: Any source for your $200 million claim and how did it compare with the iPhone promotion cost?

          4: I guess you have a different definition of "quickly" than I do. It took over year for MS to lower the registration fee on individuals and the company fee remains $99 even today. It took MS six years to drop their cut from 30% to 5%. So, no, not quickly at all.

          5: Seriously? You think consumers considering a purchase discuss the quality of the store as opposed to just being concerned about the availability of apps?

          6: You don't think dead-ending a product has an effect on the perception of the family of products? A novel theory.

          • hz10

            In reply to skane2600:

            1.Using history to justify history?

            3. $200M Probably much more eventually.

            4.Better than Apple and Google. Not sure how many enterprise or individual developers who can make meaningful apps were deterred by the small fee.

            5.Misunderstood. The worst for developers. Your experience as an developer compared with Google Play and Apple store? Fairly poor for users too.

            6.Sorry, do not understand what you meant.

            • skane2600

              In reply to hz10:

              1. The consequences of being late to one market aren't necessarily relevant to being late in another market. Smartphones are purchased, how much money did it cost consumers to use Google search or Facebook? And Amazon was a very early online business, what were the top 5 online businesses in 1994 when Amazon started? You'd probably have to look it up because none of those business became well-known.

              4. WP was coming from behind, trying to match the fees of market leaders was insufficient, they needed to do much better.

              5 We'll simply have to disagree here. I don't think developers look at the quality of the store either, they look at the phone's market share first and foremost.

              6 A customer buys a Windows 8 phone and then after a year or two they can't run the latest apps for the phone because they work only on WP 10. The customer is even more annoyed if they bought the phone during the period when MS said that WP 8 phones could be upgraded to WP 10 only to discover they were lied to. Likely customer reaction: "What a ripoff, this is the last Microsoft phone I'll buy".

              • hz10

                In reply to skane2600:

                I remember I used a few Windows Mobile phones (Sidekick, BlackJack...) before iPhone came out, so iPhone was late, and Android was even later.

                I purchased quite some books online before I heard about Amazon back in 90s.

                I have realized that we look at these things from different angles. I am from my own experience as these devices' user and a developer for multiple platforms (Windows, Android, iOS), and the experiences of fellow developers I know. We may never reach consensus on some issues.

                • skane2600

                  In reply to hz10:

                  I had a client who had a pre-iPhone Windows Mobile phone and I had a Pocket PC. When I said the later MS phones were late, I meant with the iPhone-type paradigm that changed the nature of smartphones.

                  IMO, MS mistake in those Pre-iPhone days was the reverse of the Windows 8 mistake (IMO). They tried to make these little screen devices act as much as possible like big Windows instead of considering what the best operational approach would be for a small handheld device. Thus it was tiny scrollbars and a stylus instead of finger swiping.

                  Some people get excited over the prospect of iOS and MacOS combining which I find a bit ironic since I believe that had the iPhone been modeled closely after the Mac interface, it would have crashed and burned.

  30. skane2600

    In reply to hrlngrv:

    .NET like MFC before it was just another alternative for developing applications. And the applications created using them didn't have any artificial limitations like UWP did. I don't think they are comparable at all.

    • hrlngrv

      In reply to skane2600:

      .Net has a lot more going for it than UWP, but it was resisted when it was the new thing.

      • skane2600

        In reply to hrlngrv:

        Well, .Net evolved over time, but I don't recall there being a big transition where people that didn't like it initially suddenly did, but YMMV. It's always seems to be Microsoft's major programs that usually boycott the newest Microsoft's technology. Which was probably a good idea since rewriting a major program is usually a bad idea.

  31. irfaanwahid

    Win32.. Windows Store Apps/UWP.. and back to Win32..

    I couldn't be more happy that Microsoft has finally realized that majority of the developers (including myself) want to continue with .Net applications.

    What Microsoft is doing now they should have done this at the first place. Instead of forcing a new development platform, they should have simply brought new stuff to the classic development environments. Well, never too late.

    As far as Microsoft Store is concerned, I like the idea of having central repository for all app installs/updates. I think they shouldn't give up on this already, but make it easy for classic apps to come on board.

      • skane2600

        In reply to dontbe_evil:

        Are you deliberately misunderstanding? .NET has many capabilities that are unavailable in UWP apps and being able to access all of those capabilities was obviously what they were taking about.

        • dontbe evil

          In reply to skane2600:

          you are stating wrong things as usual ... can you tell me exactly which capabilities are you missing? I bet you stuck in what was missing 2012


          if you check just one comment down, I clearly provided that UWP can have a not vertical layout that win32 lovers like, but I got many downvotes, because people like you doesn't like to admit defeat to defend what they wrongly say

          • skane2600

            In reply to dontbe_evil:

            I didn't say anything about vertical layouts nor did I vote you down, so your comment on that aspect is irrelevant.

            I'm not going to list all the capabilities, but here's an easy one:

            The Registry Class.

            UWP apps aren't allowed access to the global Registry while .Net can. If you think about it any "safety" restriction in the UWP eliminates a capability that Win32 supports and many of those capabilities can be accessed from .NET.

            BTW, if you think I usually state things wrong, why don't you jump in and engage me more often. It's easy to snipe from the bleachers.

            • dontbe evil

              In reply to skane2600:

              that's not a missing feature, that's actually a feature.

              modern apps that don't need/have to use the registry, is what many always demanded for a clean world, all modern OS including mac os, and linux don't use a registry


              I didn't say that you downvoted me, but someone did, even after I provided real facts, it means that they don't care and don't want to know, they want just to throw shit on UWP

              • skane2600

                In reply to dontbe_evil:

                You wanted evidence and I gave it to you, UWP is not .NET, period.

                Software Design Pro Tip: The absence of a capability is never a feature, although it can be a choice.

                • dontbe evil

                  In reply to skane2600:

                  I wish you to install several software that will fill your registry with lot of go study .Net before say anything else

                • skane2600

                  In reply to dontbe_evil:

                  Why would I go study .Net when you've demonstrated your lack of knowledge on the subject? Why not just admit you were wrong and move on. It's not that hard really. Or if you prefer just drop the subject.

                • dontbe evil

                  In reply to skane2600:

                  my lack of knowledge? I told you that UWP IS .Net, you said no ... you said that there are lot of several important missing features, I asked what, you came up with registry that's something that should be avoided in best practices, and you can use easily something else... you should go study

                • skane2600

                  In reply to dontbe_evil:

                  Actually I didn't include the word "important" because importance isn't relevant to whether UWP is .NET or not. All that is required to demonstrate that UWP is not .NET is to show that it lacks one or more capabilities that .NET includes. It has so been demonstrated.

                  Your personal opinion that the Registry should be avoided is irrelevant to the issue. The problem with best practices (if indeed avoiding the Registry is even on such a list) is that they usually fail to be contextual. Developers with narrow experience can't see the larger world of possibilities that exist outside of their primary domain.

                  Update: To be fair I should say that all developers have narrow experience within the wide-world of software including myself.

                • dontbe evil

                  In reply to skane2600:

                  as long you'll keep saying UWP is not .NET ... I can tell you only go to study, and come back when you'll learn a bit more about .Net

  32. truerock

    Yes, Windows 8 was a disaster and the sooner Microsoft can get rid of it the better.

    But using legacy Win32 to kill it off is beyond the stupidest idea I have ever heard.

    A much better idea is to just admit Windows 8 GUI is a disaster and to ditch it as soon as possible.

    • skane2600

      In reply to truerock:

      I think the Windows 8 GUI and UWP were intrinsically linked around the concept of common apps and behavior between the desktop and mobile. MS needed both to fulfill their goal even though it didn't turn out to be a worthwhile one.

  33. carlmess

    TrialAndErrorSoft Corp. they come up with some ideas, they make everybody go that way and make adjustments, then, all of a sudden... bye bye, it was never meant to be a big thing... and you usually end up with a hybrid of some sort (Windows) and trying to adapt and mourn the losses.

  34. Thomas Parkison

    Good, now maybe I can start using stuff that was once limited to being used in WPF apps in legacy WinForm-based apps without having to load in the fairly heavy Windows API Code Pack.

  35. rmac

    Apart from the obvious platform restriction, my only real gripe with UWP was the persistent vertical menu.

    There are myriad scenarios where that just isn't natural, particularly if you're coming from a web design background. I find the same thing with Office, with switching from the ribbon to the left vertical bar grating.

  36. dontbe evil

    As usual Paul write a clcikbait title with what he thinks/wants

  37. gregsedwards

    The Store may not be what developers want, but let's not overlook the fact that, aside from some popular apps not being available there, the Store is pretty great idea for end users. It's one place to find apps, to trust the quality of the apps (or at the very least, to trust they can't screw up your system), and to keep track of everything you've purchased and installed. It feels like Microsoft is just tired of dragging a reluctant developer community into its vision of the future, so instead they've acquiesced and broadened the definition to include anything and everything. Given the idea that the Fluid framework may negate the idea of apps as we know them, though, maybe it won't matter eventually.

    • jwpear

      In reply to gregsedwards:

      I agree. The store is/was a great idea--a safer place to locate and cleanly install apps that are automatically updated. I don't think the store and UWP should be coupled in such a manner that if UWP dies, the store has to die. As an end user and as a dev, I very much like the promise of the app stores.

      UWP didn't die because it was a poor framework for app development. It died because it came about at a time when folks no longer care to write apps just for the desktop or one platform. Let's be honest, no one is writing new Win32 apps either. Desktop apps and single platform apps are what's dead. UWP is lumped into that.

      For me personally, I haven't written a desktop (or mobile app for that matter) in about 15 years. Everything I've written since has been browser-based because HTML and JavaScript give me the ability to target all the OSs and devices my users are on. It lives up to the write once run anywhere promise.

    • hrlngrv

      In reply to gregsedwards:

      It's one place to find apps

      As long as the app one wants/needs is in the Store. If one wanted, say, an icon editor, there's exactly one in the Store (Icon Maker - IconCool Studio Lite).

      keep track of everything you've purchased and installed

      But no way to eliminate anything you've installed, tried, but couldn't stand.

      It feels like Microsoft is just tired of dragging a reluctant developer community into its vision of the future

      In fairness, if Windows users, especially enterprises, couldn't stand where MSFT wanted to take them, can you really blame developers for listening to their customers rather than their software vendor, MSFT?

  38. skane2600

    It took Microsoft only 7 years to realize what many Windows developers knew back in 2012 - that UWP served no useful purpose outside of mobile. Even now there is a kind of face saving in their statements - I don't believe there's any great desire on the part of developers to incrementally adopt parts of UWP, they just want continued development on the legacy platform going forward.

    • hrlngrv

      In reply to skane2600:

      Don't conflate what MSFT knows with what MSFT will publicly admit. I figure MSFT full well knew the abjectness of UWP's failure in 2016. Heck, they knew it before they pulled the plug on Windows phones.

      Face saving? MSFT? What a departure from their previous willingness to admit error. /s

      FWLIW, I could see voice control slowly seeping into otherwise traditional software.

      • skane2600

        In reply to hrlngrv:

        We have no way of knowing when they realized it, although even 2016 would be very late. You might be underestimating the capacity for executives to deny reality despite the evidence. I've seen it many times.

        • hrlngrv

          In reply to skane2600:

          I figure MSFT execs are clear-eyed and shrewd, just extremely apprehensive about admitting error. I figure MSFT as an employer even for senior execs doesn't tolerate admission of failure, though it can get along just fine with failure. Put simpler: MSFT thrives on certain forms of mendacity.

          • skane2600

            In reply to hrlngrv:

            Maybe, but where were those 'clear-eyed and shrewd" executives when the ideas behind Windows 8 were first proposed?

            • hrlngrv

              In reply to skane2600:

              You mean Ballmer/Sinofsky era? Ballmer wasn't particularly shrewd then. OTOH, he did more than Gates to establish the characteristic MSFT hostility towards admission of error.

              Sinofsy was shrewd but tragically mistaken about making Windows 8 so phone-like. He was probably right that forcing Windows PC users to get used to the Windows Phone UI (Live Tiles) was necessarily if Windows phones were to catch on. Unfortunately, Live Tiles on Windows 8 PCs weren't sufficient for Windows phones to catch on. He certainly did assume MSFT could do whatever it wanted with Windows, and people would still buy Windows PCs.

              • skane2600

                In reply to hrlngrv:

                At one time we owned 4 Windows 8/8.1 phones and the motivation to buy them had nothing to do with live tiles on the Windows 8 desktop which we hated. Live tiles on the phone weren't necessary, but kind of benign because it didn't break any existing usage patterns. The Start Screen in Windows 8 desktop was just a time-wasting distraction that didn't offer any advantage over the Start Menu that users were familiar with. The idea that the Windows 8 desktop UI inspired anyone to buy a Windows phone I don't find credible. If you bought one for that reason I think you're the exception.

                • hrlngrv

                  In reply to skane2600:

                  I've never bought/owned a Windows phone either for myself or any family member.

                  I'm guessing at why with Windows 8 MSFT made a radical change to the Windows launcher and for the first time in Windows history didn't provide an alternative shell/launcher like the previous Windows version (as Windows 95 and NT4 provided Program Manager, as Windows XP provided Classic theme and Start menu).

                  Other than Sinofsky being a profound SOB (which I can't rule out), the only plausible explanation for the Windows 8 Start screen is unifying the Windows launcher UI across PCs, tablets and phones, and that doesn't seem to have been for the benefit of PC users.

                  Also, since it appears I need to explain this, OF COURSE the Windows 8 Start screen on PCs provided no benefit to PC users. It wasn't meant to. It was meant to get PC users used to the same launcher UI across all devices running Windows, and I'm surmising that the reason to do that was to make PC users used to that launcher UI in hopes that that would make those PC users value the similar launcher UI on Windows tablets and phones, so be more likely to choose Windows tablets and phones.

                  If you find none of my reasoning plausible, why do you believe MSFT gave us the Windows 8 Start screen? Sinofsky an SOB a sufficient explanation?

                • skane2600

                  In reply to hrlngrv:

                  You said it made sense that live tiles on the desktop would be necessary to motivate people to buy Windows Phones. That's different from saying that MS believed that live tiles on the desktop would be necessary to motivate people to buy Windows Phones. These sorts of erroneous beliefs are the evidence that MS executives weren't "clear-eyed and shrewd".

                  Yes all of these bad decisions were based on trying to promote mobile which is not a surprise to me since I've been saying that here for years.

                • hrlngrv

                  In reply to skane2600:

                  Necessary (adverb form used incorrectly previously) as in necessary and sufficient.

                  Had Windows 8 not had a Start screen with live tiles, would as many people have bought Windows phones over its brief lifetime? Maybe, maybe not. OTOH, that was definitely insufficient for Windows phones to remain a viable product. If live tiles on PC Start screens were neither necessary nor sufficient for Windows phones' viability, then it was one of the stupidest things MSFT ever did.

                • skane2600

                  In reply to hrlngrv:

                  It was one of the stupidest things MSFT ever did.

  39. nknknkmkkn

    Finally. The past months MS is firing on all fronts and makes good decisions that benefit everyone.

  40. siv

    I just don't like the Windows 8 hangover of UWP, the apps you can create with it are just Lego Duplo compared to proper applications. If they had made it possible to build applications that didn't look like they were made by 3 year old's perhaps more of us would have adopted it.

    • hrlngrv

      In reply to Siv:

      In fairness, did you ever try Code Writer? FWIW, I prefer Notepad++ (not the Store version), but Code Writer is definitely for adults.

    • Alexander Rothacker

      In reply to Siv:
      Also, if UWP was not limited to Windows 8.1 and 10, but would run on Win7, then maybe more devs would use it. As it is, until Win7 is dead, any dev coding for UWP is limiting his/her audience

      • wright_is

        In reply to earlster:

        But why would you cripple a new development now by making it compatible with a platform that has a life expectancy of less than 6 months?

        Whether you use UWP features in traditional applications or in Store apps, the underlying technologies only run on Windows 10.

  41. prjman

    If MS's newest idea is 'every platform feature available to every developer', why not allow Android apps?

  42. hrlngrv

    News: Grant is dead, and buried in Grant's Tomb.

    There's news, and then there's long-delayed admissions of what's been blindingly obvious for months if not years.

    | where your customers are going

    IOW, not where MSFT would prefer Windows user to go. Such a pity 3rd party developers pay more attention to where enterprise customers want to go than where MSFT wants to go. Not entirely mean-spirited: did MSFT run UWP past any of its larger enterprise customers back in 2014-5?

    | what’s old is new again

    Or enterprise customers finally convinced MSFT they had no intention of going where MSFT wanted to lead them.

    Besides, with no UWP version of Visual Studio or R Open, MSFT tacitly admitted UWP wasn't ideal for everything.

    | [UWP is] still the only way to create WinCore apps

    How many apps are there with even hundreds of users using them on even 2 of the supported device types: PCs, HoloLens, Surface Hub, Xbox(?) and IoT?

    | Microsoft is doing what developers want.

    And developers are doing what their enterprise and perhaps consumer customers want. It seems MSFT no longer controls what Windows will be or become. Some innovation, sure, but no radical change.

    • Pic889

      In reply to hrlngrv:

      Forget third-party large enterprise customers. Did Microsoft run UWP past the Office team? It seems the Office team was forced to make an Office UWP version ("Must we? Oww...") but the win32 version of Office always was and is the True Version Of Office.

      That's was a major admission by Microsoft they had a dud concept with UWP.

      It's IBM's Grand Unification Theory of Operating Systems (Workplace OS) all over again: A pointless "unification" nobody really wants.

  43. Piyer

    UWP is not dead. In fact WPF and win 32 apps apps going forward use XAML islands - which is the bridge to UWP.

  44. coeus89

    I don't care what the framework is, i just want as many application as is reasonably possible in the store. I want them to get installed without some weird installer and i want them to get patched with no user intervention. That is all i ever wanted out of the windows store. i was surprised they took such a hard stance at first with the UWP only approach. That appears to have been wrong and now they know it. I just want the apps i use, and more importantly, the apps that i have my non-technical parents and grandparents use, to be in the store.

    • hrlngrv

      In reply to coeus89:

      as many application as is reasonably possible in the store

      Rather depends on whether ISVs see much marketing advantage to having their software in the Store. Ditto hobbyists for narrow scope applications.

      MSFT can't just package any 3rd party Windows PC software it wants and put it in the store. And sadly for MSFT, PCs predate smartphones and the original phone app stores by decades, so PC users have LOTS of alternative to the MSFT Store. MSFT could make a lot of FOSS into Store packages, but it hasn't. Why should skeptical 3rd party developers take the MSFT Store seriously?

      If there's not much in the MSFT Store, how much are you helping your parents and grandparents?

      The MSFT Store has been around for years. There's not much packaged Win32 software in it. There's no reason to expect there'll be much Win32 software in it by 2025.

      I realize many people here want a single source for PC software. It's just that the economics are against it. ISVs with either B2B or word-of-mouth customer channels simply don't need the MSFT Store and certainly have no desire to let MSFT take a cut of their software revenues. OTOH, MSFT has little to no interest in providing a free service to ISVs which would need to serve over a billion PCs. Phones and tablets may only be able to get new software through app stores. PCs are different, and there's decades of inertia behind PCs which make it unlikely PC ISVs would embrace a single MSFT Store any time soon.

      But to entertain the possibility, let's put this in stark terms: how much more would you be willing to pay for all PC software for it to come through the MSFT Store?

    • wright_is

      In reply to coeus89:

      I agree, from a private point of view, but from a business point of view, you still need outside Store installation, as many businesses simply block the Store and all Store apps. Everything gets rolled out using an corporate application management tool to the PCs that need it.

      • darkgrayknight

        In reply to wright_is:

        While many businesses have done this, there are other options available to businesses, including allowing the store, but limiting the apps to only approved apps. That is how I set it up for the small business I help with IT administration.

      • coeus89

        In reply to wright_is:

        I understand. I work at a mid-sized defense company. I am fully aware of the kind of control that corporate IT rightfully needs. There is no reason that IT can't install the apps they want with whatever management service they use. The store is irrelevant for corporate IT. But I think it is a great service for small business and Individual users. I hope that developers don't continue ignoring it.

        • hrlngrv

          In reply to coeus89:

          I hope that developers don't continue ignoring it.

          What if it were more accurate to say developers have considered it, but the costs outweigh the benefits to them? That is, perhaps they're not ignoring the MSFT Store, rather they made a conscious decision not to put their software into it. Then what?

  45. jules_wombat

    As a (previous) .Net developer this is good news, or more specifically the alignment into .Net 5. It all went very wrong at Build 2011, when Microsoft depreciated .Net in favour of HTML 5 and Metro Apps. They lost the confidence of many core developers that day. When Microsoft dumped on us, we left and focused on Android.

    Miguel is about the only guy at Microsoft/Xamarin worth listening to as a C# developer.

    • hrlngrv

      In reply to Jules_Wombat:

      . . . It all went very wrong at Build 2011 . . .

      I think it went off the rails a little later. Watch Jensen Harris's talk/demostration. He shows PhotoShop as a dense UI contrast to WinRT/Metro apps, and he explicitly states that there's a place for dense UI software, implying WinRT/Metro wasn't ideal for everything. The Kool-Aid first showed up closer to the Surface RT launch.

      • skane2600

        In reply to hrlngrv:

        The HTML5 and JavaScript emphasis at build 2011 was pretty much in the Kool-Aid mindset too IMO. I think MS naively believed that web developers would flock to Windows if only they had familiar tools. And again, as I unpopularly mentioned about WSL yesterday, some young MS devs may have been excited about embracing the tools that all the cool kids were using.

        • hrlngrv

          In reply to skane2600:

          Build 2011 said Metro/WinRT was the new thing to use, not that Metro/WinRT was the only thing to use going forward. That message, or implication, came later.

          • skane2600

            In reply to hrlngrv:

            The "kool-Aid" part I was talking about was MS focusing on HTML5 and JavaScript instead of the tools that Windows developers were currently using. Remember XAML and C# had been around for years, so HTML5 and JavaScript weren't necessary to build Metro/WinRT applications but MS seemed to push them over traditional approaches.

  46. Ron Diaz

    Microsoft confirms what everyone else knew 8 years ago...

  47. Paul Tarnowski

    All I want is for Windows to require any app that isn't grandfathered in through a whitelist to require that it install and connect to the OS through the UWP/MS Store framework. It doesn't have to be UWP or the latest UI, it just has to handle installation and updates through MS.

    • skane2600

      In reply to ScribT:

      I think maintaining such a list would be more burdensome for the user than the legacy install process was. Presumably the developer would still have to pay to get their product in the store which could be a non-starter too. In order for the store to be able to handle any legacy program, it would have to allow access to the global Registry too. The Registry isn't just a database of program-specific configuration information, it's also an program integration nexus.

  48. skane2600

    This change of approach suggests Windows 10 S mode's days are numbered (if it hasn't been canceled already).

  49. aksoftware99

    I have started developing apps in a very early age, I developed for Windows Forms, WPF and UWP in addition Android, iOS and Web.

    The truth is the features, the capabilities that UWP apps provide in addition to the great SDK provided by Microsoft couldn't be compared with any other platform, it's the only platform and SDK that gives you things out of the box in term of every part of the app (Design, Notifications, Performance, App to App communication) in addition for that the integration between those apps and Windows 10 are awesome, to mention also that the experience that Surface devices provides with the pen and portability cannot be described, and above all of that the development of those type of apps is just entertaining and very powerful and easy.but on the other hand the only problem that let Microsoft Store and UWP apps cannot compete with Apple or Google is the marketing, many developers don't know about the features of UWP and many others don't even know what UWP is all about they just know Windows App, not only developers even the end users, People started to know about Surface lately because marketing campaign is too weak, when Samsung announces a phone you see the ADs in every street, TV, website all over the world while Microsoft has a luxury and creative things but unfortunately only fans like us knows about this because we spend time looking for what Microsoft is doing!