Project Reunion 0.5 is Now Available

Posted on March 29, 2021 by Paul Thurrott in Dev, Windows 10 with 5 Comments

Microsoft announced today that Project Reunion 0.5 is now available with a focus on making it easier to create modern Windows desktop applications. As you may recall, Project Reunion is an attempt by Microsoft to separate platform features from the Windows release schedule and make them available across multiple Windows 10 versions.

“In 0.5, our focus is very much on what we’ve heard from our developer community around making Desktop apps easy to build again,” Microsoft’s Andrew Clinick writes in the announcement post. “That’s why you’ll find down–level support to Windows 10 version 1809, the ability to use Project Reunion with a .NET 5 app, as well as WinUI 3 and WebView2 for modern, compatible UI development, all with production-level support when using packaged apps.”

Clinick notes that Microsoft still expects to ship Project Reunion 1.0 by the end of 2021, but based on the many delays we’ve already experienced, I’m wondering if that’s realistic. Future updates will include new features like app lifecycle for improved system performance and battery life, a modern windowing system that combines “the power of Win32 windowing with the ease of UWP,” notifications support for both local and push scenarios, unpackaged app support, and more.

For now, Project Reunion 0.5 ships with fully supported MRTCore and DWriteCore components, the production version of WinUI 3 for desktop apps, and WebView2.  It supports packaged apps—meaning, apps that are distributed with MSIX—but support for unpackaged apps will come in a future update. But the big deal here, of course, is WinUI 3.

“The version of WinUI 3 that’s shipping with this release is the first version that’s suitable for production apps and is forward-compatible,” Clinick explains. “With WinUI 3, you can now build desktop apps that can be published to the Microsoft Store. There are currently two supported methods for creating a WinUI 3 app: Creating a brand new WinUI 3 Desktop app from scratch [and] migrating your existing desktop apps to WinUI 3 by adding a new WinUI 3 project to your solution, and adjusting or refactoring your logic.”

Developers interested in getting started with Project Reunion 0.5 should check out the Microsoft Docs website.

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Comments (5)

5 responses to “Project Reunion 0.5 is Now Available”

  1. hrlngrv

    Aside from Adobe, Intuit, Oracle, SAP, Siemens, SAS Institute and maybe IBM, are there any commercial software ISVs making US$ 9-figure annual revenues any more? I can think of a few (fewer than 100) which may be making US$ 8-figure annual revenues, not even rounding errors compared to MSFT, but major commercial ISVs?

    Putting this another way, aren't most organizations paying for Visual Studio enterprises whose own products are NOT software? That is, aren't the majority of Visual Studio developers in-house developers making in-house applications?

    I admit here that I only have a clue about vertical market software within financial services. I'm pretty much clueless about commercial software for manufacturing, retail and other sectors.

    For those independent developers making a living up to generating US$ 8-figure annual revenues, how many of them sell only Windows software? How many developers developing and maintaining desktop software for Windows, macOS and Linux rely on MSFT APIs and developer tools?

  2. ron mcmahon

    In reply to lvthunder:

    The last 'Good Tool' for developing software from Microsoft was Visual Studio 6. Since then there has been the abandonment of trust in the developer to be able to do the work himself, and instead we've seen nothing but 15 years of half-baked quasi-releases and technology dead-ends full of automated code generators and flavour-of-the-day bloatware libraries that completely undermine the developer. Long gone are the days when a simple 'Hello World' can be displayed without needing megabytes of 'supporting' libraries.


    I have my doubts that Project Reunion will do anything to change this unfortunate trend.

  3. Intara

    Lost interest in M$ developer tools since VS6. Switched to g++ and am very happy with that (as a hobby developer). Lost interest in new M$ coding environments since GDI+. Who really cares about developing apps which are only compatible with Windows 10? Is all so pointless and short-lived what M$ did produce for developers in the last years. The only good and reliable coding environment was and is Win32.

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