Microsoft Finalizes the Windows App SDK

Posted on November 16, 2021 by Paul Thurrott in Dev, Windows 10, Windows 11 with 6 Comments

Microsoft has quietly finalized the Windows App SDK, which seeks to reunite Windows desktop and mobile developers.

“Windows App SDK 1.0 Stable release is live,” Microsoft’s Kevin Gallo tweeted. “The Windows App SDK is focused on empowering developers to build the most productive apps on Windows and we’re looking forward to your feedback.”

What I’m curious about is why this release happened with so little fanfare. Isn’t this the future of Windows app development? Microsoft launched .NET 6 and Visual Studio 2022 last week with several announcement posts and two virtual events, and it seems like the Windows App SDK should have launched along with them. But there’s not even a single blog post about this release on the official Microsoft Developer Blogs.

What we did get was an update via the Windows App SDK’s GitHub page, which notes that version 1.0 is available today and includes unpackaged support with WinUI 3, single-project templates, and more.

As you may recall, the Windows App SDK started off as Project Reunion, and it’s designed to bridge the gap that Microsoft previously created between traditional C/C++ desktop applications and Metro/Store/Universal Windows Platform (UWP) mobile apps, the latter of which were tied to specific Windows 10 versions. With the Windows App SDK, Microsoft has made some UWP functionality and several new features available to desktop app developers across all supported Windows 10 and 11 versions.

You can learn more about the Windows App SDK from the Microsoft Docs website.

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Comments (6)

6 responses to “Microsoft Finalizes the Windows App SDK”

  1. rmac

    "What I’m curious about is why this release happened with so little fanfare."

    ...perhaps something to do with MAUI being around the corner (Q2 '22)?

  2. hrlngrv

    This may be a digression, but I run Windows 11 in a VM, and I may not allow the VM access to some bits of host system hardware. Not sure because I didn't restrict any access myself. This means the VM doesn't run the service for virtual keyboards and pens, and that means Terminal doesn't work (hasn't since the leaked build in June).

    I have to wonder how many apps may not work if they could use only keyboard and mouse but insist also on services for virtual keyboard and pen. IOW, if Terminal is representative of what could happen, I wouldn't expect 3rd party developers to be more careful than MSFT's Terminal developers.

  3. matsan

    Probably a nice SDK, but since support only extends back to Windows 10 (1809) we cannot use this or any other SDKs for our software. Currently about 10% of the users are on 8.1 or lower.

    We recently tried deprecating Windows 7 and 8.1 support (due to WinHTTP not supporting TLS 1.1 and 1.2 without Registry-hacks and KB-installs) but got immediate feedback from users on Windows 7 ESU until at least 2022. Also users running on Windows Server 2012 R2 chimed in pointing to Microsoft's support until 2023.

    It's a mess! I guess we will go to the web soon, especially now that Google has extended Chrome support on Windows 7 until 2023.

  4. martinusv2

    Because the real interesting things will be when v1.1 in 22'Q2 ships. It's another half-baked technology that Microsoft throw on the wall to see if it will stick. There are so few good features compare to the v1.1 that it`s not worth mentioning.

    And there is MAUI coming next year. I am more interested in that. Hope it will be full featured at launch. Because right now, there are good alternatives like Delphi FireMonkey, Flutter...

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