The next generation of Windows Apps theory

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With all of the changes to Microsoft’s developer story it is hard to tell where they will land and how it will affect different developers. But for an educated guess here is my theory on the next generation of apps for Windows.

Windows Core Apps

  • Running on .Net Core 3, eventually .Net 5
  • XAML UI with first party controls built in WinUI
  • Targets Windows 10, Lite OS, HoloLens, Xbox, IoT, and Xamarin
  • Similar APIs to UWP, limitations on background running, runs in sandbox, suspend/resume, etc.
  • More Windows APIs like the running in System tray, create and manage windows and panes etc.
  • New APIs to manage 2 screens, rotating screens, machine learning magic
  • Packaged to MSIX
  • Optional distribution through the Microsoft Store

Migration Paths

  • UWP apps are probably more strict than Windows Core Apps will be so they can be migrated with some package manifest changes.
  • WPF apps would need to target .Net Core instead of .Net Framework, also if they are making use of now restricted APIs they will have to swap over to new APIs if possible. then package to MSIX
  • WinForms apps probably similar to WPF, target .Net Core, ensure no restricted APIs are used, and package to MSIX

That’s my theory. I think most of it is pretty obvious, I’m curious what everyone else will think is the next step for Windows Developers, and what they want in the next generation of Windows apps.

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