Hero UWP App


Hey guys,

I’ve been thinking of this for quite a while and wanted to share with you all to get some feedback.

The thoughts triggered after MS announced about the Centennial MS Office suite coming to Win Store.

My problem is this, why would MS port a Win32 version of Office suite or Office365 suite of apps to Windows Store through Desktop Bridge, and not develop a true/hero full fledge desktop grade UWP Office suite/Office365 apps?

If, MS themselves will not fully realize UWP potential and show it to the developers community (like myself) that what UWP can trully do, its advantages etc, they had the chance to make one true/hero UWP app (Office suite in this case) but instead of they do is simply port via Desktop Bridge.

What is a developer supposed to do? Simply port their legacy apps to Store, develop a new UWP app..

I’ve also said in other blogs and sites that, of course currently there are no good apps in the Store, apart from a few of course, there are no full fledge business/LOB apps. Eg, a midsize to large enterprises run on ERP systems such as Sage, SAP etc. If UWP is not ready, how are these massive apps supposed to run or get developed for UWP?

Let feedbacks come through.. I did love to listen what you all have to say.

Comments (19)

19 responses to “Hero UWP App”

  1. jimchamplin

    But there is a great UWP hero app: OneNote.

    It shows that UWP can be as full-featured as a high-quality iOS package, and even more productive when run on a full Windows PC. It's a great example of the capabilities of the platform, and IMO far nicer to use than the Office 2016 version.

    • irfaanwahid

      In reply to jimchamplin:

      Jim, you are right.. my point was also this, MS is not doing much to entice developers to come running for UWP. I still think, UWP Office suite was the answer to this which would assure devs that UWP has future, they can bet on the platform.

      Heck, the Office Mobile apps that were there they are also trying to take it away.

      As a developer, I feel, if MS themselves don't want to commit 100 percent to the platform with their big apps, then why should I?

      Granted OneNote is good, I use it more than Office365 version of OneNote.

      I think it is still a long way before UWP can replace Win32. As I previously stated, Enterprises cannot run on half baked platform, SAP, Oracle, Sage, Microsoft's own Dynamics ERP etc.. these apps are not ready for UWP development.

      And if MS wants us to make Windows Store to shine, then they need to also take the initiative to first party apps available.

  2. thespecificocean

    Thought I'd throw in my 2c. When it comes to an application as complicated and old as Office (for example) I'm totally happy with simply having a wrapped Win32 app. From the consumer standpoint I just want as many apps in the Store as possible for easily install, uninstall, and licensing. I don't really care what type of app they are as long as I can have the peace of mind that the installer is not coming from some random overseas server. As I understand the Desktop app bridge as it pertains to other developers, once they run it through the converter it becomes "easier" to being the transition to UWP. I'm not a developer so I can't honestly comment about the work it would take but based on the language from MS it's better than starting your app from scratch as UWP.

    In terms of a flagship app, I'm not sure if we absolutely need one. I've found that similarly with iOS and Android, there aren't as many BIG complicated apps, but more simple concentrated ones that are good at simple tasks. (Outlook 2016 vs UWP Mail, Calendar, People). The viability of the platform (Windows 10 S specifically) simply relies on the user being able to complete whatever task they want.

    • skane2600

      In reply to thespecificocean:

      Legacy Win32 applications like Office that people have been using for years aren't installed from some "random overseas server" and have proven themselves to be safe, so there's really no benefit to legacy users in "Bridging" them. If you've looked into the "bridging" process it's quite a Rube Goldberg-esque process.

    • jimchamplin

      In reply to thespecificocean:

      I'm totally cool with Desktop Bridge. It means using APPX packages to install stuff, and that beats old installers any day.

  3. skane2600

    Why make a Bridged version of Office instead of a UWP version? I suspect for the same reason they didn't re-architect Office to use MFC or .NET back in the day. It's very difficult to convert a big legacy program with a long history to a new platform. I suspect that putting a Desktop Bridged version of Office in the store is more about trying to legitimize the Store than providing any additional value.

  4. hrlngrv

    I haven't come across ANY UWP apps which can handle multiple instances running at the same time. Many UWP apps can handle multiple documents open at the same time, and for many apps (Word, PowerPoint and Outlook) that's sufficient. For other apps (Excel) it's not sufficient. There are a few macro tricks for user-defined functions in Excel which rely on a second Excel instance.

    If Centennialized desktop Office can open multiple instances of each Office program inside their container, then that gets around this limitation. IOW, UWP may not yet be able to support nearly full-functionality Office. More bluntly, MSFT providing Centennialized desktop Office just may be a more accurate indication of the current incapabilities of UWP than many Windows developers may want to accept.

    As for enterprise software, are even half of all US and EU enterprises running Windows 10, or are more still running Windows 7 than Windows 10? If more are still running 7 than 10, and since 10 can run the same desktop software 7 can, what's the economic rationale for any UWP development?

    • irfaanwahid

      In reply to hrlngrv:

      Windows 10 will eventually replace Windows XP, 7.. and since 10 Pro runs Win32, that it's fine. But if they start enforcing Win 10S when UWP is still half baked, I think we have a problem there.

      Being part of Enterprise space for 10 + years, I know how critical LOB apps are. Before pushing developers to UWP apps, I think MS has a lot of work to do to match UWP to Win32, till then they need relax.

      • hrlngrv

        In reply to irfaanwahid:

        I know the LOB stuff I use. There are 3 COM add-ins I use with Excel which UWP doesn't support. Then there's interprocess automation.

        From my perspective, UWP may be adequate for leisure computing, but it's years away from being adequate for workplace computing. In all likelihood, I'll be retired before UWP reaches parity with Win32.

        • skane2600

          In reply to hrlngrv:

          I agree and I think it might not be possible for UWP to ever reach parity with Win32 without breaking some of its own rules.

          • hrlngrv

            In reply to skane2600:

            Digression: I keep wondering whether a large part of the security problems with Windows arise from it apparently needing to have %windir% on a read-write partition. I can appreciate that it'd be an ungodly nightmare to reengineer Windows to have everything except the system's registry hive and temporary files on a read-only partition and needing at least one other partition which would be read-write.

            • skane2600

              In reply to hrlngrv:

              I don't know if your theory is correct, but I assume that during boot time the core of the OS is loaded into RAM where drivers with sufficient privileges can mess with it. But I'm just speculating.

    • jimchamplin

      In reply to hrlngrv:

      The economic rationale is that eventually all those Windows 7 installations will be gone and it'll all be 10 and successor versions which will treat UWP as a first-class citizen and hoary old legacy software will be an afterthought.

      I hope.

      • hrlngrv

        In reply to jimchamplin:

        In 2 years 7 months or so. Even then Windows 10 will still be able to run non-Centennial-packaged desktop software.

        Are there security reasons true UWP apps can't run multiple instances? FWIW, Paint 3D can't handle multiple image files or multiple instances, so it's truly single-tasking. Likewise most of the consumption apps which come bundled with Windows 10. This is in contrast to the desktop Paint applet, Notepad, Wordpad, and a few others. If this limitation is necessary to support phones, Xboxes or IoT, then IMO it only means UWP isn't meant for PCs. If there's no reason for this limitation, when will it be removed?

        • jimchamplin

          In reply to hrlngrv:

          I said absolutely nothing about that. While it isn't something I particularly care about, I hope it does show up soon. I see many folks, like yourself, asking for it. I think it comes down to the developer, honestly, and I'm planning to experiment with spawning new windows once I get working on stuff.

          Also, two years is a pretty short timeframe to assume for the sundowning of Win32/.NET. Think more like ten, fifteen. Then you're in more the ballpark of doability and reality.

          I wish it were sooner, but if wishes were horses...



          ... We'd never go hungry for gross, dry, stringy horse meat.

  5. rameshthanikodi

    The future of the UWP Office apps is uncertain, I think it even no longer shows up in the store when you search for it. But UWP itself is definitely not uncertain, UWP will continue to improve, and, maybe one day, match Win32. I guess the idea with centennial is that as a developer, you can continue to invest in Win32 and use a variety of ways to modernize it and bring it into the future of Windows. If you're creating a new app, at this point it really doesn't matter if you UWP or Win32, just go with whichever that you believe fits your needs more. A big reason to go Win32 will be the vast base of users on Windows 7 will continue to use and value Win32 apps.

    • Polycrastinator

      In reply to rameshthanikodi:

      I redownloaded the UWP Excel and Word to my Surface Book over the weekend. They've slapped a bit "MOBILE" badge onto all the screenshots which I don't think was there before. Very much trying to steer users away from them now though. I'd be sad to see them go as one of the few Windows users out there who regularly uses it in tablet mode, but I know I'm a minority. Microsoft is going to drive me to an iPad...

  6. siko

    Onenote, Skype, mail, edge, (fb) messenger, translator, weather, calculator, feedback hub, twitter, instagram, feedlab, .... The list of UWP apps I'm using on a daily basis has been long and keeps getting longer. Very satisfied with the responsiveness and quick startup times.