Will we get win32 default apps instead of UWP

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Now that UWP is even more dead with changes MS Store policy for games do you thin that MS will and should make their default apps (Mail, Groove, Calendar etc) win32 in near future?

And if not, what is future of MS developed UWP apps? Are they going to be actively developed, I think they need to be much better and fully fledged, Photos and Mail especially.

Comments (20)

20 responses to “Will we get win32 default apps instead of UWP”

  1. Brazbit

    The beauty of things like Notepad, Clock, Calculator, File Manager, Sound Recorder, Terminal, Media Player, Write, Mine Sweeper, Solitaire and others is that they were functional enough to get you going but it was up to software publishers (including Microsoft) to provide the rich, full-featured, experiences. The OS shouldn't be weighed down with gig upon gig of applications, many of which will never be used and others that interfere with third party alternatives. The OS is there to facilitate running other programs it should not be the main show.


    Imagine if a modern OS just concerned itself with providing the platform and UI that programs run on and provided just what was needed for basic functionality and accessing the software that you choose to run rather than dictating them to you, or at least attempting to.


    Windows shouldn't have a full featured Photos app, the ability to quickly view photos while digging through a file directory would be sufficient. If you want/need more there are thousands of providers of such programs, including Microsoft. A full music app like Groove is excessive in many cases, a virtually instant ability to play a file or a disc would be far preferable while maintaining a file system, there are tons of options out there for playing with album art, playlists, music stores etc... there is no need for one, that many neither want or would use being part of the OS. The same goes for Mail, Browser, Calendar etc...


    Even Linux, which is as modular as the current crop comes is offered as distributions that load you down with a bunch of unnecessary crap (Open Office, etc...) despite modern versions coming with point and click methods of installing whatever you want. A Distribution could easily be just the OS and with a few clicks you have your customized system but no... most distributions try to put Android and iOS to shame for number of useless applications pre-installed.


    Meh... Get off my lawn...

    • Paul Thurrott

      In reply to Brazbit:

      That's one opinion.


      Another is that the built-in Windows 10 apps should be showcases for whatever the current/modern Windows APIs and frameworks can do. What they are today are warnings to developers, fair or not, that UWP is immature and can only create PlaySkool-type apps with limited user interfaces and capabilities.


      There is no reason for Windows not to ship with high-quality applications of its own, just like macOS, iOS, and Android do. It's embarrassing and illogical.

      • Tony Barrett

        In reply to paul-thurrott:

        Then MS failed dismally on that one. Most of their in-house UWP apps were and and still are appalling - considerably less functionality than any win32 version, with bad design choices. UWP is straddled with a touch-first design ethic (because of Windows Mobile), and it shows. Large buttons with lots of unnecessary white space. They generally look pretty poor on large screen, high DPI displays.

        • skane2600

          In reply to ghostrider:

          I agree and it's just another example of the unavoidable compromises that result from trying to create a "universal" platform that spans significantly different device types.


          It looks like Apple is going to have to learn that the hard way soon too even though their success with the iPhone was based significantly on their decision to optimize for a mobile device rather than making it a "Pocket Mac".

      • hrlngrv

        In reply to paul-thurrott:

        Another is that the built-in Windows 10 apps should be showcases for whatever the current/modern Windows APIs and frameworks can do.

        Then why has MSFT left so many bundled applets as Win32? UWP Notepad is a hard computer science problem? OTOH, I could respect if it ain't broke, don't fix it, but that's inconsistent with UWP Calculator.

        Windows shipping with lots of bundled MSFT applications is OK as long as it's easy to remove or uninstall the bundled stuff. I use Office when using Windows, so I use Outlook, so I have zero need for or interest in Mail and Calendar. NBD if others prefer Mail and Calendar as long as I don't have to use them AND can free up disk space they may occupy.

    • AnOldAmigaUser

      In reply to Brazbit:

      Windows does not have anything like a full featured Photos app.

    • hrlngrv

      In reply to Brazbit:

      [Linux] is offered as distributions that load you down with a bunch of unnecessary crap

      Varies by distribution, and definitely isn't the case for Arch. Nor for any of the minimal variants which serve as the bases for WSL distributions. Note that POSIX requires a fair amount of stuff on the most minimal systems. Then there's chicken & egg stuff: should a minimal OS come with at least an ftp client or something like wget, or should anything unnecessary for local, disconnected computing be considered extraneous? If not included, how to obtain and install it?

  2. AnOldAmigaUser

    One of the bigger issues with UWP apps is that they install, per user, in the hidden AppData folder. For personal use, this is not onerous, but in an enterprise, where multiple people will log on to a machine, it gets a bit worse. If you move the users profile to a different drive, which given the smaller size of hard drives on many laptops is something that people will do, then UWP apps will not work; AppData needs to be on the C drive.

    Never understood why Microsoft was so hell bent on following the mobile device trend for installing applications. Despite the name, PCs are not really personal; it is much more likely that a computer will be shared by family members or co-workers, whereas phones are uniquely individual. Applications should install to a shared directory, and settings and data should be stored per user.

    • hrlngrv

      In reply to AnOldAmigaUser:

      but in an enterprise, where multiple people will log on to a machine

      That definitely does NOT describe financial services, FWIW. Everyone using a PC has their own PC. The only shared PCs have a guest account and a Citrix Receiver applet so any actual computing is done remotely and nothing stored locally.

      In my own experience, PCs shared by children are the only ones with several different users.

      Finally, FWLIW, I believe there's a setting for installing Store apps on drives other than C:.

  3. Intara

    Just install Linux. Then you do not have to worry any more about UWP apps.

  4. Paul Thurrott

    I think what you're really looking for is modern, professional apps written to modern Windows APIs. There's no reason to get buried in the details of the frameworks or whatever that developers use. Other than that it won't be Win32, which is not modern in any way and only forms a foundational layer on which more modern programming interfaces are built now and going forward.

  5. codymesh

    They should continue to make the UWP apps better, bring UWP features to Win32, and also bring Win32 features to UWP. I think this is what they're doing, and ideally there will be no distinction between Win32 and UWP anymore, outside of a developer's own competence lol

  6. rob_segal

    It might be better to replace the in-box UWP apps with PWA's. Pre-install PWA versions of Outlook.com, To-Do, etc. That way, users can have the same experience on other platforms without the need to maintain multiple code bases for each platform.

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