At Build 2020, Microsoft is introducing a new vision for unifying app development for Windows 10. The company’s latest attempt at unifying the app development experience for Windows 10 is called Project Reunion.
Microsoft says Project Reunion is an “evolution” of the Windows developer platform that will make it more “agile, modern and open.” Microsoft aims to reduce fragmentation between the traditional Windows API (Win32) and the Universal Windows Platform with Project Reunion, offering developers with a common, backwards-compatible platform for making Windows apps.
“Project Reunion expands this effort to make it easier to build a great Windows app,” says Microsoft. The new platform will see Microsoft decoupling Win32 and UWP APIs from the OS itself, and offer them via tools like NuGet instead. The aim is to bring modern features to existing apps Win32 apps across all kinds of apps, including C++, WPF, Windows Forms, UWP, or even React Native.
Project Reunion will allow developers to continue supporting older, supported versions of Windows. “As we decouple existing APIs and add new APIs, we are also doing the work to polyfill, as needed, so the APIs work down-level across supported versions of Windows,” Microsoft claimed.
The first major component/API being introduced with Project Reunion is WebView 2. The new component will allow developers to embed a Chromium-based WebView into their Windows Forms, WPF, or UWP app. As Project Reunion promises, WebView 2 will be separate from the Windows 10 operating system, so you will get the full functionality of the component across all supported versions of Windows 10 when you implement it into one of your apps.
Another component being released as part of Project Reunion is the first preview of WinUI 3.0. WinUI, for those unfamiliar, is Microsoft’s modern native UI platform for Windows. The new preview of WinUI 3 will allow developers to implement beautiful, modern interfaces into their C++, WPF, or Windows Forms apps.