Microsoft Introducing Multi-Instance Support for UWP Apps in Windows 10

Posted on February 23, 2018 by Mehedi Hassan in Windows 10 with 30 Comments

With the release of Windows 10 version 1803, Microsoft is introducing support for multi-instance apps to the Universal Windows Platform. A couple of stock Windows 10 apps (e.g. OneNote UWP) already support multi-instances, though version 1803 of Windows 10 will enable users to use multiple instances of third-party apps at the same time.

Multi-instances of an app will work as different processes, allowing users to work on them simultaneously — so if one of the instances crash, the others will continue to work. Enabling multi-instance support on existing UWP apps isn’t too difficult for developers, although more complex apps would require some additional tweaks to work suitably. For example, if you are editing a text file using a UWP app and you have multiple instances open, opening the same exact text file again will bring up the existing instance instead of creating a new instance. To make sure all of this works properly, developers will need to make a couple of changes as Microsoft engineers demonstrated in the latest Windows Community Standup earlier.

Support for multi-instances is a big step forward for the universal Windows Platform. Any modern apps like Microsoft’s own Office Mobile suite should include multi-instance support from the get-go, but the limitations of UWP has so suffered prevented developers from doing so. The release of Windows 10 version 1803 changes all of that, and we may soon start seeing some advanced UWP apps now that the platform also supports console applications.

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