Build 2016: Microsoft Makes the Case for UWP to Developers

Posted on March 30, 2016 by Paul Thurrott in Dev, Windows 10 with 0 Comments

Build 2016: Microsoft Makes the Case for UWP to Developers

During its Build 2016 keynote on Wednesday, Microsoft announced a few new high-profile Universal Windows Plaform (UWP) app releases and provided a much-needed update on its Windows Bridges and Xamarin plans.

This is all key information for developers: In promising to expand the Windows 10 ecosystem to over one billion devices within a few years, Microsoft is trying to show developers that it has a platform that can stand up to the top mobile systems, Android and iOS.

“Our goal is for Windows to be the best platform for all developers,” Microsoft’s Terry Myerson says. “And We are excited about new Universal Windows apps from Twitter, Uber, King, Disney, Wargaming Group, Square Enix, Yahoo, and WWE – with new Bank of America, Starbucks, Facebook and Instagram apps on their way, along with the support from the Facebook Audience Network for all Windows developers.”

As for the Windows Bridges and Xamarin, Microsoft announced the following:

Windows 10 Hosted Web Apps is gaining the Bash shell. Highlighting high profile partners—American Express, BBC Sport, Yahoo Mail, Zulily—that have taken advantage of Windows 10 Hosted Web Apps, Microsoft noted that there was one thing developers had requested so that they could make Windows 10 their primary developer environment: They needed the (UNIX) Bash shell. So its coming in the Windows 10 Anniversary Update (codenamed Redstone), which is expected mid-year.

Desktop app converter for Centennial. Project Centennial is about wrapping Win32/.NET desktop applications in a sandboxed container based on App-V technology. But in order to help companies extended these wrapped desktop apps with new UWP capabilities, Microsoft has released a new desktop app converter for Centennial.

Xamarin is being integrated into Visual Studio. As I had hoped, Xamarin—which allows developers to port and create C#-based apps for Android and iOS—will simply be included as part of Visual Studio, Microsoft’s developer environment. “.NET developers have been seeking a way to share more of their code x-platform, and with integration of Xamarin into Visual Studio we are making that possible,” Microsoft said.

“For over thirty years, Windows has been an open ecosystem, welcoming the contributions of hardware and software partners and developers around the world,” Mr. Myerson said, implicitly refuting recent (and spurious) complaints about UWP. “Nothing changes with the Universal Windows Platform—it brings together the openness that is part of Windows’ history, as well as everything that today’s users expect from a modern application platform—like robust install, uninstall, and seamless updates. Our goal is for Windows to be the best platform for all developers, making Windows their home and getting the best return on their investment in their code.”


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