Windows 11 says goodbye to UWP applications: what changes

UWPacronym for Universal Windows Platform, is a software development platform model introduced by Microsoft a few years ago. The Redmond company introduced the UWP platform at the same time as the launch of Windows 10, in July 2015. The idea was to allow developers to create apps that run on different Windows devices: PCs, tablets, phones, Xbox consoles, IoT devices and more. One of the main features of UWP is in fact the ability to adapt the interface and functionality of apps based on the device on which they are run.

UWP, a failed project: the reasons

The UWP platform has not been as successful as hoped for several reasons. The very fact that it can work on all devices has led programmers to still have to compromise on functionality and user experience. Furthermore, historic Win32 applications account for the majority of programmi desktop Windows: users found themselves faced with a UWP offer that was still inadequate, preferring to continue using traditional programs. The same developers have in many cases continued to invest in their historical applications, without embarking on the migration to UWP.

The adoption of UWP applications has remained rather limited, almost marginal. Precisely for this reason, what was previously called Windows Store and what it then became Microsoft Store, initially only allowed UWP app publishing. Subsequently, however, Microsoft revised its position by opening up to app Win32.

Eventually, Microsoft itself recognized that UWP wasn’t the best solution for it desktop application development for Windows and shifted its focus to the Windows App SDKwhich includes WinUI 3 (UI controls library, user interface, for Windows) and XAML. Already at the end of 2021, the company led by Satya Nadella published instructions for bringing UWP apps to the Windows App SDK.

Migration to Windows App SDK

Previously, Windows App SDK it was known by various names in development, such as Project Reunion. It is a development kit which enables the creation of modern Windows applications using a combination of tools and technologies such as XAML, WinUI, .NET, and other elements of the Microsoft ecosystem.

Windows App SDK supera le limitations of UWP because it offers support for all versions of Windows, even less modern ones. Furthermore, it unifies the development framework and SDK, putting a more complete and integrated set of tools in the hands of developers.

The classic Win32 applications then return to play a role of primary importance in the Windows App SDK: Microsoft has understood that it has made a serious mistake in attempting to accompany them into the sunset. Windows App SDK allows for greater integration e modernization of these applications.

Overall, the Windows App SDK offers advanced features plus options for building complex and flexible apps.

Windows 11 marks the definitive abandonment of UWP

Developers who have previously decided to “get on the UWP bandwagon” should not trash their work. In fact, in many cases, migrating from UWP to the Windows App SDK requires only a few changes in terms of namespace for the code relating tographic interfacewhile much of the code remaining can remain unchanged.

Today one of leaker best known in the world in the Windows field has noticed a major change in Windows 11 which marks the end of UWP. The system folder of Windows 11 in fact it integrates a series of new Microsoft executable files and libraries.

The latest preview releases of Windows 11 demonstrate that Microsoft is setting aside UWP apps by supporting Win32 and XAML applications directly at the operating system interface level. In the new structure, Windows 11 no longer uses system applicationspackages MSIX e app UWP.

This is further confirmed by the failure to load at startup processo ShellExperienceHost which until now dealt with the management and integration of UWP applications with the Windows interface. The new trial ShellHost manages the Control Center of Windows 11 (the area in the traybar with the various settings) through resources present in the folder System32without relying on additional components.


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