Win32 apps on the Windows Store

Win32 apps on the Windows Store

After first announcing a tool for Windows’ legacy developers to port their Win32 apps to Windows 10 during their BUILD developer conference this year, Microsoft is now accepting submissions for ported apps to be published on the Windows Store.

Some expected the new tool, Desktop Bridge App Converter, would fall into obscurity and eventually be scrapped much like the Android porting tool Microsoft was developing under the guise of Project Astoria. The disbelievers have been silenced today after the initial Win32 apps ported using the converter were published on the store.

Just because Microsoft is doing a fine job in ensuring the apps can be ported easily and onto a store which remains in dire need of more apps doesn’t mean developers will adopt it. Although early signs and feedback are positive, it won’t be until we see more apps that we can define it a success.

The first ported Win32 app on the store is Evernote. The company’s VP of engineering, Seth Hitchings, Hitchings said:

“We’re excited to bring our full-featured Evernote app to the Windows Store. The Desktop Bridge vastly simplifies our installer and uninstaller. It also opens up UWP APIs that we’ve taken advantage of, including the live tiles and notifications. And having the full-featured Evernote app in the Windows Store means future improvements will reach users faster.”

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As Hitchings mentions, the conversion of Win32 apps to UWP enables developers – and subsequently the users of their apps – to benefit from all the latest platform features with little added effort on their part.

Microsoft said it will unveil a full collection of these apps ‘in the next few days’. Titles soon expected in the Store include Arduino IDE, doubleTwist, PhotoScape, MAGIX Movie Edit Pro, Virtual Robotics Kit, Relab, SQL Pro, Voya Media, Predicted Desire and korAccount.

Windows 10 users wishing to make use of these applications need to be running the Anniversary Update released last month. The porting tool is now available on the Windows Store and has been updated with support for three popular installer technologies; Flexera Software (InstallShield), FireGiant (WiX) and Caphyon (Advanced Installer).

This could – all going to plan – could be the Windows team’s most promising attempt yet at giving its Store a much-needed shot of adrenaline.

Do you believe the Win32 to UWP tool will be a success? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.


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