Microsoft has made a surprise announcement to UWP app developers. The company is migrating support for the Windows App SDK to Windows 11 and, in a recently uploaded document, encourages UWP developers to migrate their own apps.
Microsoft first introduced Windows UWP in 2015 as a platform to develop applications for Windows 10. However, the company is now supporting the SDK after releasing its latest operating system, Windows 11, and demonstrating an appropriate migration strategy in its document.
For those who want to hang in there, there is bad news. Windows developer Rafael Rivera said in a recent tweet that Windows UWP will only get “bug, reliability, and security fixes” from now on. So, despite all the fears, it looks like migration is the only real future for UWP apps, as Windows features don’t last very long once they hit that point.
[Temporarily reviving my Twitter account]Microsoft has just released documentation and guidance on migrating applications from “UWP” to [anything else].https: //t.co/APJk1tSIn3 This signals what I told you before: UWP will only get “bug, reliability and security fixes”.October 19, 2021
If you want to take the plunge, you must first download the Visual Studio (VSIX) Windows App SDK Extension installer. Then create a new project or migrate an already existing application. In the latter case, be sure to migrate by copying the asset files and not the contents of the asset files.
Analysis: Why the switch?
We’ve been hearing the death knell for UWP for a few years now, but the software and hardware giant explains in its own paper why it decided to change in the first place.
The main reason is that the Windows application SDK is backward compatible. The app runs from Windows 11 through Windows 10, version 1809 (10.0; Build 17763), also known as Windows 10 October 2018 Update.
There are many other features that make SDK a more attractive choice for developers, such as using Windows UI 3 (WinUI 3) library, more unified set of APIs and tools, .NET compatibility 5, a more frequent Cadence version released separately from Windows, an enhanced runtime environment (such as with the MSIX application container) and more.
It’s important to note that despite the overall flexibility of support, there are two notable cases for Windows Runtime APIs where they are not supported at all in desktop apps or run with restrictions: only in UWP apps and APIs that require package identity.