Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Hidden gems from Build 2015

With the long list of announcements at Build, it’s hard to separate the good from the great stuff.

2 things on my radar that can make or break the success of Windows 10:

Universal Windows Platform Bridge for Classic Windows Applications
Windows has a huge portfolio of existing Win32, WPF and .NET apps. Unfortunately until now, they were not available through the Windows Store. This made the Windows Store the loser in the big number game about “which store has the most apps?”. With the announcement at Build, this will change: Microsoft announced Project Centennial, a bridge which will allow an existing Classic Windows application to be converted to a Universal Windows app and made available in the Windows Store. These apps will not only have the same install and update user experience that the Store provides today, they will also be able to call the Universal Windows Platform APIs and use new platform capabilities like Action Center, Actionable Notifications, and enhanced Live Tiles.


To make it even better, Microsoft brought the same security features of WinRT apps to the .NET and Win32 world.Registry and app data access are isolated for the app. So when your app thinks it is writing to the registry, it’s actually being stored in a per app hive, which can be easily removed.   This is all done without having to make major changes to your code.

Universal Windows Platform Bridge for Web Apps
Microsoft also provides a similar story for hosted web apps, where existing web apps can be published to the Windows Store. Developers may start with a preexisting web site URL, place it in a manifest and create an app targeting the Universal Windows Platform.


Full access to the platform is possible including calling APIs directly from scripts hosted on a server, leveraging Cortana integration and authentication. Web developers are able to directly call platform APIs through JavaScript hosted on their server when their hosted content is running as an application on Windows.

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