September 14, 2016 9:00 am

Apps built using the Desktop Bridge now available in the Windows Store!

By / Corporate Vice President of Windows Developer

At Build 2016 we announced the Desktop App Converter, enabling developers to bring their existing desktop apps and games over to the Universal Windows Platform (UWP) and then extend it with UWP functionality. With this, we’ve enabled the path to migrate an app or game to all Windows 10 devices over time – including phones, Xbox One and HoloLens.

And now we have three new developments driving the evolution of the Desktop App Converter:

Read on to learn more about these exciting announcements and how to get started – and published! – with the Desktop App Converter.

First apps available in the Windows Store

Today we’re pleased to announce that new apps including Evernote, Arduino IDE, doubleTwist, PhotoScape, MAGIX Movie Edit Pro, Virtual Robotics Kit, Relab, SQL Pro, Voya Media, Predicted Desire and korAccount will become available in the Windows Store within the next few days for Windows 10 customers running the Anniversary Update (if you haven’t updated yet here’s how you can). As the apps become available in the Store, you will be able to find them in a full collection of apps built using the Desktop Bridge in the Windows Store.

These are the same apps that customers know and love, but are now available for download in the trusted Windows Store. For your customers, the Windows Store is the safest and most secure place for them to find and manage content across a range of Windows devices, including PCs, phones, Xbox One and HoloLens. For developers, the Desktop Bridge enables you to make use of the new functionality available to UWP apps right out of the gate, including access to a host of new APIs like Live Tiles, Cortana and Action Center that provide best-in-class support for thousands of scenarios across all of Windows. Evernote is already taking advantage of the new APIs to bring innovation to customers.

“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.” —Seth Hitchings, VP Engineering, Evernote

Tooling updates for the Desktop Bridge

In addition, we’re happy to announce that today we have made the Desktop App Converter available for download directly from the Windows Store. This will enable updates of the Desktop App Converter with the latest features and bug-fixes to automatically be available to you as soon as we release them.

Finally, we are expanding the ways in which developers can create apps using the Desktop Bridge. Our partners, Flexera Software with InstallShield, FireGiant with WiX and Caphyon with Advanced Installer – three of the most popular Windows installer technologies  have included support for the Desktop Bridge, enabling developers to directly build an app package with their existing desktop app using the bridge as part of their existing developer workflow.

“Working in parallel with Microsoft, we are making it easy for our customers to transition their existing InstallShield MSI projects to build Universal Windows Platform and Windows Server App packages.  InstallShield is the only product that enables developers to test their apps for compatibility with the Desktop Bridge and WSAs – saving countless hours of time, effort and investigative work.” –  Maureen Polte, Vice President of Product Management at Flexera Software

“AppX packages and the Universal Windows Platform are the future of application deployment and development. It is our team’s core belief to support and educate our users, but also to provide them with the best packaging tool and services. We provide developers with the option to easily build a UWP app package for existing desktop applications from their existing MSI projects.” – Bogdan Mitrache, Advanced Installer

“The FireGiant AppX Extension works from your current WiX source code and integrates seamlessly into your WiX build process. There is no conversion process or managing of separate projects. Developers use the code they already have and the tools they’ve already learned to create both MSI and AppX packages.” – Rob Mensching, FireGiant CEO

We are thrilled with the community’s response to the Desktop Bridge, but there is always more to learn.

Other resources include:

 

Updated October 7, 2016 3:23 pm

Join the conversation

  1. Are there any example of app converted with this tool which is also available on Mobile? Or this is strictly only for non-ARM devices?

    I suppose the name “Desktop Bridge” said for itself 🙂

  2. We have the title versus the content:

    “Apps built using the Desktop Bridge NOW AVAILABLE in the Windows Store!”
    (emphasis mine)
    “…will become available in the Windows Store within the next few days.”

    And now I understand why I can’t find Arduino IDE in the store right now. “Now available in the store” in the title and “will become available in the store” in the article is borderline clickbait.

    • I understand you also need the Anniversary Update for these applications to appear.
      For example Evernote on 10586 is still Evernote Touch, despite the fact that the classic application is definitely released.

  3. The Desktop Converter alone, as well as the new application APIs accessible to the converted applications, would be worth a forum.

    Also, how does one uploads an AppX app to the Windows Store ? I looked at my Dashboard, there does not seem to be anything related. Or is it still an invitation situation ?

  4. it’s very hard to log-in here to comment – with Edge it didn’t work and with Firefox I had to try several times

    1) will Silverlight Out-of-Browser (OOB) apps be supported by the desktop bridge? If not, why? it should be easy to wrap them too
    2) are apps using ClickOnce-installers supported by the desktop bridge tool?

    • in fact, speaking of Silverlight OOB apps, it would be even nicer if I could upload a .XAP file of a Silverlight OOB app to the Windows Store and it would detect it is a desktop Silverlight XAP, then check it has the flag that allows OOB installation enabled and wrap it automatically via desktop bridge at the serverside to publish to the Store (without me doing anything locally). The app would be available then for Windows desktop clients only (could be for MacOS-X clients too if Microsoft had kept Silverlight alive and made the store available to OS-X too, but that’s another story – made it decides to make UWP portable to other OS’es too someday)

      • Were you ever able to convert a Silverlight OOB application to UWP with the desktop bridge/converter? What are your recommendations?

  5. got DesktopAppConverter from the Windows Store and looking at its description it was asking to get some images

    so I went to http://aka.ms/converterimages and got

    An error occurred while processing your request.
    Reference #97.55451502.1474462662.fd6979

    changed http:// to https:// and was taken to
    https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=53841

    guess others will be bitten by this one – why not redirect to https:// automatically at aka.ms?

    • just tried the http aka.ms link and it worked. It did shift to https as to the download center.

  6. Windows Store doesn’t allow general developers to upload app that use Windows Bridge yet. Only select few developers are allowed to use the full-trust capabilities at this point.

  7. I like the way the new version will extract the needed images from my EXE. But they don’t look very good.

    My images use high color and alpha channels to create smooth edges. But the extracted images looked jagged, which makes my application image look less professional. I can’t see where anyone talks about this.