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:
- Apps converted using the Desktop App Converter are now available in the trusted Windows Store. Evernote and Arduino IDEare just two of the community’s best-loved apps now live on the Store after converting via the Desktop App Converter. Learn more here.
- The Desktop App Converter itself is now available for download on the Store – get it now, get your app ready and then let us know that you are ready to distribute your app bridged with the Desktop App Converter through the Windows Store.
- Three of our most popular installer partners – Flexera Software with Install Shield, FireGiant with WiX and Caphyon with Advanced Installer – have included support for the Desktop App Converter, streamlining app package building as part of developers’ existing workflow. Learn more about that support here.
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.
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