Microsoft Build, the company’s annual developer conference, is starting with a bold vision for Windows 10 development. It’s called Project Reunion, and it will increase the effort to tear down the barrier between Windows API (Win32) development and the newer Universal Windows Platform (UWP).
The Project is supposed to “unify access” to both APIs and also make them accessible to developers separate from the operating systems. Microsoft’s Kevin Gallo, corporate vice president of the Windows developer platform, wrote that this will occur with tools like NuGet, a package manager for .NET development. Additionally, Gallo wrote that apps can be modernized or get more features no matter how they’re coded, including C++, React Native or .NET.
WinUI 3 Preview 1, a user interface framework for Windows, will play a key role, allowing apps to have UIs that can adapt and scale despite device size and form factor. WebView 2, another part of Project Reunion that’s downloadable through Visual Studio, will let developers place Chromium webviews in certain programs to enable the use of web content in native apps. There will also be a Project Reunion repository on GitHub.
In March, Microsoft revealed that it had finally surpassed a long-set goal to have Windows 10 on 1 billion active devices. That trails 2.5 billion on Android and 1.4 billion on iOS, which both have very active app ecosystems. Windows 10, however, has a long history of legacy systems to support, as well as new APIs. Project Reunion is aimed at making Windows 10 development more friendly and to modernize applications while keeping them updated. Hopefully, that will lead to more software coming to Windows 10 for both consumers and enterprise customers.
At Build, which is taking place online due to COVID-19, Microsoft announced other new features for Windows developers, including GPU workflows in the Windows Subsystem for Linux, a Windows PowerToy for keyboard remapping and Windows Terminal 1.0 being made available for enterprise.