Support for Win32 and .NET Applications in the Windows Store in Windows 10

April 30th, 2015 by and tagged , ,

Yesterday Microsoft’s developer conference Build 2015 started and among the announcements in the keynote was the “Universal Windows Platform”. This not only includes bridges to re-use existing Android and iOS code for Windows 10 and to enable apps built from web sites, but also “real” integration of Win32 and .NET applications in the Windows Store.

The Windows Store was introduced with Windows 8 as a way to show, sell and install “Universal apps” (formerly called “modern apps”, formerly called “Metro apps”) in a way similar to the app stores on Android and iOS. This means that users can purchase via the integrated shop system and when clicking the “Install” button, a progress bar appears and then the app is installed. It’s a seamless flow, no setup program is visible etc.

While you could also publish classic Win32 applications in the Store, that was simply a listing with a link to your web site. It wasn’t possible to purchase or install those applications from the store.

Windows 10 however “will make it possible to package and publish your current .NET and Win32-based Windows applications to the Windows Store, providing a new way of distributing and monetizing your application on Windows PCs.”, according to the announcement in the Windows Dev Center.

In the keynote (starting at 1:48), Terry Myerson, Executive VP Operating Systems, announced that Win32 and .NET applications will be able to “take advantage of the all new Universal Windows Platform capabilities”. These applications will “come down from the Windows Store and they run in an isolated way from the rest of the system”. This functionality is based on Microsoft’s App-V technology.

So for setup developers I guess this means that going forward you will have to build two types of packages in order ship your applications: a traditional msi package for installation via Windows Installer for corporate deployment scenarios and for end users on Windows 8 and below, and an App-V package for the Windows Store on Windows 10.

Posted in Industry News | 1 Comment »

One Response to “Support for Win32 and .NET Applications in the Windows Store in Windows 10”

  1.   Christopher Painter Says:

    People really keep trying to push AppV. I just can’t say I’m a fan. SCCM 2012 has AppV support so I’m sure that’s where they really want you to go. MSI has it’s shortcomings but I still see it as the best approach.