Basically, what the app does is convert the Windows program to an UWP application. In best case, and if no add-on UWP features are required, that is all there is to it.
Companies and developers may add Universal Windows Platform features to the converted program after the initial conversion. Depending on a program’s complexity, they may also need to spend additional time getting it ready before release.
Microsoft announced yesterday that the first batch of converted desktop programs is now available on Windows Store.
From a user’s point of view, all that is required is that the Anniversary Update is installed. If that is the case, converted desktop programs can be installed on the machine.
The first converted apps that arrived in store include Evernote, Arduino IDE, doubleTwist, PhotoScape, MAGIX Movie Edit Pro, Virtual Robotics Kit, Relab, SQL Pro, Voya Media, Predicted Desire and korAccount. The company notes that these apps are already available in Windows Store, or will be over the course of the next couple of days.
Microsoft created a dedicated start page on its site for those applications that you can check out here. Evernote, the converted desktop version of the popular note taking service, is already available in store.
What is the advantage of converting desktop programs to UWP?
It needs to be noted that desktop programs remain available, and that UWP versions of those programs are added as another option to get those apps.
First benefit for companies and developers is that they may get more eyes on their programs. Since these programs become available in Windows Store, users who may have never stumbled upon a program may discover it.
This may be especially true for the beginning days, as Windows Store is quite limited in regards to apps. It would probably be a lot harder to gain good exposure on Google Play or iTunes.
The second benefit is that developers may tack Windows 10 specific features to their apps with little code. They may add live tiles, use notifications, or integrate Cortana.
Users may benefit as well. First, Windows Store is a controlled environment when it comes to what is being made available. While there is no 100% guarantee that you will never download a malicious app from the Store, chance of that happening is much smaller than on the World Wide Web.
Also, users who like Windows 10 features such as tiles or Cortana, may find the app version more attractive because of that if it supports those features.
One limitation currently is that you may run these converted apps only on PCs and not on phones or Xbox One.
Microsoft hopes however that companies and developers will migrate the app eventually so that it reaches all device types running Windows 10.
One concern that users may have is that companies or developers may stop developing the desktop program once their converted application lands in Windows Store.
This would limit the availability of new versions to Windows 10 devices and shut out older versions of Windows from getting them.
Another concern is that Microsoft gets greater control over the software ecosystem if the Store becomes the primary source for application and game downloads.
Now You: What’s your take on converted desktop programs in Windows Store?
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