Microsoft has released the Desktop Conversion extensions (earlier known as Project Centennial) for converting Windows desktop application (like Win32, WPF, and Windows Forms) to a Universal Windows Platform (UWP) app. After the conversion, classic desktop apps are packaged, serviced, and deployed in the form of a UWP app package (an .appx or an .appxbundle) which will available on Windows 10 Desktop through Windows Store.

The bridge technology converts Desktop app to UWP packages in two parts:

  • The first is the Desktop App Converter, which takes your existing binaries and repackages them as a UWP package. Your code is still the same, it’s just packaged differently.
  • The second piece comprises runtime technologies in the Windows Anniversary update that enable a UWP package to have executables that run as the full trust instead of in an app container. This technology also gives a converted app a package identity, which is required to use some UWP APIs.

Some of the benefits of converting your classic desktop app:

  • Your app’s installation experience is much smoother for your customers. You can deploy it to computers using sideloading and it leaves no trace behind after being uninstalled. Longer term, you’ll also be able to publish your app to the Windows Store.
  • Because your converted app has package identity, you can call more UWP APIs, even from the full-trust partition, than you could before.
  • At your own pace, you can add UWP features to your app’s package, like an XAML user-interface, live tile updates, UWP background tasks, app services, and much more. All of the functionality available to any other UWP app is available to your app.
  • If you choose to move all of your app’s functionality out of the full-trust partition of the app and into the app container partition, then your app will be able to run on any Windows 10 device.
  • As a UWP app, your app is able to do the things it could do as a classic desktop app. It interacts with a virtualized view of the registry and file system that’s indistinguishable from the actual registry and file system.
  • Your app can participate in the Windows Store’s built-in licensing and automatic update facilities. Automatic update is a highly reliable and efficient mechanism because only the changed parts of files are downloaded.

Supported operating system

  • Windows 10 Anniversary Update Enterprise edition preview (Build 10.0.14316.0 and later)

Get more details on this here.

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