A couple of weeks ago, Microsoft began testing series of experiment to start listing the PWA apps on the Microsoft Store. As part of the new approach, Microsoft developed and published a dozen of PWA apps with permission from the developer. Microsoft is today adding another six Progressive Web Apps to the Microsoft Store, and the upcoming Windows 10 Redstone 4 will finally enable support for such apps.
If your system is on Redstone 4, you can find the PWAs just like any other app that’s currently available for download. The Progressive Web Apps on Windows 10 come in the form of appx packages and it can be installed just like the native app from the Store.
The PWAs is deeply integrated into the Windows 10 operating system, as a result, it can show up in the Start menu, Cortana search results, notifications, share dialog and more.
Microsoft has released the following six apps, and the apps are once again published by Microsoft Store account. These apps look similar to the native apps, but still lacks some key features.
“Over the coming months, we’re laser focused on polishing our initial implementation of the core technologies behind PWAs in EdgeHTML and the Universal Windows Platform—Service Worker, Push, Web App Manifest, and especially Fetch are foundational technologies which have a potentially dramatic impact to compatibility and reliability of existing sites and apps, so real-world testing with our Insider population is paramount,” Microsoft said in a blog post earlier this year.
Microsoft has already confirmed that PWAs are full-featured UWP apps, and wrapped in an appx container. It can work on a variety of devices including the Windows Phones/mobile-type devices, 2-in-1s, Desktops, Xbox One consoles, Windows Mixed Reality headsets and more. In other words, the consumers shouldn’t notice any difference as the PWAs are full-featured apps, and it can be updated from the developer’s server.
If you’re a developer, you can already start testing the PWAs in Microsoft Edge, but it will not work on older version of Windows operating system. Furthermore, Microsoft says that the PWAs won’t work on Windows 10 Mobile due to API limitations. Once Windows 10 version 1803 is out, all third-party Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) will be listed in the Microsoft Store.
How is Microsoft trying to fix the app gap with PWA?
Microsoft has announced earlier this year that the company will create, and index the selected quality Progressive Web Apps in the Microsoft Store, although the company is still encouraging the developers to support the initiative. Not only Microsoft, but Google is also betting big on Progressive Web Apps.
Microsoft has been using the Bing Crawler to identify PWAs and index them in the Store, the company plans to index more than one million PWAs in the coming months. “We’ve identified a small initial set of Progressive Web App experiences which we’ll be indexing for Windows 10 customers to take for a spin over the coming weeks,” Microsoft said.