Microsoft releases Desktop App Converter Preview – Project Centennial

In the Build 2016 Developer Conference which was held last week, Microsoft among many other announcements had announced Project Centennial, a tool to convert Win32 desktop applications into Universal Windows Platform (UWP) apps. And now Microsoft releases this Desktop App Converter tool. This a Preview version released.

Project-Centennial

Desktop App Converter

Desktop App Converter allows developers to bring their desktop apps to Universal Windows Platform UWP. It converts a desktop Windows installer such as MSI or exe to an AppX package that can be deployed to a Windows 10 desktop.

Desktop App Converter is a pre-release tool that enables developers to bring their existing desktop apps written for .NET 4.6.1 or Win32 to the Universal Windows Platform. The developers can run their desktop installers through the converter in an unattended (silent) mode and obtain an AppX package that can be installed via the Add-AppXPackage PowerShell cmdlet on their development machine.

Project Centennial

The detailed explanation is given at Windows Dev Center :

UWP using Desktop Conversion extensions is a bridge that enables you to convert your classic desktop application (like Win32, Windows Forms, and WPF) or game to a Universal Windows Platform (UWP) app or game. For more info, see Guide to UWP apps. After conversion, your classic desktop app is packaged, serviced, and deployed in the form of a UWP app package (an .appx or an .appxbundle) targeting Windows 10 Desktop.

There are two parts to the technology that enables desktop apps to be converted to UWP packages. 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 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.

At present supported Operating System is Windows 10 Preview Build 14316 and up Enterprise edition. Support for Pro Edition will be added soon.

One can download the Desktop App Converter Preview from here. The Download page also provides more details on System requirements and the install instructions.

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Vasudev G. is a Technology Enthusiast. He is a Windows Insider MVP and is committed to Microsoft technologies and products.