Aimed at unifying and taking the Windows developer platform to a next level, Microsoft unveiled Project Reunion at Day-1 of its Build 2020 virtual conference. It’s a promise made by Microsoft that outlines its plans to bridge the gap between traditional Win32 desktop apps and Universal Windows Platform (UWP) apps.
Microsoft unveils Project Reunion
By announcing Project Reunion, Microsoft wants to make things easier for Windows developers so that they can build apps that will run across all Windows 10 versions and devices without any technical limitations.
In recent months, Microsoft has been working to bring Win32 also called the Windows API and Universal Windows Platform (UWP) APIs closer. This expansion is ultimately what the company’s vision behind Project Reunion is all about.
What is Project Reunion?
In a nutshell, Project Reunion is Microsoft’s effort to unify access to both existing and future Win32 and UWP APIs and decouple them from the operating system itself, courtesy of tools like NuGet, which is a free and open-source package manager designed for the Microsoft development platform.
This way, all existing and future apps including Win32 and UWP ones will possess a common identity, and they will be known as simply Windows apps.
In a blog post, Kevin Gallo, Corporate Vice President of Windows Developer Platform wrote:
“This will provide a common platform for new apps. Plus, it will help you update and modernize your existing apps with the latest functionality, whether they’re C++, .NET (including WPF, Windows Forms, and UWP) or React Native.”
WinUI 3 Preview 1 plays an important role in the formation of Microsoft’s Project Reunion. In fact, it happens to be among the first components of this unified strategy. Optimized by Fluent Design System, WinUI 3 is a native UI framework for Windows.
“As we decouple existing APIs and add new APIs, we are also doing the work to polyfill, as needed, so the APIs work down-level across supported versions of Windows.”
This way, developers can build apps and streamline user experiences across devices. This approach will come handy when starting a new project or modernizing an existing app for Windows 10.
Since web applications have become prominent these days, Microsoft is expanding another component WebView2 with a new .NET Preview. WebView2 is also decoupled from the operating system. As a result, web apps will no longer be limited to particular Windows 10 versions or devices.
Microsoft’s Project Reunion repository is now available on GitHub.