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Microsoft launchesTool to port Desktop Apps to Windows Store

Microsoft launchesTool to port Desktop Apps to Windows Store


On April 7, Microsoft made available for download a preview of Centennial, a k a, the Desktop App Converter, for moving desktop apps to the Universal Windows Platform (UWP). The tool converts a desktop Windows installer like MSI or exe to an AppX package that can be deployed to a Windows 10 PC. (Note: The converter is meant for apps for PCs only at this point, and won't convert apps for Windows Phones, Xbox Ones or Surface Hubs.)
LeBlanc's post explains a little about the tool and provides instructions for getting started, along with some examples:
Desktop App Converter is a pre-release tool that enables you to bring your existing desktop apps written for .NET 4.6.1 or Win32 to the Universal Windows Platform (UWP). You can run your desktop installers through the converter in an unattended (silent) mode and obtain an AppX package that you can install by using the Add-AppxPackage PowerShell cmdlet on your development machine.
The converter runs the desktop installer in an isolated Windows environment using a clean base image provided as part of the converter download. It captures any registry and file system I/O made by the desktop installer and packages it as part of the output. The converter outputs an AppX with package identity and the ability to call a vast range of WinRT APIs.
True to recent form for Microsoft, Desktop App Converter has a telemetry element to consider:
Once a developers convert their classic apps to UWP ones, they will get the same auto-update and single-click acquisition capabilities that native UWP apps get. Their converted apps will be able to make use of push notifications, Live tiles and in-app purchase capabilities, just like native UWP apps.
Microsoft's hope is that legacy app developers who convert their apps using Centennial will add more and more UWP features to their applications, such as support for background tasks. Microsoft's ultimate goal is that developers will "fully port" their apps to UWP and enable them to run on all Windows 10 devices, once that option is supported.