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UWP will become WinUI 3, surpassing WPF and WinRT

, 2 minutes to read

The lat­est and great­est tech­nol­ogy have been, ac­cord­ing to Mi­crosoft’s mar­ket­ing state­ments, Uni­ver­sal Win­dows Plat­form. The rea­son for that was the need for a sin­gle run­time for mo­bile de­vices, tablets, and desk­tops. Un­til re­cently. Sur­face Duo will stick with An­droid and Win­dows de­vel­op­ment is ex­pe­ri­enc­ing a roll­back. Cur­rent UWP apps will no longer be eligible to dis­tri­bu­tion via Mi­crosoft Store. Only those based on Win­dows App SDK will see the green light.

The good news is that this change is not as dra­matic as it may look like. In fact, it is nec­es­sary, be­cause UWP was his­tor­i­cally a fork of .NET Frame­work. Mi­crosoft is mak­ing a great ef­fort to unify de­vel­op­ment stacks with .NET 6, which means that UWP was merged with .NET 5 into Win­dows App SDK. XAML for UWP, orig­i­nally cre­ated as a trun­cated ver­sion of WPF, will be called WinUI 3. This UI stack is com­pletely de­cou­pled form from the OS and Win­dows 10 SDKs. Those steps are log­i­cal, they make sense. On the other hand, Win­dows (Phone / Uni­ver­sal) de­vel­op­ment has ex­pe­ri­enced so many earthquakes I per­fectly un­der­s­tand why Mi­crosoft Store lacks be­hind others (like App Store and Google Play).

Tech­ni­cal de­tails are too early to judge. On the first sight it looks like trans­for­ma­tion of the UWP/XAML/C# app into Win­dows App SDK/WinUI 3/C# app will be rel­a­tively easy. But it doesn't mat­ter at all. As al­ways, de­pen­dences are what the whole pro­cess slows down. How­ever, I’m a lit­tle op­ti­mistic be­cause .NET 6 is a uni­ver­sal plat­form, the op­po­site of what Uni­ver­sal Win­dows Plat­form is. Mar­ket­ing will never trans­form tech­nolo­gies be­hind it. Mar­ket­ing is just a cover or pol­ish, de­pend­ing on how is used.

The fu­ture is bright, as al­ways. The truth will show up later. But one ques­tion can be asked right away – what was the whole tech­no­log­i­cal drill all about?