Windows desktop apps start trickling into Windows Store

Back when Microsoft launched its Windows 8 platform and store, both on desktop and mobile, it was largely panned and criticized for the dearth of apps available. Now under Windows 10's "Universal Windows Platform" banner, the situation has improved but still leaves out the question of traditional "win32" software that exists by the hundreds. Microsoft's stop gap solution? Project Centennial, more formally called the "Desktop Bridge", to bring those apps to the new Windows Store. And now, the first batch of those apps, which includes Evernote, are finally up on that Store, with more promised to follow.

Make no mistake, these are still the same desktop apps and, as far as the end user is concerned, nothing has changed other than the fact that they can now be found on and installed from the Windows Store. These, of course, have significant implications, and not all of them may be good.

For end users, this means that they can install software like Evernote from a single location that is promised to be secure. No more fumbling around with EXE and MSI files or going through potentially confusing installation steps. For developers, Microsoft is promising the ability to smoothly and gradually transition into a full UWP app, at the developer's own pace.

Right now, these Desktop Bridge apps still function as they would, outside the sandbox usually imposed by the UWP platform. They do, however, have access to certain "nice" features, like Live Tiles, Cortana, and the Action Center.

There might also be some disadvantages to the Desktop Bridge. Aside from the worries of lock-in and limitations put forward by Epic Games co-founder Tim Sweeney, the converter also gives developers less incentive to migrate their software over to UWP, since they can simply just carry on as usual and use the Desktop Bridge if needed. That said, if ever they do want to target other Windows 10 devices, like mobile, HoloLens, and Xbox, they'll eventually have to cave into the UWP requirement.

For now, the list of desktop software taking advantage of the Desktop Bridge is quite small, including Evernote, Arduino IDE, doubleTwist, PhotoScape, MAGIX Movie Edit Pro, Virtual Robotics Kit, Relab, SQL Pro, Voya Media, Predicted Desire and korAccount. It will probably take a while before we see other heavyweights, like those from Adobe, no to mention games, making their way to the Windows Store, especially considering those either have their own stores or their own pricing systems.

SOURCE: Microsoft