Microsoft to devs: Again, here's why Universal Windows Platform matters

Microsoft is extolling the benefits of writing to its Universal Windows Platform a couple of months ahead of the release of Windows 10 Creators Update. Here's the latest pitch.
Written by Mary Jo Foley, Senior Contributing Editor

About two months ahead of the release of Windows 10 Creators Update, Microsoft is reminding developers again why the Universal Windows Platform (UWP) matters.

Credit: Microsoft

Officials presented a four-hour webcast on February 8 -- which is available for on-demand viewing on Microsoft's Channel 9 -- meant to highlight developer-focused features of the Creators Update, along with some other Microsoft platforms, such as Cortana and its Microsoft Bot Framework.

The UWP is the best way for developers to reach the 400 million users who already are on Windows 10, officials said. (That 400 million figure is something Microsoft released back in September and has not updated since.)

"UWP is the best platform for the PC," said Kevin Gallo, Corporate Vice President of Microsoft's Developer Platform.

UWP applications, available from the common Windows 10 Store, are more secure and reliable, Gallo said. UWP applications can be simply installed and uninstalled, with updates delivered using differential packages.

Microsoft published a Windows Platform roadmap on its Microsoft Developer site that is meant to help developers keep track of and request Windows features that are supported, in development and under consideration, as well as submit and track bugs.

During its Developer Day webcast, Microsoft told developers it is consolidating all documentation for all of the company's products on docs.microsoft.com. The company will allow users/developers to edit and contribute to that documentation.

The Software Development Kit (SDK) for the Windows 10 Creators update, which is in preview, is officially feature-complete, officials told developers today. And Microsoft's Cortana Skills development kit, which the company discussed in December, will be available as a public preview on February 27, officials said today.

Credit: Microsoft

Officials touted the Desktop Bridge ("Project Centennial") as enabling developers to more easily bring their Windows 7 apps to UWP by expanding the available application programming interface (API) surface.

Officials told developers that those writing applications for the Windows Holographic Platform will see their apps and games work on both the HoloLens and the coming generation of mixed-reality headsets that support the platform. Microsoft also released an Android software development kit today for "Project Rome," Microsoft's feature set that's comparable to Apple's Handoff technology.

Microsoft also touted immediate availability of the Windows SDK for Google Analytics, the core library of which works with UWP, Xamarin, Windows Forms and Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF), as well as Facebook App Install Ads, which is now available for UWP apps.

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