Microsoft is turning Progressive Web Apps into Windows apps

Windows 10 Progressive web apps

Microsoft is turning Progressive Web Apps into Windows apps

In 2018, Microsoft will undoubtedly talk AI, Windows 10, HoloLens, Visual Studio, .NET, Azure, Xbox, and everything in between. It's bringing Progressive Web Apps (not to be confused with Universal Windows Platform apps, many of which are glorified websites) to Windows 10 with a new version of Edge that supports the necessary web technologies. "Throughout this process, we'll continue to vet our quality measures for PWAs, to make sure we're providing a valuable, trustworthy, and delightful experience to our mutual customers on Windows devices", the Microsoft team, comprises engineers Kyle Pflug, Kirupa Chinnathambi, Aaron Gustafson, and Iqbal Shahid, said in the blog post. Now that plan is becoming a reality, with Microsoft giving users a preview of PWAs and breaking down its strategy to bring them to the Microsoft Store.

After announcing its vision previous year to bring Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) to Windows 10, Microsoft is starting to preview PWAs and has outlined its roadmap to bring PWAs to the Microsoft Store. Here is a recap of what happened previous year: Everything Microsoft announced at Build 2017. Web App Manifests should have quality and Service Workers should be viewed as an enhancement. We'll also get to know more about the next update for Windows 10, codenamed Redstone 5, at the event. Microsoft has scheduled Build 2018 developer conference for May 7-9 and the conference will be held at Seattle same as past year.

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The addition of PWAs comes at a time when Microsoft is preparing to elevate the importance of the Store, with Microsoft recently announcing that PC makers would be given greater scope to sell PCs that are locked to using Store apps only by default. Progressive Web Apps (not to be confused with Android's native "Instant Apps") use relatively fresh new web technologies to make websites work better offline or with intermittent connections, and often mimic native features like push notifications.

Microsoft's forthcoming Teams client app will be a PWA, and ZDNet's Mary Jo Foley predicts that Microsoft will choose PWA over native apps for many other releases in future. It will run in its own sandboxed area as an AppX file, doing away with the need for an open browser.

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So what about the potential conflict with UWP (Universal Windows Platform) apps?

Developers who want to boost the chances of getting their PWAs listed in the Microsoft Store can follow these guidelines, which also includes instructions on how to submit a PWA to the Microsoft Store.

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