Microsoft announced that Project Reunion 0.5 is now available. This release is the first version that developers can use for building and publishing apps in the Microsoft Store.
When preparing the 0.5 release, Microsoft focused on the most popular feedback from the community. Now, Project Reunion supports Windows 10 versions down to 1809, .NET 5, WinUI 3, and WebView 2.
Project Reunion is a significant change in Microsoft's app strategies. Developers that use Project Reunion get access to all the modern features in the latest Windows 10 releases, plus the benefits of using Win32 capabilities. Besides, Project Reunion allows the adoption of new technologies at a much faster pace, as they no longer require some specific Windows 10 releases, as Microsoft decouples new features from the OS. This means developers do not need to wait until users update to the latest Windows 10 versions to bring new capabilities into their apps. Project Reunion ensures applications with the latest features work on all Windows 10 releases down to version 1809.
Making apps "backward-compatible" in terms of new features and APIs is a significant benefit of Project Reunion. Nowadays, Windows 10 market share split between several recent releases, which makes it more difficult for developers to bring new features to their apps and cover as much audience as possible at the same time. According to the latest data from Adduplex, the newest Windows 10 release holds only 30%, while the previous version remains the most popular with 42%. Project Reunion will help developers make sure their apps offer the newest capabilities and do not require a system update.
For now, Project Reunion 0.5 only supports packaged MSIX apps, which may not be the most popular deployment method among developers. Microsoft is aware of this and works on unpackaged app support in future preview versions.
Project Reunion 0.5 is a big step toward the 1.0 release, which is on due to ship later this year. Also, Microsoft is working on bringing more technologies to Project Reunion in future previews. For example, app lifecycle for improved system performance and battery life, local and push notification scenarios, unpackaged app support, and much more.
You can read more about Project Reunion 0.5 in a post on the official Windows Blogs website. There you will also find useful links, such as getting started with Project Reunion, project overview and release notes, and the official documentation for the recently released WinUI 3.0.
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