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Desktop App Converter Gets Windows Apps Running on UWP

Developers can use the Desktop App Converter to convert Win32- and .NET 4.6.1-based apps to run on the Universal Wndows Platform and related extensions and toolings.

Since its debut at Build 2015 (yes, the show from a year ago), there's been much progress on the Windows bridging tools, and one in particular is seeing daylight this week: Desktop App Converter.

The Desktop App Converter preview, which, when it was announced at Build 2015 was called Project Centennial, described the tool as a streamlined converter for existing Windows apps to the Universal Windows Platform. What that allows developers to do is take those converted Win32- and .NET 4.6.1-based apps so they can take advantage of Universal Windows Platform toolings and extensions.

A recent release note highlights a number of changes to the tool as of last week, including restoring support for Windows Professional, and some added capabilities via the Converter's -Setup flag. There's also the additon of a slew of auto-detection capabilities, including of an application's installation path, expanded base image during app conversion, and file types and associations. This version also improves on file system filtering and logic for detecting Start Menu shortcuts.

A blog post from Peter Faraday of the Visual Studio team details the ease with which the tool can be used to convert apps. The Desktop App Converter has some prerequisites -- Visual Studio '15' Preview 2, the Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 14342, and the Desktop to UWP Packaging extension from the VS Gallery -- before developers can get started with it.

About the Author

Michael Domingo is a long-time software publishing veteran, having started up and managed several developer publications for the Clipper compiler, Microsoft Access, and Visual Basic. He's also managed IT pubs for 1105 Media, including Microsoft Certified Professional Magazine and Virtualization Review before landing his current gig as Visual Studio Magazine Editor in Chief. Besides his publishing life, he's a professional photographer, whose work can be found by Googling domingophoto.

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