Microsoft Brings Desktop Office Apps to Windows Store with Project Centennial

By: Ivan Jenic
2 minute read

Microsoft recently presented Project Centennial, a new bridge that will help developers of .NET and Win32 programs for Windows Desktop to ‘transfer’ them to the Windows Store. To show the idea of how Project Centennial would work, the company included a ‘test app’ in the Store, that were made with Project Centennial.

The first Project Centennial test app that made its way to the Store is a set of Office Win32 programs, that Microsoft turned into Universal apps. The set of Office apps contains Outlook, Excel, PowerPoint, Word, OneDrive for Business, Skype for Business, and more.

However, none of these apps seem to work yet, as every app shows just a white screen when opened. But since this is a very first test of Project Centennial by Microsoft, the aim probably was just to bring these apps to the Windows Store. Microsoft will surely make them fully functional in the future, so users will be able to see how apps ‘created’ with Project Centennial look like.

office desktop project centennial

As soon as Microsoft makes any announcements about the project, or updates the existing test app, we’ll make sure to let you know. For now, you can head over to the Store, and download the first Project Centennial test app. But to access this app in the store, you must run the latest build 1471 of Windows 10 Preview.

What is Project Centennial?

When it launched Windows 10, along the Windows Store, Microsoft faced two major problems – The lack of apps in the Store, and incompatibility issues with some older programs in Windows 10. The company is steadily solving the problem with the lack of apps in the Windows Store, as more and more developers are interested in building new Windows 10 apps, but what with the incompatibility issue with older programs?

As we already told you, Project Centennial allows developers to ‘transform’ their old Win32 and .NET apps into Windows 10 Universal apps. So, Microsoft could basically kill two birds with one stone, if Project Centennial lives up to company’s expectations, because it will bring even more apps to the Store, and it will also deliver some older programs, that were originally incompatible with the system, in the brand new shape.

Microsoft already announced two similar projects: Project Astoria, that would bring Android apps to Windows 10; and Project Islandwood, a bridge for transforming iOS apps into Windows 10 Universal apps. Unfortunately, the company decided to discontinue Project Astoria, so we won’t see any Android apps on Windows 10, at least for now, while Project Islandwood is still on.

We hope that Project Centennial will be a successful one, as well, because it will allow people to use their favorite older programs again, but it will also popularize the concept of Windows 10’s Universal apps even more.

What do you thin the Project Centennial idea? Which Desktop program would you like to see in a Universal form? Tell us in the comments.

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