Reasons why Windows will focus on desktops with UWP

Radu Tyrsina
by Radu Tyrsina
Founder & Editor-in-Chief
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Microsoft will reorient the message about just what the Universal Windows Platform, or UWP,  means for the desktop and there are few reasons why. With Microsoft’s UWP one of the major focuses at the upcoming Build conference two weeks from now, it gives the company a great opportunity to make it happen.

Confusion around the UWP

The most confusing part regarding Microsoft’s UWP has always been the belief that all apps built with the platform can run anywhere and that the term “universal” refers to hardware.

The term “universal” refers to something else:

  • To the tools that allow developers get their product to Windows Store
  • To non-consumer features (shared pricing, joint in-app purchase, installing across multiple devices, unified ad-units)

Microsoft sees UWP as something that will someday displace Win32 apps, otherwise known as “classic” desktop programs. Each year that UWP grows, more features are added. Unfortunately, developers are still not totally embracing it because of the so-called “stigma” of Windows 10 Mobile.

Moving away from phones

Microsoft’s opinion is that UWP needs to do a few things in order to gain popularity and to be successful:

  • Win on PC and desktop: PC operating systems shouldn’t be treated as mobile operating systems.
  • Show all the reasons why it will be better than Win32 because until then, it’s hard for people to move to another platform.
  • Convince developers that they’re something more than phone apps.
  • Achieving a unified experience in its eco-system.

Succeed on PC and then move to mobile

Microsoft must distance itself from phones and make sure that UWP is successful on desktops. The company will position UWP first as the actual development system for apps and games, and this is the main reason for which mobile is put aside for now.

If UWP cannot succeed on PC, Xbox, Mixed Reality and so on, there’s no way it will succeed on mobile. All in all, this is more unpleasant news for Windows phones fans, as Microsoft will definitely not be putting its efforts behind the phone market. Instead, it seems to be focusing more on desktop, tablets, Windows Mixed Reality, IoT, and other segments

The company’s upcoming announcement on May 2nd will prove that Microsoft is really planning on entering new segments like education. This is going to offer benefits for developers and for the UWP model, as well.

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  • UWP is UWP. Desktop is the desktop. Microsoft pushing UWP is NOT Microsoft focusing on the Dekstop. Very few people want to turn their computers into mobile phones. Gamers want the ability to mod games.

    People like myself enjoy using high-quality cameras, I’m obsessed with high-quality imagery. Microsoft has ensured that people cannot use video capture devices in UWP. They’ve went out of their way to cripple the ability to use video capture devices in UWP, and they’ve also done it with their newer releases of Skype for Desktop. I hook my Sony A5100 camera to my video capture device, and it works fine to use my video capture device as a webcam on all Desktop software except for the newer versions of Skype, so I use a special workaround to be able to run earlier versions of Skype.

    In addition to that, they’ve also went out of their way to make sure you can’t adjust your manual webcam settings in UWP, they expect you to use automatic settings for everything, like you would your phone. So, basically, if you obsess on video quality like I do, UWP is the worst thing you could use. Linux has more compatibility with high-end video devices than UWP does, which is pretty pathetic.