Microsoft’s Universal Windows Platform (UWP) idea has been a cornerstone of Windows since the days of Windows 8. UWP is a simple concept, it allows developers to create applications that work across PC, tablets, smartphones, and Xbox.
It is Microsoft’s answer to the app gap. Many users have criticized the lack of available apps on Windows devices. Universal Windows Platform is designed to entice developers, who can create a single application that will work across all formfactors.
However, it seems the demise of Windows Phone through the failure of Windows 10 Mobile means UWP is now finished.
While Microsoft has committed to the Universal Windows Platform recently, a decision this week all but kills off the idea. Microsoft announced its Xbox Game Pass service for PC. While this means nothing for UWP, part of the service has wide implications for UWP.
Specifically, Microsoft says game developers can now bring their Win32 games to the Microsoft Store. In other words, they don’t have to rebuild games for other platforms such as Steam for Windows 10.
“We recognize that Win32 is the app format that game developers love to use and gamers love to play, so we are excited to share that we will be enabling full support for native Win32 games to the Microsoft Store on Windows,” explains Microsoft’s gaming chief Phil Spencer. “This will unlock more options for developers and gamers alike, allowing for the customization and control they’ve come to expect from the open Windows gaming ecosystem.”
This decision is inevitable because developers were not embracing UWP, especially game dev’s. Under the UWP model, those developers have needed to build a separate application for Windows. With Win32 support, they just need to port their current build from one platform to another.