We are nearing the official launch of Windows 10 and the pace of Build releases has been speeding up in the past month to the fast ring. Last week, 2 releases (Build 10159 and 10162). The developer SDK is catching up as well, and on July 1st Microsoft released a new Windows 10 SDK Preview and the associated Windows 10 Mobile emulators. This SDK is to be used in conjunction with Windows 10 Insider Preview (Build 10158). The new Preview SDK contains bug fixes and changes to the API surface area. You can download it from the Windows 10 Developer Tools page.
Which means, you can develop apps for Windows 10 if you haven’t started yet. There is a great Microsoft Virtual Academy course, A Developer’s Guide to Windows 10 that can get you up to speed. Windows 10 will be an exciting release for developers, with support for Universal Windows apps that run across all Windows 10 devices. The SDK allows you to develop for Windows 10, but it isn’t the only way to run apps on Windows 10. At Build 2015, Microsoft announced 4 new ways to get apps into the Windows 10 Store. Developers can reuse their Web code, Windows desktop applications (.NET code), Android apps (Java and C++), and iOS apps (Objective C). Collectively, these 4 ways are called Universal Windows Platform Bridges. These platform bridges consist of a toolkit of three components: developer tools, Store ingestion processing, and Universal Windows Platform runtime frameworks.
The First Platform Bridge: Project Westminster
Yesterday, Microsoft released Project Westminster, the first of the Universal Windows Platform Bridges. Project Westminster basically allows developers to leverage their existing web development workflow and publish their responsive websites to the Windows 10 Store as Windows apps. These published websites are called Hosted Web Apps, since the majority of the content is being served from the website.
This Platform bridge also makes it even easier to integrate a web app with Windows features like Cortana voice commands and authentication. Because, the platform capabilities are only available when the site is running as a Universal Windows Platform App in the App Host on Windows 10. The web app will not be able to call platform APIs when navigated to in Microsoft Edge or other browsers.
If you want to learn more details about this platform bridge, how it works and its capabilities you can check this blog post by the Windows Apps Team.
I will leave you with this short video on creating Hosted Web Apps with Project Westminster