Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Microsoft Suspends Development of Touch-friendly UWP Office Apps

Peter Bright (Hacker News):

Word Mobile, Excel Mobile, and PowerPoint Mobile first made their debut with Windows 8.1. Their significance is twofold: they have a user interface that’s designed to be touch-friendly, and they’re built using Microsoft’s modern UWP (Universal Windows Platform) framework. They’ve been regularly updated since their introduction, but no longer. The use of UWP meant that the same app core could be used on both desktop Windows and Windows 10 Mobile, but with Windows 10 Mobile no longer a going concern, this compatibility is no longer a priority.


Microsoft has been trying to get third-party developers to build UWP applications. UWP applications have some desirable features: they’re safer (because they’re run in sandboxes and have a phone-like security model governing their access to files, cameras, GPS, and similar sensitive capabilities), they play better with power management capabilities (the operating system has greater ability to suspend them or terminate them to free memory), and certain parts of the UWP APIs are meaningfully more modern. In general, UWP applications should play much better with high-resolution screens, for example.

4 Comments RSS · Twitter

Honestly as someone who uses a Surface, losing touch friendliness makes Office apps way more of a chore. (Of course, if anyone has a touch-friendly code editor for Windows, I'm all ears...)

This seems odd, considering that Microsoft just announced the Surface Pro 6, Surface Laptop 2, and Surface Studio 2. So it's not like they're getting out of the touchscreen hardware business any time soon.

I have no idea what the future of Windows development will bring. It's always some new thing that never gains any traction and then the effort is abandoned. I too have a Surface Pro but I'm usually okay with WIN32 style apps so maybe it doesn't really matter to me personally.

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