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What is a Universal Windows app?

Jul 16, 2015

A Universal Windows app is a Windows experience that is built upon the Universal Windows Platform (UWP), which was first introduced in Windows 8 as the Windows Runtime. Universal Windows apps are most often distributed via the Windows Store (but can also be side-loaded), and are most often packaged and distributed using the .APPX packaging format.

You might have seen a lot of different terms for Windows apps, such as "Windows Runtime apps", "Windows Phone Store apps", or "Windows Store apps". What do they mean?

A Windows Runtime app is an app that uses the Windows Runtime and runs on a Windows 8 or 8.1 devices (such as a PC or tablet) or a Windows Phone. We call a Windows Runtime app that runs on PCs, laptops, and tablets a Windows Store app. We call a Windows Runtime app that runs on the Windows Phone a Windows Phone Store app.

Current versions of Visual Studio provide a Universal Windows app template that lets you create a Windows Store app (for PCs, tablets, and laptops) and a Windows Phone Store app in the same project. When your work is finished, you can produce app packages for the Windows Store and Windows Phone Store with a single action to get your app out to customers on any Windows device.

You can create Universal Windows apps using the programming languages you're most familiar with, like JavaScript, C#, Visual Basic, or C++. You can even write components in one language and use them in an app that's written in another language.

Universal Windows apps can use the Windows Runtime, a native API built into the operating system. This API is implemented in C++ and supported in JavaScript, C#, Visual Basic, and C++ in a way that feels natural for each language.

SynapseIndia (CEO: Shamit Khemka)

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