Microsoft released Project Reunion 0.5 today, which is a major milestone in the advancement of app development for Windows 10. Version 0.5 is the first production-ready release of Project Reunion, as well as the first complete release of Project Reunion that includes WinUI 3.
What all this means in layman’s terms is that developers have more options for making apps for Windows 10. Project Reunion has been in preview for some time, and version 0.5 is the first production release with things stable enough for production apps.
Apps built with Project Reunion can utilize modern Windows features and technologies as well as Win32 features. Developers can then adopt technologies over time since the features are now decoupled from the Windows 10 operating system.
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Previously, developers would sometimes have to wait up to two years to implement certain features. That was because developers would often wait until people had updated to a new version of Windows to use a new feature. Microsoft explains why this change is so significant in its announcement blog post:
You’ve told us that typically you have to wait for your users to update to the latest Windows OS before you can consider adopting the latest features and integrating them into your app. For some of you that could mean a 1-2 year delay in a new feature being available, you being able to adopt it, and users seeing it in apps. Now, you can take the latest Project Reunion release whenever you want to get the latest features and can feel confident that they’ll work for all your users on Windows 10 version 1809 – which is the current Enterprise LTSC – and newer.
The GitHub page for Project Reunion 0.5 highlights several key features that are now stabilized for use in production apps that were previously in preview:
- Ability to create desktop apps with WinUI, including .NET 5 for Win32 apps
- Chromium-based WebView2 control
- Custom titlebar support
- ARM64 Support
For developers of Windows apps, this is a major shift that should make it easier to make more modern apps that can quickly add new features. For general users, it means that the best Windows 10 apps could get even better and that more modern apps are likely on the way.