Microsoft has just released Windows App SDK 1.0.0-experimental, a toolkit that empowers desktop app developers to build apps with a modern Windows UI, APIs, and platform features.

Version 1.0.0 of the SDK brings the following features and improvements:

WinUI 3

This release of WinUI 3 is focused on building towards new features for 1.0 stable and fixing bugs.

  • New features: Support for showing a ContentDialog per window rather than per thread.
  • Bugs: For the full list of bugs addressed in this release, see the GitHub repo.
  • Samples: To see WinUI 3 controls and features in action, you can clone and build the WinUI 3 Controls Gallery app from GitHub, or download the app from the Microsoft Store.

Push notifications (experimental feature)

This release introduces a push notifications API that can be used by MSIX-packaged desktop apps with Azure app registration-based identities. To use this feature, you must sign up for Microsoft’s private preview.

Important limitations:

  • Push notifications are only supported in MSIX packaged apps that are running on Windows 10 version 2004 (build 19041) or later releases.
  • Microsoft reserves the right to disable or revoke apps from push notifications during the private preview.
  • Microsoft does not guarantee the reliability or latency of push notifications.
  • During the private preview, push notification volume is limited to 1 million per month.

Windowing (experimental feature)

This release includes updates to the windowing APIs. These are a set of high-level windowing APIs, centered around the AppWindow class, which allows for easy-to-use windowing scenarios that integrates well with the Windows user experience and other apps. This is similar to, but not the same as, the UWP AppWindow.

Important limitations:

  • This release of AppWindow is currently available only to Win32 apps (both packaged and unpackaged).
  • The Windows App SDK does not currently provide methods for attaching UI framework content to an AppWindow; you are limited to using the HWND interop access methods.
  • The Windowing API’s will currently not work on Windows version 1809 and 1903 for AMD64.

Deployment for unpackaged apps (experimental feature)

This release introduces updates to the dynamic dependencies feature, including the bootstrapper API.

Important limitations:

  • The dynamic dependencies feature is only supported for unpackaged apps (that is, apps that do not use MSIX for their deployment technology).
  • Elevated callers aren’t supported.

Other limitations and known issues

  • No support for Any CPU build configuration: The Windows App SDK is written in native code and thus does not support Any CPU build configurations. The WinUI project templates only allow architecture-specific builds. When adding the Windows App SDK to an existing .NET application or component that supports Any CPU, you must specify the desired architecture: x86x64 or arm64.
  • .NET apps must target build 18362 or higher: Your TFM must be set to net5.0-windows10.0.18362 or higher, and your packaging project’s <TargetPlatformVersion> must be set to 18362 or higher. For more info, see the known issue on GitHub.

Read more and find the download links at Microsoft here.

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