Microsoft Attempting To Optimize ‘Project Union’ That Ties Traditional Win32 Apps With UWP For Windows 10?

Microsoft has been attempting to close the wide divide between the traditional and still relevant Win32 Apps, and the fairly recent UWP (Universal Windows Platform) Apps. With the Project Union, Windows 10 might have a unified operational platform for applications.

Microsoft Windows 10 is undergoing some massive changes owing to Project Union, a platform that strives to ensure the traditional Win32 Applications work well with modern-day UWP Apps. More importantly, Microsoft appears to be decoupling the App Ecosystem from Windows 10 to offer better security and privacy with Project Union.

Microsoft Pushes Project Union Towards Windows 10 For Decoupling App Ecosystem And Unifying Win32 Apps With UWP Apps:

Microsoft introduced the Universal Windows Platform app ecosystem in Windows 8. In addition to the existing Win32 apps, Windows 8 included modern apps that would offer better multitasking experience on hardware with a touch interface. Needless to add, the UWP Platform still has a long way to go before it becomes mainstream and replaces the Win32 Apps.

The Windows UWP modern apps have always been rather late and appeared to be behind the standard Win32 apps. This is despite the fact that Microsoft tried hard to promote the UWP Apps by bringing new features only to UWP. Win32 Apps, despite being powerful, were deliberately kept in a state of “non-innovation” and developers were left behind with access to the legacy APIs only.

There have now been some interesting changes. With Project Union, Microsoft has been trying to bridge the gap by unifying the APIs across the two app models. In other words, with Project Reunion, Microsoft claims it will unify access to existing Win32 and UWP APIs. Additionally, the app ecosystem will be decoupled from the operating system. As a direct result, Windows 10 OS users can expect the “modern features” in traditional desktop apps, including access to Windows 10’s built-in share panel.

Microsoft To Introduce ‘Unified Windowing Space’ For UWP And Win32 Apps:

Microsoft will reportedly introduce a “unified windowing space” for UWP and Win32 apps. This should allow developers to adopt APIs that can provide consistent windowing experiences across UWP or Win32 apps. Speaking about the innovation, Microsoft said,

“We also want the windowing model to be fundamentally the same so that we create a familiar way of working for developers regardless if you chose UWP or Win32 as your application model.”

Microsoft has indicated that Windows 10’s windowing APIs will be accessible to developers regardless of the process model (UWP or Win32) under Project Union. This will allow Microsoft and developers to create apps, be it UWP or Win32, with the same set of features and APIs.

It is important to note that in the current state, Windows 10 currently offers two very different ways of doing “windowing” (resizing of apps, customization of title bars, etc). Needless to add, the Win32 Apps have powerful and effective windowing scenarios, UWP Apps appear very restricted especially in the Windowing scenario.

With Project Union, Microsoft will allow developers to have the power of Win32 windowing for UWP Apps. Additionally, the company will still develop and deploy unified APIs that improve consistency across apps.

If the Project Union stays true to the implied promises, then developers of Win32 and UWP Apps will finally have access to all the layers of the new windowing APIs. This should significantly impact and improve the windowing experience of UWP apps, and unify the two app models.

Alap Naik Desai


A B.Tech Plastics (UDCT) and a Windows enthusiast. Optimizing the OS, exploring software, searching and deploying solutions to strange and weird issues is Alap's main interest.