Microsoft Announces Some Significant Changes For Developers in Windows 10 v2004

Microsoft rolled out Windows 10 v1909 back in November 2019 for all supported versions of the OS. Since it was a minor feature update, people are now anxiously waiting for the next one.

Microsoft is all set to release a new feature update for Windows 10 PCs very soon. In line with Microsoft’s naming conventions, the company named this update as Windows 10 version 2004. Since it is going to be released in the first half of the year, you may also refer to the feature update as 20H1 update.

Notably, Microsoft has been testing version 2004 for quite a while, but it is going to be a smaller yet significant one. Having said that, the Big M plans to ship a series of improvements and changes for everyone. As a part of these changes, Microsoft has integrated a new function for apps called a hosted app model.

Here’s How The Hosted App Model Works

Generally, apps are defined to the operating system as a msix package or an appxbundle. So all the executable files come along with it. At the time of writing, here is how it works: For instance, an app needs to separately open a link and the browser (Chrome, Firefox or Edge).

However, Microsoft has changed the way this works with the introduction of the new hosted app model. Windows 10 will now allow the app to access another package. The system will receive a request that this specific app would like to access your default browser.

Thus, the link will be quickly opened on your screen. This change will eventually eliminate the need to open a separate instance of the browser. Right now, this functionality is only available for desktop programs. With Windows 10 20H1, Microsoft plans to extend the capability to UWP apps as well.

It seems to be another big change indeed for application developers. Microsoft’s Principal Program Manager Lead, Adam Braden describes in a blog post:

“To get a more deeply integrated experience, the alternative is for developers to create a packaged app that includes the host binaries within the package. While the package would now be a separate app and have the ability for deep Windows integration, this approach is inefficient as each app would need to redistribute the host and can have potential servicing and licensing issues.”

It is worth mentioning that this improvement is currently available for Windows Insiders only. So, you may end up not seeing them during the testing period. Let’s wait until the 20H1 update lands sometime soon.

Alex Schoff
Alex is a technology reporter with a particular interest in Microsoft and Windows. He keeps a close eye on major developments related to Windows 10, Google Chrome, Office 365, and more.

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