UWP APIs become available to Java programmers

Changes in the technological landscape of recent years have forced Microsoft to rethink the role of UWP and Win32 applications, as well as Microsoft Store and its approach to Android. Despite rumors of killing one of these categories, the giant chose wisely and on the one hand included support for Win32 in the Storeand on the other – he admitted access to UWP functions developers of classic Win32 applications. Thus, the Windows ecosystem has become more universal, however, developers and users expect one more thing, namely access to UWP applications on Android.

Just a few years ago, the extension of the UWP platform on Android would seem pointless as Universal Windows Platform aims at Windows devices. However, this is not so obvious since Microsoft buried Windows 10 Mobile with the last Lumia and began aggressively developing its Android applications. The Surface Duo announcement, i.e. the company's first Android phone. In such circumstances, UWP applications can of course be converted on the Xamarin platform and published in the Google Play Store, but the developers are more concerned about native support. Is the answer to this need hidden under the name JavaWinRT?

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WalkingCat came up with JavaWinRT a few days ago. Under this name is the Java projection for Windows Runtime, which is the way the APIs of this architecture are "exposed" for that language. Sorry, the github.com/microsoft/JavaWinRT repository has already been removed. Interestingly, a new Core Java Team has been created in Microsoft in recent days.

This team is to focus on the server segment and optimization of runtime and Java tools for Azure services, while it also has "internal clients". Bruno Borges denies that the team is responsible for creating the JavaWinRT repository, but nevertheless finds this project interesting. Another confirmation and clarification came from Rafael Rivera, Microsoft's MVP:

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He claims that there is no such thing as "UWP runtime". Rather, it is a projection, a kind of possibility, in which the Windows Runtime API are issued for a specific language for use by programmers. So it looks like Java developers will be able to take advantage of the unique features of UWP. However, it is still unclear whether they will go beyond the Windows platform.

Universal Windows Platform was measurable success in the days of Windows Phone, and almost a billion devices with Windows 10 at least in theory should be for its developers a great base they target. In practice, it looks different. Developers are interested in either the mobile category (and this does not exist in the Windows world), or classic desktop applications.

Unlocking Android for WinRT or releasing a Windows 10X phone these are probably the only ways to resuscitate UWP. Microsoft is aware of these requests, but so far it satisfies them at most half a whistle.


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