Finally making use of the Desktop Bridge announced during Build 2016, Microsoft will now allow third-party developers to bring existing desktop apps into the Windows Store. While the store was mostly an emporium for Microsoft's own universal apps in the past, this week's update makes a push towards one unified store for everything Windows.
In the first rollout, Microsoft worked with developers to bring apps like Evernote, Arduino IDE, doubleTwist, PhotoScape, MAGIX Movie Edit Pro, Virtual Robotics Kit and more into the store. As Microsoft's VP of Windows Developer Kevin Gallo notes in his blog post, "these are the same apps that customers know and love," only now they get the added security that comes with MSFT's store management. Most importantly, by opening up the store, third-party developers now have the ability to easily port apps to all devices in the Windows ecosystem from PCs and phones to XBox One and HoloLens. Essentially, the Desktop Bridge gives all developers the ability to create Universal Windows Platform apps and make use of all the APIs that come with it, including Cortana and the Action Center.
Finally, to make things even easier for developers, Microsoft is announcing new Desktop Bridge support from three of the most popular installer technologies: InstallShield, WiX and Advanced Installer. The Desktop App Converter itself is currently available for download directly from the Windows Store.