By now you probably expect to be able to run software and services on lots of different platforms like Facebook works on your smartphone and on your pc and you can watch Netflix on your 4K TV, your computer or on your tablet. But supporting all these different devices means more work for software developers, sometimes to the point where they won’t even bother rewriting a programme that you like for different operating system or if they do it ends up being buggy and inferior. But fear, not the ever merciful Microsoft has come to our rescue with its Universal Window Platform or UWP.
An API that shifts between operating systems and the program to make it more easier for developers to code programs just once for a number of different devices even if they aren’t using a traditional x86 processor from Intel or AMD that is as long as those devices are running a Microsoft operating system. So UWP will work on Windows 10, the Xbox one and HoloLens.
So, UWP achieves this by having a number of core API’s that work behind the scenes to allow code to be understood and executed properly across these devices. It also got some features that are more visible to you , the consumer, like an ability to scale visual elements properly depending on whether you’re using an app on a large screen with a keyboard and mouse or a much smaller device with touch and if a developers want to add additional features that are only available in certain platforms like touchscreen toggle or keyboard support he or she can use adaptive code that will only run if the UWP app is running on that type of devices or even restrict the app to one platform.
You see this actually with certain games that are only intended to run on Xbox for licensing reasons or apps that are locked to touchscreen devices because their UI design requires it. But while Microsoft’s relational is that making UWP apps only available through the Window stores allow them to screen them for improved user security this move has opened the program up to a number of criticisms. One huge one is that this UWP + Windows store system is a walled garden meaning that this platform that Microsoft is extremely encouraging developers to code for originally could not be updated or even loaded outside of the Microsoft store making it is a fairly closed ecosystem.
This generated concern that Microsoft might be demanding too much control over what programs can and cannot be run on their devices and how they can be run. Although standard versions of windows 10 obviously allow you to run compatible programs from any source and Microsoft has updated Windows to allow loading of UWP apps directly from publishers without going through the Windows store. Microsoft is still trying to find creative ways to encourage users to fulfil all of their software needs from the Windows store as with the step down Windows 10 S and the more recent S mode for the regular Windows that prevents outside executables from being installed.
In fact, the CEO of epic games wasn’t shy about sharing his disdain for UWP despite the fact that his studio produced gears of war for a major UWP title speaking of gaming though. Although UWP does have the benefit of allowing you to play the same game on PC and Xbox without needing to buy it twice. In many cases enthusiasts have noticed that UWP has a tendency to lock down games in some ways prevents them from being modded working with multi-GPU setups or even simply not managing to play nicely with frame counting programs and these are just a few examples, So combine all of this with the fact that UWP is strictly for Microsoft operating systems and won’t improve the shamelessness of your experience If you don’t use an Xbox or a Windows.
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