This week early adopters will be able to go ahead and install the Windows 10 Creators Update using Microsoft's Update Assistant tool and next week it will begin a roll out over Windows Update on 11 April 2017.

Throughout the entire 8 1/2 month development cycle for this update, which has been known as Redstone 2, the Windows Team has slowly been adding new features to the operating system that can in turn be accessed by developers for use in their own Universal Windows Platform (UWP) apps.

One tool that has gotten a lot of attention and updates is the Desktop Bridge that enables developers to convert their desktop programs into UWP apps and take full advantage of the unique features that are available to those apps on Windows 10. Just a few of those features includes Live Tiles, App Services, Notifications, and the ability to eventual target any device running Windows 10. This would include Xbox, HoloLens, Mobile devices, and of course PC based tablets/computers.

The Desktop Bridge is implementing the following new features as part of the Creators Update:

-- User Transition and Data Migration between devices running the UWP version of a desktop program so that settings and accounts are synched across devices

-- User Transition for Taskbar Pins and Start Tiles so that the UWP version of the software is opened/accessed instead of the desktop version

-- User Transition for File Type Associations and Protocol Handlers so the UWp app can be selected as the default app for those file types

-- User Transition for Uninstalling Previous Desktop App when the UWP app is first launched to prevent confusion and data corruption

-- Windows Explorer Previews, Thumbnails, Detailed Properties, and Grouping by Kind

-- Support for Custom Fonts Sharing with other Apps

-- Out Of Process Server Support (Packaged COM)

-- Firewall Rules

-- Pre-installing of Apps

-- MAPI Support

-- Windows App Certification Kit includes Desktop Bridge Test Cases

-- URL Flag to support opening files from a URL instead of caching a local copy

I expect there will be a lot of focus on the Desktop Bridge next month during Microsoft's annual Build developer conference which is being held in Seattle from 10 - 12 May 2017.

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