Package desktop applications (Desktop Bridge)

Take your existing windows desktop applications and spice them up with a modern user experience for Windows 10.
For ISV’s this is a great opportunity to embrace the future for application deployment and packaging, achieve greater reach across international markets by distributing applications with the Microsoft Store.

Of course, you don’t have to use the store. Feel free to use your existing channels.

When you create a package for your desktop application, your application will get an identity and with that identity, your desktop application has access to Windows Universal Platform (UWP) APIs. You can use them to light up modern and engaging experiences such as live tiles and notifications. Use simple conditional compilation and runtime checks to run UWP code only when your application runs on Windows 10.

Aside from the code that you use to light up Windows 10 experiences, your application remains unchanged and you can continue to distribute it to your existing Windows 7, Windows Vista, or Windows XP user base. On Windows 10, your application continues to run in full-trust user mode just like it’s doing today.


Here’s some reasons to create a Windows App package for your desktop application:

✔️ Streamlined deployment. Apps and games that use the bridge have a great deployment experience. This experience ensures that users can confidently install an application and update it. If a user chooses to uninstall the app, it’s removed completely with no trace left behind. This reduces time authoring setup experiences and keeping users up-to-date.

✔️ Automatic updates and licensing. Your application can participate in the Microsoft Store’s built-in licensing and automatic update facilities. Automatic update is a highly reliable and efficient mechanism, because only the changed parts of files are downloaded.

✔️ Increased reach and simplified monetization. Choosing to distribute through the Microsoft Store expands your reach to millions of Windows 10 users, who can acquire apps, games and in-app purchases with local payment options.

✔️ Add UWP features. At your own pace, you can add UWP features to your app’s package, like a XAML user-interface, live tile updates, UWP background tasks, app services, and many more.

✔️ Broadened use-cases across device. Using the bridge, you can gradually migrate your code to the Universal Windows Platform to reach every Windows 10 device, including phones, Xbox One and HoloLens.

To view a more complete list of benefits, see Desktop Bridge.