Windows 11 - From a Developer's Perspective

Windows 11 - From a Developer's Perspective

Taking a big leap forward, Microsoft announced the launch of its newly redesigned operating system, Windows 11. Taking multiple queues from its predecessor, Windows 11 further polishes and builds on this wonderful platform. With a leaked build already surfacing on 15th June 2021, developers and reviewers already got their hands on the shiny new operating system from Microsoft even before the official unveiling which took place on June 24th. As Microsoft confirmed the several features of the leaked build, Microsoft also announced a new suite of tools and enhancements for developers to take advantage of Windows 11 in their daily workflow. But before we look at the major changes listed out for developers, here is a list of the overall new features, general users can expect from Windows 11.

A newly designed start menu and taskbar

Windows 11 adds a new start menu and taskbar which is aligned centrally, much reminiscent of the Windows X start menu. With a modern fresh UI, rounded edges and new sounds, the start menu offers a search bar on the top, your pinned apps below while a recommendation tab at the bottom listing out the most recently used files, a much better implementation of the old timeline feature of Windows 10.

New Snapping Features and desktops

For developers and other power, users will definitely love the new and improved snapping features that allow you to allocate screen space to your apps with ease. Organise your windows better so you can see what you need. Windows 11 also introduced a feature of several separate Desktops.

A redesigned Microsoft Store and Android Apps on PC

Perhaps the biggest highlight of this launch, along with a redesigned Microsoft Store, Windows 11 is bringing support native android apps straight from the Microsoft store. Thanks to a collaboration with Amazon, Microsoft has been able to integrate the Amazon app store to open the world Android apps to the users.

What’s new for the developers?

Now that we have covered the basic new features of Windows 11, here are some of the new features for developers to make their lives much easier.

Windows App SDK

The new name for WinUI 3 and Project Reunion, Windows App SDK brings developers a unified set of APIs and tools to enable the development of desktop apps for both Windows 10 and Windows 11. Choose your language, UI and technology and share your apps with the community. It is important to note that the new Windows App SDK does not override or replace any desktop app types like C++, Win32 or .NET, but provides common sets of APIs and tools that various developers across these platforms can take advantage of, complementing the existing platforms.

  • WinUI: The WinUI or the commonly known as the Windows UI library is a native UX framework for both UWP and desktop apps for Windows. The Fluent Design System, allows the WinUI to provide the best user experience using the latest UI patterns.
  • WinRT API reference: Windows 11 brings out hundreds of new APIs for the developers covering inking, automation and more.
  • WinRT API reference: Windows 11 brings out hundreds of new APIs for the developers covering inking, automation and more.

GameStack

The new GameStack can be a boon for developers as it offers several tools and services used by game developers around the world. The new GDK or Game Development Kit makes your life much easier by offering access to the tools, libraries and documentation needed to build some amazing games on Windows.

  • Azure PlayFab: The Azure PlayFab is one of the biggest online services powering the biggest games of this generation. From cross network Identity and data management to Leader boards and Statistics, PlayFab offers great flexibility for game developers for their upcoming projects.
  • Havok: This industry leading game physics engine has been the top choice for over 20 years for leading game developers. More than half of the triple A titles and several indie titles take advantage of the Havok engine like Doom Eternal, Far Cry New Dawn, Wolfenstein: Youngblood, Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 and many more.
  • Xbox services: Highly integrated Xbox services means developers can easily create and publish games with Xbox. With several tools, APIs, error handling, debugging and more, Windows 11 brings out the best of game developers giving them the opportunity to get your game on the Microsoft Store faster. Developers will be able to integrate Xbox SDK seamlessly with several of the popular game development frameworks to deploy their games across several platforms.

The Microsoft Store

The newly redesigned Microsoft store allows your app to reach out to millions of PC users all over the world. Developers can take advantage of the redesign to have new channels for discovery.

  • Always Open: The Microsoft Store invites developers to distribute your apps from the Store without having to worry about what the app framework is or the packaging tool that you used.
  • PWA: Building progressive web apps have become strikingly simple with PWABuilder 3. Use the Microsoft Edge dev tools to debug PWA supports and publish your PWA on the Microsoft store to open a world of new commerce tools and capabilities.

The official version of the Windows 11 build is scheduled to release this holiday season with even more features being awaited in the forthcoming developer builds. If you would like to try Windows 11 before the launch, be sure to grab the ISO file from the official Microsoft website, or opt to become an Insider for Windows from the settings section of Windows 10 to automatically receive the upgrade from the Windows Update section.

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