Microsoft is turning Progressive Web Apps into Windows apps

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"We've been using the Bing Crawler to identify PWAs on the web for almost a year, and as we've reviewed the almost 1.5 million candidates, we've identified a small initial set of Progressive Web App experiences which we'll be indexing for Windows 10 customers to take for a spin over the coming weeks", the team wrote.

Progressive Web Apps are web applications that are run and delivered similar to a regular app from the Microsoft Store. Just like last year, Microsoft is expected to discuss about cloud, artificial intelligence, mixed reality and more at this year's developer conference.

In 2018, Microsoft will undoubtedly talk AI, Windows 10, HoloLens, Visual Studio, .NET, Azure, Xbox, and everything in between.

I'd assume Progressive Web Apps support in Windows 10 will be a hot topic.

Submitting their PWAs to the Microsoft Store gives developers control over how their app would appear, along with other benefits like access to user ratings and reviews and analytics on the number of installs, uninstalls, performance, crashes, and shares. Web App Manifests should have quality and Service Workers should be viewed as an enhancement. "Unlike typical web apps, PWAs are hosted on a server so they can be updated without having to issue updates to an app store", the team wrote in a post. Typically, Google I/O and Microsoft Build, the flagship developer conferences for both companies, happen within a week or two of each other in May. Maybe we'll hear some early info about Redstone 5, due to roll out around October 2018 at the event.

These apps will run in a sandboxed AppX container in Windows 10 and won't carry any browser window. As far as users are concerned, PWAs are coming soon, and will just be another thing you can grab from the Microsoft Store, bolstering the numbers of available apps.

Microsoft recommends that devs who want to differentiate their product on each platform develop native apps, rather than PWAs, but also stresses the cost and time savings of building a single PWA to run across all platforms.

Giving so much importance to PWAs puts a question mark on the future of UWP (Universal Windows Platform) apps. These technologies include Service Workers, which allows web apps and sites to more easily switch between working offline and online, and the Push and Cache APIs, bringing support for push notifications to web apps.

The support for PWAs within Windows 10 is being made possible by Microsoft adding support for newer web technologies to the OS' forthcoming EdgeHTML 17 engine.

Microsoft outlines the simple process for adding PWAs to the Microsoft Store.