Progressive Web Apps (PWA) on Windows 10

Windows 10 (Redstone 4) to include support for Progressive Web Apps

The next major release of Windows 10, coming in 2018, will include support for alternative native apps known as Progressive Web Apps.

Microsoft plans to bring Progressive Web Apps (PWA) to Windows 10 with version 1803. During the Edge Summit, the company revealed that is working to bring full support for web apps in the next major update of Windows 10 due in early 2018.

Progressive Web Apps are an alternative to native apps on Windows 10. These new type of apps are just web apps wrapped into a “.appx” container that can be distributed through the Windows Store in all screen sizes (e.g., phone, desktop, game console, and headset). Unlike website services, Progressive Web Apps can work offline, and they also work over HTTPS.

Basically, for the end user, these new web apps will work just like any native app you download from the Windows Store, but they’re just built differently.

Interesting enough, Microsoft is already testing a few Progressive Web Apps, and on Windows 10, it’s now possible to enable this feature by turning on Service Workers on Microsoft Edge through the about:flags page. Eventually, this feature will be enabled by default on Windows 10, and full support is expected to arrive with the release of the Windows 10 Redstone 4.

While web apps are a promising alternative to native apps, only time will tell if this approach will benefit Microsoft to overcome the lack of good apps in the Windows Store.