Microsoft officially unveiled Windows 11 earlier today and while there are a lot of exciting announcements regarding the upcoming OS, the one that we are most excited about is the Progressive Web App (PWA) or Web App support within the new Microsoft Store for apps.
What Has Microsoft Announced?
Microsoft announced on their Windows blog the new Microsoft Store for Windows 11. Specifically, they stated, “support for more app types such as Win32, .NET, and PWAs, as well as support for Android apps from the Amazon Store.” Updated developer tools were also outlined that allow app development companies like McNair Media to be able to build modern PWAs for our clients.
What is a Web App Anyway?
The definition of a web application or “web app” has changed over the years. The most accepted definition is that a web application or “web app” is a software program that runs on a web server. Web apps are also driven through a web browser. This used to require that the app had to run in a browser window (Gmail and Google Docs are popular web applications) but now you can install a web app like you would an app that was coded in a legacy “WIN32” framework.
As applications evolve into being heavily dependent on a consistent internet connection, the benefits of natively coding an application within the platform’s native application development tools wanes. It is also important to point out that Microsoft itself codes apps like Microsoft Teams as web apps. This has allowed them to scale MS Teams up and deploy across multiple computing platforms.
Why is Windows 11 Important?
Microsoft supporting web apps within Windows 11’s software application store is critical in that it will increase the adoption of web app technologies by other platforms. Microsoft’s Windows holds around 77% of the global desktop market share. If a business or organization is looking at making a custom application of some kind, deployment as a web app allows for the app to not only work there, but on macOS, Android, Linux, ChromeOS and within the browser on Apple’s Safari on iOS.
Web apps are typically cheaper to develop and deploy due to being built on web coding standards. The other benefit is that you can take a web app and repackage it for macOS, Android and Linux. If the goal of the project is to have the most cross platform application possible, approaching the project as a web app is the most cost-effective way to have a wide release. Being able to code in one language and confidently deploy your application to 100% of all desktop computers means that you don’t have to worry about the computing device being used by the end user. This can also drive down the IT support costs of an application in that there is one code base to update and manage.
What does this mean for you?
If your business or organization is looking to develop either a consumer facing or internal business application, you now can build that application in a more cost-effective manner while still having a robust and commercial-grade application that meets your specific needs. We provide a variety of services when it comes to web apps including web app consulting as well as web app development.