Project Centennial: A toolkit that enables desktop developers to package and publish their existing .NET and Win32-based Windows applications to the Windows Store. Developers can also use Centennial to call common UWP APIs and services.

By now, most of us are familiar with Microsoft’s two big projects — Astoria and Islandwood. For those who didn’t know, Astoria was Microsoft’s Windows Bridge for Android, allowing Android app developers to port their app to Windows using their existing code.


Due to “developer confusion,” Microsoft announced recently that Project Astoria was being killed off.

Project Islandwood, Microsoft’s Windows Bridge for iOS, enables iOS app developers to build Universal Windows Platform apps using their existing Objective-C code. So far, this project is full steam ahead.

There are other projects available that aim to help app developers flock to Microsoft’s platform. With the Silverlight bridge, Microsoft is hoping to make it easy for Windows Phone Silverlight developers to update their older Windows Phone apps to take advantage of the Universal Windows Platform.

Then there is Project Centennial, which was announced during Microsoft’s Build 2015 developer conference. This project aims to help developers publish their .NET and Win32 desktop applications to the Windows Store — and this is important.

Microsoft wants the Windows Store to flourish with apps and the only way to entice developers is to help them port their existing apps and applications with various toolkits. Since there are over 60 million “classic” Windows applications, it makes sense to port as many of these over to the Universal Windows Platform.

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Since there are over 60 million “classic” Windows applications, it makes sense to port as many of these over to the Universal Windows Platform. After all, most developers have a huge investment in their code and instead of re-writing their applications to take advantage of the newer platform, Microsoft created Project Centennial to help port those applications as Universal Windows 10 apps.

You can watch an in-depth video below showcasing Project Centennial during Build 2015.

At the moment, these tools are in limited testing with a select number of developers. Once Microsoft gathers enough feedback, the Redmond giant will make these toolkits broadly available. Interesting developers can sign up here for Project Centennial.

To make it easier for you to bring your existing code to Windows 10 and the Windows Store, Microsoft is releasing a number of Windows Bridge toolkits. Initial releases of the bridges are being made available as Limited Developer Preview programs, which are scoped to a limited number of developers. By limiting the number of developers involved, the engineering team is better able to get the feedback necessary to advance the toolkit and to ensure that the toolkits meet the needs of the developer community. As each bridge evolves, Microsoft will make it more broadly available.

As an app developer, do you feel Project Centennial has potential? What does Microsoft need to do in order to entice app developers to flood the Windows Store with quality apps? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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