Onwards with the journey! Microsoft announced Project Reunion at BUILD last year, its attempt to bring the two radically different worlds of UWP and Win32 together.
This, the company is trying to accomplish by decoupling APIs from the operating system, and making them available to be used together without needing the latest version of Windows 10. And today, the software titan has officially released Project Reunion as version 0.5.
As the announcement post details, this initial release comes with a few limitations, but it has had some significant groundwork done. It supports WinUI 3, WebView 2, and .NET 5, so you can already build desktop applications with these technologies.
As for Windows version support, it goes all the way back to Windows 10 version 1809.
With Project Reunion, you get access to Win32 features as well as modern Windows technologies and features that are usually designed around the UWP platform.
Redmond also has a number of partnerships in progress that will help integrate Project Reunion into other platforms. One of them is the Uno Platform that enables developers to port WinUI based apps into multiple platforms like WebAssembly, Android, and iOS.
Getting down to the limitations, the biggest one is that it is not possible to build unpackaged apps with Project Reunion just yet. Support for them is on the roadmap for later this year, so you will likely not have to wait too long.
You can also only build traditional desktop software, not UWP apps. Plus, there is no support for multiwindow applications, even as these features are available in the current version 0.5 preview.
That is most probably due to the fact that this is a stable and supported release, and some features are not available yet. Meaning, you will not be able to reference them.
Visual Studio 16.10 Preview or newer is what you need to get started with Project Reunion, and there is even a new Project Reunion 0.5 extension available. Simply follow these steps to set things up, and dive into development.
And for those of you who would like to keep tabs on support for features like windowing and unpackaged apps that should arrive by the end of the year, can do so with the help of the roadmap that Microsoft has put together for 2021.