Build 2020: These are the Windows 10 features that will help improve app creation and installation

Arif Bacchus

Windows 10 Sign Logo NYC

As usual, at Build 2020, Microsoft is using the conference as a chance to talk about app development for the Windows 10 operating system. From Powertoys, Windows Terminal, the Windows Subsystem for Linux, and more, here’s all the Windows 10 tools and features that Microsoft says will help improve app creation and installation on Windows this year.

First, there’s some news about Windows 10 itself. Microsoft says that people are now spending more than 4 trillion minutes on Windows 10 a month, to work, learn and connect. The company says that this marks a 75% increase year-over-year. With all the interest in Windows, that’s why they’ve introduced Project Reunion, a development effort that sets out to allow developers to easily integrate across Win32 and UWP APIs.

That in mind, there are four core stories coming out of Build that relate to Windows 10 and app development. These include some new GPU and GUI support features coming to the Windows Subsystem for Linux, some new features for Microsoft PowerToys, the launch of Windows Terminal 1.0 for enterprise use, and some new developer tools for Windows 10.

When it comes to Windows Subsystem for Linux, Microsoft is adding support for GPU compute workloads. This should enable users to run Linux features faster alongside Windows apps and will enable hardware acceleration for many development scenarios. The new support for GUI apps will also allow users to pen a WSL instance and run a Linux GUI app directly without a third-party server.

Additionally, they are also adding PowerToys run and keyboard remapper, coming in the 0.18 release of PowerToys. PowerToys run will enables users to quickly access and launch applications, and keyboard remapper allows them to customize keyboard inputs.

When it comes to Windows 10 features for developers, there’s a lot to digest. Most important of them all is that Microsoft is introducing a preview of WinUI 3. This will allow allows Windows app developers to include desktop-style apps in the UWP.

There’s also a preview of Windows Package Manager coming soon, which is a tool designed for quick and easy searching, viewing, and installing commonly used developer tools. Other new Windows features for developers are below.

  • Windows SDK Build Tools NuGet package that will make it easier for developers to adopt MSIX
  • A preview of the new Windows SDK .NET package, which will provide a .NET interop assembly for all Windows WinRT application programming interfaces
  • The launch of C#/WinRT, a tool to create WinRT projections for .NET

Finally, Microsoft is bringing the Windows terminal to the enterprise. This was previously available for everyone else through the Microsoft Store, but it now comes to enterprise situations, too. The tool is a modern, fast, and powerful terminal application for users of command-line tools and shells such as Command Prompt, PowerShell, and WSL.