It was over a year ago when Microsoft outlined its plans to bring Progressive Web Apps (PWA) to Windows 10. Now that plan is becoming a reality, with Microsoft giving users a preview of PWAs and breaking down its strategy to bring them to the Microsoft Store.
Progressive Web Apps are web applications that are run and delivered similar to a regular app from the Microsoft Store. These apps are built on or optimized by web technologies like Cache API, Fetch networking, Push notifications, Service Worker, and Web App Manifest. This suite of tools will all be automatically enabled when EdgeHTML 17, the latest version of the Edge's rendering engine, goes live sometime in the spring.
Users can download PWAs from the Microsoft Store. It will run in its own sandboxed area as an AppX file, doing away with the need for an open browser. Since these apps do not require any platform-oriented code, developers can design apps that can run on various platforms.
In a blog post, the Microsoft team revealed that they have been using the Bing Crawler to search out and review PWAs that they're thinking of offering in the app store. There's reportedly a shortlist of PWAs that have already been picked for initial testing.
Microsoft is also welcoming developers to proactively send their Progressive Web Apps to them. But the applications would have to meet certain standards, though. The Redmond-based company has set several quality control measures for developers building PWAs. Some of these measures include sites mandated to be secure and should take into account automated testing for quality. Web App Manifests should have quality and Service Workers should be viewed as an enhancement. Lastly, the PWA has to comply with the policies of the Microsoft Store.
Submitting their PWAs to the Microsoft Store gives developers control over how their app would appear, along with other benefits like access to user ratings and reviews and analytics on the number of installs, uninstalls, performance, crashes, and shares.[Featured image via Microsoft]