Category Archives: Windows Store

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This Week on Windows: The Windows 10 Fall Creators Update, Surface Book 2 and more

We hope you enjoyed this week’s episode of This Week on Windows, where we’re talking about the new Surface Book 2 and everything in the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update! Head over here to read more about this week’s news, check out the Surface Book 2, or, find out what’s new in the Fall Creators Update.
In case you missed it:

Here’s what’s new in the Windows Store:
 Happy Hallowdays
 
Spook up your Halloween with this Collection of terrifying games, chilling entertainment, and haunting apps – on sale now through Oct. 31, 2017.
The Dark Tower

The fate of worlds lies with the last Gunslinger (Idris Elba), the only one who can defend the Dark Tower – which holds the universe together – from the Man in Black (Matthew McConaughey). Watch good and evil collide in The Dark Tower ($14.99 HD/SD), based on the best-selling book series by Stephen King. Get it now in the Movies & TV section of the Windows Store, two full weeks before it comes to Blu-ray!
Thumper

For a shattering combo of racing and rhythm games, Thumper ($19.99) sets a new bar, with classic rhythm action, blistering speed and brutal physicality. You are a space beetle, screaming down an endless track and crashing through punishing obstacles with simple, airtight controls.
Have a great weekend!

Visual Studio 2017 Update 4 makes it easy to modernize your desktop application and make it store ready

Last year with the Windows 10 Anniversary Update, we introduced the Desktop Bridge to provide desktop applications a path to modernize with the Universal Windows Platform, and to distribute via the Windows Store and the Microsoft Store for Business to all Windows 10 PCs, including devices that are running the Windows 10 S configuration.
The primary developer tool at the time was the Desktop App Converter, a tool that converts your current app installer into a Windows app package (.appx file), which can be submitted to the Windows Store or deployed via your distribution mechanism of choice. With Update 4 for Visual Studio 2017 we now have great support directly in Visual Studio for your Windows desktop application projects (WPF, Winforms, Win32, etc.). With the new tools you can now as you develop them in VS by simply hitting F5!
Let me walk you through an example, step-by-step. I am starting out with this Winforms app that showcases various chart controls. It’s been created several years ago in an older version of VS against .NET 4. Now my goal is to release it in the Windows Store and incrementally modernize it. Here is how easy it is now with Update 4 for Visual Studio 2017.

Step 1 – Add Windows App Packaging project to the solution
Before we start we need to make sure our desktop application project is loaded in Visual Studio 2017 and builds without error. Then in the next step we want to package our application as a Windows App Package (.appx file) so our Winforms app can take advantage of all the same Windows 10 app deployment features that are available to UWP apps: clean install & uninstall, seamless updates, Store distribution and many more. To do this, we will take advantage of the new tooling features introduced in Update 4 for Visual Studio 2017. We are adding a new project of type “Windows Application Packaging Project” to our solution:

Now we need to specify our min/target versions…

…and let the packaging  project know which project output to include in the package. To do so we right-click on the “Applications” node and set a reference to our Winforms project – done!

Important! Select the “DistributionPackage” project as your startup project. Now hit F5 and watch how your app gets packaged, deployed and launched as a Desktop Bridge app. You can start testing and debugging in this new execution context. If you set the Winforms project as startup project and hit F5, you can still test and debug the unpackaged version of your application
Step 2 – Configure app for Windows Store release
Our app is already running as a Desktop Bridge app now and we have successfully tested and debugged it in this configuration. Next we just need to put some finishing touches on the package so it integrates nicely with the Windows 10 Shell (tiles, badges, etc.) and to make sure it conforms to the Store submission requirements. First thing, we need to replace the default visual assets that come with the project template with our real, application-specific assets. This is very easy now in Visual Studio 2017 with the Visual Assets Manager in the package manifest editor:

To prepare for our Store submission we need to create the application in the Windows Dev Center and reserve our application name, provide screenshots for the store front, set the price, age ratings, etc. If you are not planning to distribute via the Windows Store, you can skip this step.

Last thing we need to do before we can release our app to the public is create a package bundle that is ready to deploy and Store-compliant. This bundle can contain binaries for different architectures, resources for different locales as well as the symbols for our binaries so we can later make sense of any crash reports in the Dev Center or Mobile Center. This can be done for Desktop Bridge apps directly from Visual Studio now, just like you would do for any UWP app:

As part of creating the packages we also run the certification tests and then submit the package to the Dev Center for certification and publishing. You can try the result of my submission out now and install the sample app on your machine from the Store by clicking on the badge below – source code for the app is available for your reference here.

What else does this enable for developers?
Aside from distributing and monetizing via Windows Store, your app now enjoys the modern deployment capabilities built into Windows 10. You don’t need to build an installer anymore, updates are automatic and differential. Uninstalls are guaranteed to be clean. Moreover, since your app is now in the Windows 10 App Model, you have access to UWP APIs and features, such as live tiles, Cortana integration, background tasks etc. Another important benefit specifically for Windows Forms apps is the new high DPI support in .NET 4.7, which is included in the Windows Creators Update (1703). Our sample app here is taking advantage of this new support, by following the steps outlined in this article.
And there is more
Talking about installers, did you know that your app package is also your installer on Windows 10? Users can just click to install it, as long as it’s signed with a certificate that is trusted on the target device. This enables you to distribute your modernized desktop application in the way that’s right for your scenario, without having to go through the Store – e.g. for LOB applications in an enterprise. Learn more about it here.

Conclusion
Getting your desktop application development project ready for Windows Store submission is easy now with Visual Studio 2017 Update 4. Once converted to a Windows App Package your app can take advantage of all the Windows 10 platform capabilities and start using new APIs and features on Windows 10. Here are some resources for more details:
Desktop Bridge docs
Desktop Bridge samples
App Modernization video on Channel 9
Are you ready to submit your desktop application to the Windows Store? Let us know about it here, and we will help you through the process!

This Week on Windows: Marimekko, Surface, Middle Earth: Shadow of War and more

This Week on Windows, we’re celebrating a milestone, showcasing new Surface designer accessories and we’re showing off Middle Earth: Shadow of War! Head over here to learn more about Marimekko and Microsoft Surface, check out our Windows 10 Tip on how to work more efficiently with MyAnalytics or keep reading to see what’s new in the Windows Store.
In case you missed it:

Here’s what’s new in the Windows Store:
Middle Earth: Shadow of War

Go behind enemy lines to forge your army, conquer Fortresses and dominate Mordor from within. Experience how the award-winning Nemesis System creates unique personal stories with every enemy and follower, and confront the full power of the Dark Lord Sauron and his Ringwraiths. In the epic new story of Middle Earth: Shadow of War Gold Edition ($99.99), nothing will be forgotten.
 Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy: The Telltale Series, Episode 4

The fate of the Eternity Forge has been decided, but Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy Episode 4 ($4.99; $19.99 for a Season Pass) from Telltale Games opens with the Guardians more bitterly divided than ever. This growing tension is temporarily sidelined, however, by a more pressing problem: escaping a dark and treacherous cavern before they all are eaten alive.
War for the Planet of the Apes

In the trilogy’s stunning final chapter, Caesar and his apes will face an army of humans on the battlefield in an epic confrontation that will determine the fate of both their species…and the fate of the planet itself. War for the Planet of the Apes is available now in the Movies & TV section of the Windows Store, two weeks before it comes to Blu-ray.
Have a great weekend!

This Week on Windows: Forza Motorsport 7, Windows Mixed Reality headsets and more

We hope you enjoyed this week’s episode of This Week on Windows! In case you missed it, learn how to pre-order your Windows Mixed Reality headset or how you can export your Minecraft creations to Remix3D.com.
In case you missed it:

Dell introduces new Inspiron 5000 Series powered by Windows 10

This week, Dell announced the new Inspiron 5000 series laptops offering the perfect blend of style and entertainment. The new Windows 10 devices, available now in 15 and 17 inches, are thinner and sleeker with more sophisticated color options including platinum silver, black, sparkling white, rose gold and recon blue*.
Other features include:
A brilliant FHD resolution screen and Dell’s exclusive Smartbyte technology. Smartbyte is a network optimization software that prioritizes streaming and conferencing above other network activities
MaxxAudio Pro, an audio solution that allows your favorite music and movies on your laptop to sound just like they do in the theatre or studio
The new Intel 8th Gen Intel Core processors, optional GDDR5 discrete graphics and up to 32GB of DDR4 RAM
In addition to traditional HDD and SSD drives, the Inspiron 5000 series is future-ready with NVME SSD and Intel Optane memory options
Windows Hello, so you can bypass the password and log in with the optional fingerprint reader located on the power button
The Inspiron 5000 Series is available at Dell.com, and start at $699.99 USD for the 15-inch and $549.99 US for the 17-inch, with multiple upgrades and options available to meet your entertainment and everyday computing needs.
Here’s what’s new in the Windows Store:
Gwent: The Witcher Card Game (Preview)

Gwent: The Witcher Card Game (Free) is a different type of collectible card game – one based on skill rather than luck. Command customizable armies, hone your strategy and prepare to use deception to defeat your opponents. As you sling powerful unit and spell cards and summon heroes with game-changing abilities, remember that your clever tricks are fair game in Gwent.
Cuphead

Cuphead ($19.99) has arrived on Windows 10 & Xbox One! Cuphead is a side-scrolling action platformer with a heavy focus on boss battles. Traverse the interactive overworlds to help Cuphead and Mugman repay their debt to the devil on a bet they shouldn’t have made.
Batman: The Enemy Within, Episode 2

The death of a villain was just the beginning. Now, as Batman: The Enemy Within ($4.99 Episode 2; Season Pass Ep 2-5, $19.99) opens, explosions are rocking Gotham. Batman races to face a new foe but will the force he meets cause even the Dark Knight to fall?
Forza Motorsport 7 Ultimate Edition

Get ready for the thrill of motorsport at the limit. Gear up for the most comprehensive, beautiful and authentic racing game ever made. Forza Motorsport 7 is here, available worldwide today on Xbox One and Windows 10 PCs. Read more over at Xbox Wire!
Pinball FX3

Pinball FX3 (Free, with IAP options) is the biggest, most community-driven pinball game ever – and for pinball fans, that means it’s full of multiplayer matchups, non-stop tournaments and league play with endless opportunities for pinball competition. What started with 68 tables has grown and grown, with new tables released regularly. And now, updated graphics deliver dynamic lighting and real-time shadows for even more realistic play.
Have a great weekend!
*Color availability varies in each region, based on local customer demand.

Forza Motorsport 7 now available worldwide on Xbox One and Windows 10 PCs

Standard Edition – This edition features the full version of the game running at a silky smooth 60 frames per second. Players can collect over 700 Forzavista™ cars including the largest assortment of Ferraris, Porsches, and Lamborghinis in any racing game. With over 30 world-famous environments and tracks featuring dynamic weather and race conditions that change every time you return to the track, no two races are the same.
Deluxe Edition – Deluxe Edition includes the full version of the game, VIP membership ($20 value), and both the Hoonigan and Fate of the Furious car packs.
Ultimate Edition – This edition is for the Forza fan wanting it all. In addition to the content in the Deluxe Edition, Ultimate Edition owners will have access to the Forza Motorsport 7 Car Pass ($30 value).
And with Xbox One X coming Nov. 7 even more players will get to experience gorgeous graphics in native 4K, at 60fps and HDR. If you haven’t experienced Forza Motorsport 7 yet, check it out now by downloading the free demo from the Windows Store here. See you on the track!

Microsoft to bring Spotify to Groove Music Pass customers

With the continued advancement of music streaming today, all the world’s music has become easily accessible across a variety of devices, unlocking new ways to discover and experience music. As we continue to listen to what our customers want in their music experience we know that access to the best streaming service, the largest catalog of music, and a variety of subscriptions is top of the list.
Which is why we’re excited to announce that we’re expanding our partnership with Spotify to bring the world’s largest music streaming service to our Groove Music Pass customers. Beginning this week*, Groove Music Pass customers can easily move all their curated playlists and collections directly into Spotify. Plus, you may be eligible for a 60-day free trial of Spotify Premium.**

We will continue to invest in and update the Groove Music app on all Windows devices to support playback and management of owned music, but after December 31, 2017, the Groove Music app will no longer offer the option to stream, purchase, and download music.
Transition your music with just a few clicks
Beginning this week for Windows Insiders and rolling out broadly next week**, Groove Music Pass subscribers will be able to easily transition existing music collections and playlists to Spotify with a few clicks.
Here’s how:
1. Launch the latest Groove app: Log into the latest Groove app version from the Windows Store or Xbox One. Once you’re signed into your account, you’ll see a pop-up window from Spotify with instructions on how to login or create a Spotify account.

2. Log in to Spotify:
If you have an existing Spotify account, you’ll be prompted to input your username and password.
If you’re new to Spotify, and on your PC, you’ll be asked a few basic questions to help you create an account, starting with a username.

3. Move your music: After signing into your Spotify account, we’ll move your music collection and playlists from Groove Music to Spotify.

4. Play music in Spotify: The process of moving your music to your Spotify account will take a few minutes. After completing step three, you’ll be able to listen to your music library in the Spotify app!

Spotify is the world’s largest music streaming service
With Spotify on Windows, music fans will enjoy an incredible music streaming experience with a catalog of more than 30 million songs, popular playlists like Today’s Top Hits, RapCaviar, and Rock. This, plus on-demand access across all your devices (PCs, mobile phones, tablets, home entertainment systems, cars, gaming consoles, including the recently launched Spotify on Xbox One, and more).
Whether you prefer to curate your own playlists or seek inspiration from others, Spotify’s extensive music library offers everything from the classics to classical, pop to hip hop, jazz, country, and the list goes on! Spotify also offers music fans a personalized music experience with playlists like Discover Weekly and Release Radar, so you can always hear your next favorite song.
Exploring the music collection is as simple as searching keywords, browsing playlists, or discovering new music through tunes picked just for your taste.
More partner music experiences to choose from
The Windows Store offers a variety of music services in addition to Spotify, allowing customers to stream or download their favorite tunes wherever they are. Visit the Windows Store for a complete list of music services available.
Our partners are at the center of delivering great experiences on Windows and enabling them to shine on our platform is a top priority. By collaborating closely with industry leaders like Spotify, we can deliver the music customers want and focus on new and innovative ways to experience music.
Thanks to our community for your support on this journey. Feel free to check out the FAQ.
*An update to the Groove Music app including the ability to move music to Spotify, will be available for Windows Insiders beginning this week. The Groove Music app update for Windows 10 and Xbox One devices will roll out broadly the week of October 9, 2017 and will enable Groove Music Pass customers to move existing music collections and playlists to Spotify. Groove Music Pass content will be available to move to Spotify until at least January 31, 2018.
 **To find out whether you may be eligible for a 60-day free trial of Spotify Premium, check out our FAQ.

Cuphead available today for Windows 10 and Xbox One

You can get the all-cartoon Magical Wondergame, on Xbox One and Windows 10 as an Xbox Play Anywhere title (buy once to play on both console and PC)! We are a mixed bag of emotions to be able to bring you something we only dreamt of creating since we were kids.
Get Cuphead on Windows 10
Cuphead is a side-scrolling action platformer with a heavy focus on boss battles. Traverse the interactive overworlds to help Cuphead and Mugman repay their debt to the devil on a bet they shouldn’t have made. This game was hand crafted using painstaking methods straight from the golden age of animation to capture the aesthetic of classic Disney and Fleischer Studios cartoons.
You can read more over at Xbox Wire. Above all, we hope you simply have fun with Cuphead!

Play Forza Motorsport 7 four days early with today’s release of the Ultimate Edition

In addition to early access to Forza Motorsport 7, Ultimate Edition owners receive the Forza Motorsport 7 Car Pass, VIP membership and cars, and both the Hoonigan and Fate of the Furious car packs.
Download the free Xbox One demos from the Windows Store!
In Forza Motorsport 7, players on the Xbox One family of devices will experience racing at silky smooth 60 frames per second, HDR (Xbox One S and Windows 10 PCs), and 4K on Windows 10 PCs while collecting over 700 Forzavista™ cars, including the largest assortment of Ferraris, Porsches, and Lamborghinis in any racing game. With over 30 world-famous environments and tracks featuring dynamic weather and race conditions that change every time you return to the track; no two races are the same. And with Xbox One X coming Nov. 7, even more players will experience gorgeous graphics in native 4K, at 60fps and HDR, too.
In celebration of the game’s launch, on Sept. 30 at 1 p.m. PDT, Tanner Foust – professional driver whose awards include four X Games gold medals, three Global Rallycross championships and two Formula Drift national championships –  will go head-to-head with 2017 Indy Car Season Champion Josef Newgarden in the all-new Forza Motorsport 7 on Xbox Live Sessions, an interactive livestream hosted on the Mixer Xbox Channel. For even more details on the livestream, check out our Xbox Wire post from earlier this week.
Download the free Xbox One demos from the Windows Store here. See you on the track!

This Week on Windows: Hit Refresh, Ignite, Halo Wars 2, Excel and more

We hope you enjoyed this week’s episode of This Week on Windows! In case you missed it, read all about the news from Ignite, and check out our Windows 10 Tip how you can work better together with Microsoft Excel.
In case you missed it:

Here’s what’s new in the Windows Store:
GAMES
Halo Wars 2: Complete Edition & Awakening the Nightmare Expansion

The explosive, real-time strategy of Halo Wars 2: Complete Edition ($59.99) is here and includes Halo Wars 2, Halo Wars 2 Season Pass and the Awakening the Nightmare expansion released today (included with Complete Edition, or $19.99 Standalone), delivering new blur cinematics and five campaign missions, including fight against the Flood from the Banished’s perspective.
Raiders of the Broken Planet (Free, with IAP options)

Challenging missions and playing for good or evil are the key elements of Raiders of the Broken Planet. Whether you’re playing 4 vs 1 or solo, whether you’re competing for valuable rewards or not, the world of Raiders offers epic battles against human invaders and warriors who know no fear.
MOVIES & TV
Game of Thrones Season 7

As new alliances are forged, and old enemies meet each other on the battlefield, the Night King and his terrifying army of the undead threaten all of Westeros from the North. Watch every thrilling episode of the penultimate season of Game of Thrones ($27.99 HD, $20.99 SD) available now in the Movies & TV section of the Windows Store.
Star Trek: Discovery on CBS (Subscription Required, Free Trial Available)

Fifty years ago, Star Trek debuted on television and an entertainment genre was born. Now, Star Trek: Discovery premieres on CBS All Access (Subscription Required, Free Trial Available) to show us what happened in the years leading up to Kirk, Spock and the Enterprise. That means a new ship, new characters and new missions. Watch it today with the CBS app for Windows 10.
Spider-Man: Homecoming ($19.99 HD, $14.99 SD)

With guidance from his mentor Tony Stark, Spider-Man begins to navigate his new identity as a superhero in Spider-Man: Homecoming. Watch the hit film tonight, available in the Movies & TV section of the Windows Store three weeks before Blu-ray. Plus, for a limited time, purchase Spider-Man: Homecoming and receive a free add-on for the Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite game on Xbox One! For full details, visit: aka.ms/mmtv
Have a great week!

Halo Wars 2: Awakening the Nightmare now available on Windows 10 PC and Xbox One

The hotly anticipated arrival of Halo Wars 2’s new expansion is finally here and with it, a new opportunity to take one of humanity’s oldest adversaries: The Flood. Awakening the Nightmare is a brand-new full expansion for Halo Wars 2, featuring new campaign missions played from a Banished perspective, two new multiplayer leaders, two new multiplayer maps, and Terminus Firefight – a unique new cooperative mode where players build both bases and armies to defend and survive against an onslaught of enemy forces.
With the release of the new expansion and several months of updates to Halo Wars 2 since launch, the Ultimate Edition of the game will be replaced with Halo Wars 2: Complete Edition. The Complete Edition includes the base game, all Season Pass content and the Halo Wars 2: Awakening the Nightmare expansion, making this a great package for anyone who is looking to jump into the Halo Wars 2 experience.
Halo Wars 2: Awakening the Nightmare is available now for $19.99 USD exclusively on Xbox One and Windows 10 PC. Read more over at Xbox Wire!