Windows App Studio was a popular and free web-based tool built by Microsoft. The app studio enabled anyone to create Universal Windows Platform (UWP) apps, but it has been depreciated. RAD Studio is a popular choice for developers globally as an alternative to Windows App Studio. Many subscribed users and developers using Windows App Studio who were particularly involved with the platform asked the question, “is windows app studio dead?“ We attempt to provide you with a detailed answer to this question.
On June 30th, 2017, Microsoft announced plans to discontinue support and shut down Windows Apps Studio on December 1st, 2017.
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What was Microsoft’s phase-out timeline?
After the discontinuation of Windows App Studio, Microsoft recommended the Windows Template Studio and also advised the current users of the Windows App Studio to try to transition to the other platform as soon as possible. However, Microsoft intimated two additional dates as part of the phasing out. After that, however, developers could download their projects and data until the 1st December deadline.
Only current subscribed users of Microsoft could sign in to the development studio for the services until July 15th. In addition, Microsoft disallowed the creation of new dynamic collection data sources. As a result, on September 15th, both the application editor and the API for dynamic collections would stop functioning. Moreover, recent data would also stop flowing to existing projects on the platform.
Microsoft also sent out multiple emails to the subscribed users, from the announcement date till December 1st, to inform them of the impending demise of the Windows Apps Studio.
Does Microsoft offer an alternative for the discontinued Windows App Studio service?
Although, Microsoft did point out that “developers use the Windows Template Studio that they offered as an alternative for Windows Apps Studio.”
As per a Microsoft  statement, “Template Studio is a suite of Visual Studio 2022 extensions that accelerate the creation of new Win-UI-3, W.P.F, and U.W.P apps using a wizard…“. However, other Microsoft products like .NET framework have also been depreciated which leaves some uncertainty when choosing tools and frameworks from Microsoft.
What is Windows template Studio?
Also included are links to documentation and TO DO comments that offer helpful advice and direction for converting the generated projects into operational applications are included in the generated code.
With the pages, frameworks, and features you want, Windows Template Studio uses a developer-friendly wizard to quickly get your UWP apps to the F5 operation. To scaffold a new UWP app swiftly, our wizard guides developers through the following four steps:
- Project Type: Choose between preset controls and standard layouts.
- Framework selection: Choose your UWP app’s architecture with help from internal and external resources.
- App pages: Choose the pages that make the most sense for the app you’re trying to build.
- Easily add features, like background tasks, to your app with just a single click.
Nonetheless, the new development studio was a Visual Studio 2017 extension. It made use of a wizard to walk you through the process. This feature was helpful for those who want to continue developing Windows Store apps without having to write them from scratch.
Developers could access and download this tool on GitHub as an open-source project like other projects on the platform. In addition, the Window Apps team claimed that the code generation engine, as well as the pre-existing wizard, provided a solid foundation for the code generation and developer experience in Windows Template Studio.
What are the drawbacks in Microsoft’s Strategy?
The main issue is that Windows Template Studio needs Visual Studio to run because it is an extension of the same. In comparison, the Windows App Studio is a straightforward web application that does not require downloading and installing a full-featured IDE for support.
Because of this, the common perception was that Microsoft made it difficult to begin creating Windows 10 apps, even though they advertised that the Windows Template Studio was superior and an improvement over its forerunner.
On the other hand, another news in the industry was that Microsoft was not concerned with the number of mobile apps in its store. Instead, it was only concerned with bringing over apps from only well-known brands. These big-name apps included SAP Digital Boardroom, Spotify, Microsoft Office, and iTunes, which were the latest addition to the Windows Store.
Microsoft’s changing priorities during those years were definitely lethal for the Windows Apps Studio and also because of Microsoft’s ever-changing focus on targeting newer categories of development trends. Undoubtedly, the discontinuation of support for this software infuriated and disgruntled a large number of developers globally.
What makes Delphi the best Alternative to Windows App Studio?
Delphi and its IDEs (C++ Builder and RAD Studio) have evolved continuously, unlike many other IDEs that started big, but their progress slowed down or stopped altogether. Most developers claim that the quickest way to create cross-platform Native Apps with adaptable Cloud services and extensive IoT connectivity is with the RAD Studio.
It enables FMX development for Windows, Mac, and Mobile and offers robust VCL controls for Windows 10. In addition, RAD Studio supports Delphi or C++ with a wide range of Enterprise Strong development services.
Enticing features of RAD Studio
Notable features that make your app development efficient include an improved Object Inspector, expanded multi-monitor support, increased memory for large projects, and much more.
For example, the RAD Studio 11.1 is for sure the best IDE for developing native applications for multiple platforms. Developers can use a single source, integrated toolchains, and visual designers. Modern C++ and Delphi power it.
This IDE software utilizes a single codebase to create high-performance apps for billions of users on Windows, macOS, and Linux, as well as the iOS and Android mobile operating systems. The RAD studio deploys best-in-class Windows platform integration and flexible component-based architecture.
Utilizing the capabilities of IoT (Internet of Things) solutions is made possible for developers by RAD Studio. By integrating hardware, sensors, corporate data, and cloud services, developers can easily add new features to existing desktop and mobile applications.
RAD Studio excels in being easy to use for Windows app developers
Finally, mobile developers are able to create a single, native-looking user interface (UI) for mobile devices, tablets, and desktop systems.
Apps that you develop with RAD studio can access device sensors and platform APIs. You also get enhanced performance with native GPU and CPU support, all from a shared code base.
Does Delphi support Linux?
FireMonkey, aka FMX, is a cross-platform GUI framework enabling Delphi RAD Studio development support on the Linux OS. The Delphi RAD Studio allows you to develop both FireMonkey GUI applications and Server applications for the Linux OS.
RAD Studio’s FireUI Multi-Device Designer and cross-platform UI framework provide the only proper single-source solution for natively compiled applications. However, a separate user interface must be written for each platform, according to the majority of other vendors who support native cross-platform development.
A cross-platform UI framework called FireMonkey enables programmers to make user interfaces that work on Windows, macOS, iOS, and Android. Applications utilize hardware acceleration features offered by Direct2D on Windows-7, Windows-8, and Windows-10, Open-GL on mac-OS, Open-GL ES on iOS, and GDI+ on Windows platforms where Direct-2D is not supported (such as Windows XP). In addition, it is written to use the GPU whenever possible.
In other words, a Linux compiler for Delphi that is also a part of the RAD Studio package is used with the FMX Linux toolchain to compile desktop applications for the Linux OS.
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.NET Framework is supported for the lifetime of the Windows versions that contain it. The next step from it is the opensource cross-platform .NET (they ate the word “Core” from the end). Of course to target it it’s best to use some IDE that supports it. Visual Designers are starting to get some new love from Microsoft in Visual Studio, but still need to catch up since they had abandonned them in favour or writing your own code and markup by hand which is rather tedious