A little over a year ago, we outlined our vision to bring Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) to the more than half a billion devices running Windows 10. We believe PWAs are key to the web’s future, and couldn’t be more excited about their potential to enable more immersive web app experiences across all device form factors.
Today, we’re excited to take a major step from vision to reality, starting with some updates on previewing PWAs in Windows and our roadmap to bring PWAs to the Microsoft Store.
Beginning with EdgeHTML 17.17063, we have enabled Service Workers and push notifications by default in preview builds of Microsoft Edge—you can learn more about those features in Ali’s post, “Service Worker: Going beyond the page.” This completes the suite of technologies (including Fetch networking and the Push and Cache APIs) that lays the technical foundation for PWAs on Windows 10.
Over the coming weeks, we’re also kicking off some experiments with crawling and indexing quality PWAs from the Web to list them in the Microsoft Store, where users can find them just like any other app on Windows 10.
In this post, we’ll give a quick introduction to Progressive Web Apps – what they are, the problems they solve, and how we’ll be enabling them across Windows 10. We’ll explore how our indexing experiments will ramp to an end-to-end PWA discovery experience later this year, and how we’ll empower developers to differentiate their PWAs on Windows – including allowing developers to claim and monetize their PWAs in the Store, interact with customers via reviews and telemetry, and enhance the app with WinRT capabilities.
Let’s dive in!
What’s a Progressive Web App, anyway?
The excitement about PWAs in the developer community is almost palpable – but amongst all that excitement, it can be hard to pin down a single, concise, authoritative definition of a “Progressive Web App.” For the purposes of this discussion, here’s how we define a PWA: