The Future of Windows Could Be Passwordless


PWAs aren't something all new for the Redmond company as their support was announced at Microsoft Edge Web Summit in September past year.

PWAs use particular Web technologies, such as push notifications, Fetch, Cache API, Web App Manifest and Service Worker. As far as the user is concerned, they'll be just like any other app downloaded from the store.

Microsoft is touting benefits to cataloging PWAs in the Microsoft Store.

At this point, some of you may be asking: 'progressive what now?' If you've not heard of PWAs before, they are simply websites (or web apps) which are implemented as native apps, and delivered just like a normal app through Windows 10's store. According to Microsoft, "passwords are inconvenient and insecure". Microsoft promotes them, of course.

Unlike Electron apps that are based on native OS-dependent code, a PWA app will be packaged as an AppX in Windows 10 and will run in its own sandboxed container.

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Microsoft released its latest Insider Preview update on Wednesday. And for developers who want to tailor their web codebase to Windows 10 and provide capabilities like native apps, "PWA provides an on-ramp to the UWP that doesn't require demoting or forking existing web resources". The search process to make that happen has been ongoing for about a year, and Microsoft has already reviewed "nearly 1.5 million candidates" for inclusion the store. The engineering team at Microsoft has apparently been using the Bing Crawler to identify PWAs on the Web for almost a year.

Microsoft are now testing out a new tool that PC users anxious about online privacy will surely welcome with open arms.

Microsoft is promising developers some benefits to housing their PWAs in the Microsoft Store. The browser will be adding some of the requisite Web technologies in a production release next year. Previously, Windows Insider Build 17083 installed a Diagnostic Data Viewer on PCs.

Microsoft was quick to say that it isn't abandoning UWP apps, explaining that "the Universal Windows Platform fully embraces Progressive Web Apps".

In the meantime, Microsoft is aiming to bring support for accessing PWAs right from its Edge browser.