Microsoft Photos: Migrating from UWP to Windows App SDK


The Microsoft Photos App team recently released a major update, switching platforms from UWP to Windows App SDK. This blog post documents our experience switching platforms, including some impactful benefits and some interesting technical challenges.

The new Photos application is already fully rolled out to Windows Insiders and is now rolling out to Retail customers starting with version 2024.11050.3002.0 and above.

Concurrent Development & Replatforming

As one of the most frequently used apps, we’re continually releasing new features such as Slideshow, Background Removal and Generative Erase. Maintaining the ability to ship new features like these on UWP, whilst also progressing the platform switch to Windows App SDK was paramount. In simple terms, this meant all changes – both new features and Windows App SDK changes – had to go into our primary development branch. To do this with the least amount of disruption, we adopted some strategies to ensure code changes were…

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