Microsoft focuses on engagement with Fluent Design System, UWP, and Windows 10 Fall Update

Developers will get more tools to build applications that use Metro-like design language and work across device types

Looking to advance application design, Microsoft today is detailing its Fluent Design System, which is intended to help developers build engaging applications that work on multiple types of systems. At its Build conference, it also revealed more developer support for its Universal Windows Platform (UWP) and a few details of the next version of Windows 10.

Fluent Design System

Previously known as Project Neon, Fluent Design System is built to “help developers create more expressive and engaging apps that work across a variety of devices and input diversity,” said Microsoft spokesman Frank Shaw.

The technology sounds similar to Universal Windows Platform (UWP), which is about building applications to run across multiple Windows 10 device types. But rather than being a successor to UWP, Fluent Design System is a design language and design approach, akin to Metro, the touch-friendly interface technology that shipped with Windows 8, Shaw said. “This is sort of a successor to that.” Part of Fluent Design System already has shipped as part of Windows but it was not yet named, he said.

Universal Windows Platform

UWP capabilities are coming to Visual Studio Mobile Center this fall through automated build support and a full range of Windows devices available in Microsoft’s test cloud, the company said. Mobile Center provides application life cycle management for mobile apps.

Also, Microsoft announced .Net Standard for UWP and XAML Standard, both due later this year, to help Windows developers simplify and modernize their existing code base to more easily drive cross-platform engagement, said Terry Myerson, executive vice president of the Windows and Devices Group at Microsoft.

Windows 10 fall update

The next version of Windows 10, the Fall Creators Update, is intended to “inspire creativity,” Shaw said, without providing specific details.

But one specific feature to be delivered with Windows 10 Fall Creators Update will be the long-promised OneDrive Files On-Demand. “With Files On-Demand, you can access all your files in the cloud without having to download them and use storage space on your device,” said Jeff Teper, corporate vice president for Microsoft Office, OneDrive, and SharePoint teams. “All your files—even online files—can be seen in File Explorer and work just like every other file on your device.” Microsoft had a similar capability in Windows 8 but later removed it.

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