Developers will soon be able to build custom widgets for Windows 11

A screenshot of Widgets in Windows 11

We have been hearing rumors about this for quite some time but Microsoft finally confirmed today that it will start accepting third-party widgets in Windows 11 soon. These will be powered by the Adaptive Cards platform, but interestingly, Microsoft has implied that these will act as a companion experience for your Win32 app or PWA rather than a standalone service. Once again, there is no concrete timeline but expect this to land later this year.

Microsoft also highlighted some existing ways and tools that developers can leverage to reach new audiences. These include enhancements to Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL), Windows Subsystem for Android (WSA), and updates to Template Studio for WinUI 3. In the same vein, the upcoming Windows App SDK 1.1 will offer new Fluent Design visuals, updated windowing APIs, better push notifications, and more.

A graphic showing Microsoft&039s Hybrid Loop platform

Microsoft is also working on a cross-platform development pattern called Hybrid Loop, visualized above. This will allow developers to use AzureML and ONNX Runtime to build platform-agnostic AI applications that can run optimally in heterogeneous environments. This will also power Project Volterra, described below.

A graphic of Project Volterra running on multiple PCs

Simply stated, Project Volterra is an upcoming device built on the Snapdragon compute platform. It will empower developers to build and test ARM-native apps for AI workloads boosted by the new Qualcomm Neural Processing SDK for Windows toolkit. The idea behind this is to enable developers to work in an "open hardware ecosystem" using their favorite tools and programming languages including Visual Studio 2022, modern .NET 6, classic .NET Framework, WSL, WSA, Windows Terminal, C++, Java, Python, Node JS, Git, and more.

That said, it's not clear beyond a Snapdragon processor what specs Project Volterra has as it is still in its early stages and things could change prior to general availability. Expect to see previews of this in the coming months. Microsoft says Project Volterra is coming later this year.

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