If microsoft allows Win32 apps, what does that mean for the homebrew scene on xbox one?

Discussion in 'Xbox One - Hacking & Homebrew' started by kingtut, Jun 6, 2019.

  1. kingtut
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    kingtut GBAtemp Maniac

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    Hey Gbatemp community, it has been a while. I hope you're doing well.

    It was announced around six days ago that Microsoft will allow Win32 apps to be submitted for the windows store. Effectively getting rid of the obnoxious UWP requirement. It was a painful process to convert existing apps to UWP, and a lot of developers gave up on the process.

    I personally find this interesting for the homebrew scene. If I understand correctly, this may open room for more apps and games to be ported easily to the windows store and the Xbox one. For example, I was thinking that someone could port Ubuntu to the xbox one to get linux to officially run on the console. Linux alone would open a lot of cool ideas.

    Microsoft has only confirmed this so far with the windows store. But I don't see why they wouldn't allow this on xbox one as well. After all, the windows store releases games on both platforms. Microsoft confirmed they will talk more at E3, so hopefully we will hear amazing news.

    What do you think? Do you think this is possible? or am I exaggerating with my dreams.

    Source: https://www.theinquirer.net/inquirer/news/3076594/rip-uwp
     
  2. XVMM

    XVMM Advanced Member

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    I'm not sure if they'd open it up to xbox one, it's not like it's not possible, but I wouldn't be surprised if they did. However, it would allow a few things to be done that can sway their view on it (in a security context). Either way, it'd make some things easier but you can already do this developer mode, albeit not to the most wanted standard.

    I am working with someone in order to resolve hopefully and also to provide a forwarder to run standard programs, but for now it's not being focused on. Might help.
     
    Last edited by XVMM, Jun 6, 2019
  3. iCEQB

    iCEQB GBAtemp Advanced Fan

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    I try to follow your progress whenever you post something ... which is rare :D
    Can you tell us what it is you are working on ? No details or anything, just the goal and how far you guys are and what you can already do.
     
  4. XVMM

    XVMM Advanced Member

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    First is XDE, which has a repository ready on GitHub (xboxoneresearch), which will open up a little bit more for people who want to play around more in developer mode. It's base use is to set itself as the new default app, install a certain something and manage a couple processes in order to allow standard Win32 Remote Debugging (so that it's easier to test and debug a standard program on the console itself). Eventually we'll add plugin support, reflecting that of dashlaunch you could assume, and maybe more. The focus right now is to simply make it carry out the important parts. It won't let any backing of games or anything, we can't really do that since it would put everything at risk.

    We're able to mess with the guide/shell/ui and there was a super slim basicc window being hosted within a UWP app context but need to "forward" the API for it.

    With the direction of Microsoft, and their current plan, it personally distracts me so I feel like some things I'm doing is essentially pointless. Hence lack of anything. There's not really a community that seems interested either so a lot of the time there's nothing to really do.
     
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  5. The Real Jdbye

    The Real Jdbye Always Remember 30/07/08

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    It probably won't change anything for the Xbox One, as that to my knowledge doesn't run a full fat Windows and likely doesn't even support Win32 apps.
    It also doesn't use a mouse and keyboard (well you could technically plug them in), which is what Win32 apps are generally made for, many apps would just not be usable without plugging in a mouse and keyboard, and would just be cluttering up the store with not quite compatible apps, and making the store look bad.
     
    Last edited by The Real Jdbye, Jun 6, 2019
  6. coffinbirth

    coffinbirth Advanced Member

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    XBO has kb&m support, but yeah it would be severely crippled(if it's like anything else in dev mode) with limited hw access. I don't remember the specifics anymore, but it was paltry...like 350MB RAM access, no gpu, one cpu core, etc. Again, don't remember, but it's not gonna be worth the time to do anything with it, especially considering it still has to be approved by MS.
     
  7. lexarvn

    lexarvn GBAtemp Regular

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    I suppose if they figured out the win32 sandboxing they were working on for windows 10, then they might allow it on xbox, but even then I see it as extremely unlikely. Though I wouldn't be surprised if some fragments of win32 are on the xbox, really, Microsoft would rather get away from the win32 framework (even on windows) so I seriously doubt it could properly support typical win32 apps without an os update. If they do though, I suppose you could get a dev account and enable dev mode on the xbox one and then just sideload whatever you want, albeit with very limited resources. But win32 is really nothing more than a pain in the neck for Microsoft and the only reason win32 apps still work on windows is because backwards compatibility has always been one of window's big selling points. I mean, you can still run 16-bit apps that pre-date win95 in the 32-bit version of windows 10 if it was properly coded and didn't rely on any quirky behavior. Xbox one has no need of such backwards compatibility though.
     
  8. kingtut
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    kingtut GBAtemp Maniac

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    Well, I think linux on xbox one isn't illegal, correct? I don't see why they wouldn't approve it.
     
  9. coffinbirth

    coffinbirth Advanced Member

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    Not illegal, but basically pointless considering the (lack of)hw access, unless that has changed. i mean, not my field of expertise, but I would assume it would need to be ran under a VM on top of that, so like 1997 Pentium level performance, lol.
     
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  10. wiired24

    wiired24 GBAtemp Maniac

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    It would be an interesting concept to run Win32 Apps on the Xbox One. It's definitely possibly but as a developer the motivation is just kinda lacking without a strong homebrew community to back it. If anyone gets Linux up and running on the Xbox One it would be cool to see without a doubt but sadly I don't count on it happening. Especially now that we're nearing the end of the Xbox One Lifecylce and the only thing that's really changed is we have UWP Ports for Emulators and Homebrew.
     
    Last edited by wiired24, Jun 9, 2019
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  11. Obveron

    Obveron GBAtemp Fan

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    Right now, anyone can code UWP apps for Xbox one and run them in Dev mode. Also many people have been able to get their UWP apps approved to go on the store, and run them in retail mode. That includes VLC and Kodi. win32 is nice if it were possible, but you're going to want to tailor it for the xbox interface, in that case you're better off just porting it to UWP.
    People are excited about escalation in dev mode, in order to design a custom firmware in retail mode that can install and run backups (piracy). Homebrew has always been a piece of cake, nothing new there.
     
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