As this year's Build developer event kicks off, Microsoft has announced a major new feature for Windows 10 – the ability to run Linux apps with a GUI. This is a major expansion of the Windows Subsystem for Linux, which already lets you run command line-based Linux apps, and it means you can now use GUI apps without having to set up a traditional virtual machine with a Linux distribution.
Interestingly, this feature has actually been in testing with Windows Insiders on the Dev channel since April, but it isn't coming through a typical Windows 10 feature update. It's just available now for existing versions of Windows 10 and you can start using it right away.
That's not all that's new for Windows developers either. Microsoft also announced that Microsoft Edge WebView2 is now generally available in WinUI 3.0. The new WebView is powered by the Chromium-based Edge browser, and it's been gradually rolling out starting with Win32 C/C++ apps, followed by .NET, WinForms, and WPF. Now, it's generally available for WinUI 3.0 as well, after spending some time in preview form. This allows you to implement web elements into native apps, such as for signing into a service.
Project Reunion is also getting a new preview update to version 0.8, which will be the next big update following the release of version 0.5 in March. Version 0.8 brings support for developing apps for both client and cloud endpoints, and general availability is planned for this quarter, according to the roadmap.
Finally, Microsoft also announced Windows Terminal 1.9 Preview, the latest release of its unified command line tool. This version adds Quake Mode, which allows users to launch Windows Terminal from anywhere in Windows with a simple keyboard shortcut.
Editor's note: Despite some confusing wording in Microsoft's book of news from Build 2021, this feature is not generally available yet. You'll need to be running a Windows 10 Insider Preview build to do this.