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Microsoft Open Sources Windows Calculator

Microsoft has open sourced the code for its Windows Calculator app, inviting developers to help improve the tool's user experience while at the same time learning about and possibly adopting its technological underpinnings.

While the underpinnings of a "simple" calculator app might seem trivial compared to major enterprise development projects, Microsoft said using the app's open source code can help them learn many different things.

Those include:

  • Universal Windows Platform (UWP)
  • XAML
  • Azure Pipelines
  • Fluent app design
  • Microsoft's development lifecycle

"As developers, if you would like to know how different parts of the Calculator app work, easily integrate Calculator logic or UI into your own applications, or contribute directly to something that ships in Windows, now you can," said a blog post today (March 6). "Calculator will continue to go through all usual testing, compliance, security, quality processes, and Insider flighting, just as we do for our other applications."

The company also invited developers to help the Calculator team. "Getting involved is simple. The project is 'clone-and-go' and development will follow the standard GitHub flow."

Microsoft lists various ways for developers to contribute to the project at all stages, including:

  • Participate in discussions
  • Report or fix issues
  • Suggest new feature ideas
  • Prototype new features
  • Design and build together with Microsoft engineers

With Calculator code (written in C++) now open source (on GitHub here), Microsoft said it will be contributing custom controls and API extensions used in Calculator to other open source projects such as the Windows Community Toolkit and the Windows UI Library.

About the Author

David Ramel is the editor of Visual Studio Magazine.

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