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Hidden UWP File Explorer in Windows 10. Spoiler: It currently sucks.


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So, this is funny. Turns out a UWP version of Windows Explorer has been hiding inside of Windows 10's files this whole time...


...and it still sucks, at the moment. I mean, it's pretty fast (much faster than the default Windows Explorer, at least on my crappy computer) and it seems really stable, but it is severely lacking in features and it's pretty hard to navigate at the moment. The UI has been completely redesigned for touchscreens, at the cost of many of the features that power users take for granted. I mean, it doesn't even have a Details view yet, and it's been here for almost two years. Perhaps that's why Microsoft hasn't officially announced it yet...

The article above has instructions on how to enable it. Turns out all you have to do is make a desktop shortcut pointing to a certain directory, and you're good to go. In fact, let me just quote the article:

1. On desktop, right click.
2. A context menu will appear, navigate to New > Shortcut.
3. A popup will appear on the computer screen. It will ask you the location of the new shortcut.
4. Add explorer shell:AppsFolder\c5e2524a-ea46-4f67-841f-6a9465d9d515_cw5n1h2txyewy!App as the location and click on Next.
5. It will ask you to type a name for the shortcut, it would be a better idea to set name as UWP File Explorer.

So, do I have a sneaking suspicion that Microsoft isn't even working on this thing anymore...?

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That's a pretty old article.

Yes it's still in development but not due to be released; here's a couple of articles from August 2018:


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I wonder if it's difficult to get any practical benefits out of combining Win32 and UWP runtimes in a single application.

1. https://stackoverflow.com/questions/36286806/uwp-limitations-in-desktop-apps
2. https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/uwp/win32-and-com/win32-and-com-for-uwp-apps
3. https://www.quora.com/Why-win32-apps-are-so-powerful-and-UWP-are-so-basic 

Something I've actually been wanting to see for a while is a Malwarebytes-related program that uses UWP for any of its components. Like, at all, even if it's just something really small. However, I also really want to see them go in the opposite direction and build something using the Nt API, even if it's little more than some kind of tech demo; let's face it, there's not a lot you can do with the Nt API that you can't already do with Win32.

UWP has its advantages (over Win32) in terms of security, stability and resource consumption, and it's open-source to a degree, but it is still extremely limited as far as actual functionality goes. And if you're also using Win32 runtimes in your application, you also lose some of the platform-agnostic portability. The limitations of fully-UWP applications are also likely a huge factor for why there's no anti-virus software for Xbox One yet.

If Malwarebytes ever does make software for the Xbox One, then I will personally bake a cake for the company and hand-deliver it to their nearest office. I might also buy a copy of the software even though I will probably never own an Xbox.
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Making an AV for a specialized function device like a console is a big challenge just due to the fact that there aren't many easy ways to provide the kinds of essential notifications and interactive dialogs, not to mention access to a quarantine function and exclusion functions if needed (for FPs and the like) and I think protecting consoles falls more into the category of protecting IoT devices, so it's something that's going to rely more on the access point/router than the devices themselves just by necessity due to their simplified functions, overall lack of consistent software/hardware and UI functionality (especially since most IoT devices have no UI to speak of beyond a basic digital readout screen, and some lack even that).  Microsoft might do it, but they'd probably be the only ones who really could (or should IMO).

IoT devices are in dire need of protection though, considering the fact that the largest botnets in recent history, which were also incidentally the largest botnets on record EVER, were composed entirely of infected/remote controlled IoT devices, not PCs.  As a great man once said: "We're gonna need a bigger boat!"

Edited by exile360
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The Xbox One really is more of a PC than an IoT device, though, as far as I'm aware. I think it can even run some Win32 applications, but I might be mistaken.

Really, only time will tell if it will ever get an Anti-Malware system of its own. Thankfully, I do know some people who specialize in extremely unusual computing challenges such as this. If they can make CGA cards display 1024 colors at once and make PC Speaker play 4 PCM samples at once, then they almost certainly could make a Win32/UWP hybrid Anti-Malware system.

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