//build – Windows 8, WinRT thoughts …

Microsoft have been showing off Windows 8 at build which represents some big changes in the user experience of the platform, the shift to ‘Metro style’ apps is interesting and will clearly help target the array of new and emerging devices, particularly those that are ‘touch enabled’.

  • The mixed desktop experience in Windows 8 (Metro style and Win7 like desktop) is clearly something that is missing from devices such as iPad which are touch first, for example running GUI’s with dense functionality such as Visual Studio, Visio, PaintShop etc would be challenging to say the least from a touch interface.
  • I live the the live tiles, of course the depend on the app’s implementaiton, but provide a great summary view on the app and they do make the iPad feel a little dated (though clearly its very polished in comparison to the developer preview of Windows 8)
  • The transition between Metro style and the desktop does feel a little odd, perhaps I just need a little time to used to it, I’m sure there are going to be plenty of changes before it RTM’s.

Start

Playing with the developer preview of Windows 8 on the Samsung slate that Microsoft gave us at build (thanks Microsoft!) its clear its still a little rough around the edges which is to be expected, but it does give a good feel for how its going to shape up.

Microsoft are paying very close attention to the fundamentals of Windows 8 which is great to hear, the working set is kept lower as is the residual CPU utilisation by suspending inactive Metro style processes.

The Windows Runtime or WinRT, is being introduced in Windows 8 which will be used to write ‘Metro style’ applications, its written in C++ and targets C++, .NET and Javascript clients. Interestingly the WinRT libraries whilst C++, export CLR meta data using the same format as .NET (all be it slightly modified), so, ILDASM can be used on them though they won’t have any IL in the implementations. Win32 will live on of course, but WinRT exposes a rich object oriented API surface covering much of the functionality where previously you had to pinvoke Win32 API’s. Its also nice to XAML as the target GUI technology for Windows 8, though this is not WPF as far as I understand. It’s not clear to me yet what this means for WPF in general.

Windows8Platform

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~ by kevinsmi on September 15, 2011.

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