Microsoft made a significant change to the way Windows is going to look for the next generation of Microsoft products. The Windows 8, Metro-style, WinRT future is the look and feel Microsoft wants to promote and develop for the next wave of tablets, smartphones, and personal computing devices.
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Microsoft defines WinRT as “an execution interface as well as a collection API’s that give access to the functionality provided by Windows 8”, according to Tim Huckaby at DevProConnections.
Given the emphasis on Windows 8 it’s often assumed that WinRT will only run on Windows 8 and Server 8. That is not to say that.NET, Silverlight and other associated software development methods are no longer relevant, there is certainly a place in the future of Microsoft development for the longtime standard, others have discussed this matter in detail and Microsoft itself says it will continue to support the.NET technologies for years to come. In the end WinRT is a new core set of API’s which replaces Win32 and provides support for Windows 8. Applications written with Win32 in mind may not be entirely supported by WinRT and vice versa. Applications may be made to work interchangeably but not without effort on the part of the developer to make it so. That being said the Windows 8, WinRT, Metro-style vision for Microsoft is happening and it is the direction Microsoft seems to be taking Windows technology.
Only time will tell what the future holds for the new batch of Microsoft development technologies. Anyone who presents a clear perception regarding Windows 8, metro-style apps, or WinRT may see their vision become less clear as more information and details about specific attributes of the new Windows paradigm get revealed. At this moment there is simply a lack of compelling official information to make strong, likely predictions regarding what Microsoft developers are really in for when Windows 8 is finally released. One can safely assume Microsoft has attempted to conquer a rather large challenge associated with the previous editions of Windows. To improve upon the programming model and by extension the whole cornerstone of Windows applications, Microsoft chose to reassess some of the space taken up by.NET technologies. This is seen as an attempt to encourage a more modern understanding of what it means to write applications for Windows devices.
Developers are still in an early stage of the next phase of Windows computing. The new API’s for the new OS will, as always, delight some and upset others but developers and Microsoft at large will either adopt the changes with excitement or chose to stick with the traditional systems depending on consumer decisions. If individuals purchase and embrace the changes then they are here to stay, if not, then who knows?