Short: Windows 8 WinRT capabilities dissected

There’s been lots of buzz around the new application runtime environment of Windows 8, appropriately named the Windows RunTime. Shown during a big picture session of BUILD 2011, the graph above gives a simple but detailed rundown of exactly what capabilities it exposes to developers.

The most interesting aspects to me are the NFC proximity sharing capabilities, “PlayTo” which enables native DLNA streaming for any media source, contracts that encourage greater data portability between applications and SMS which enable an additional communications channel for Windows 8.

16 insightful thoughts

  1. Microsoft has posted this additional information in their downloads area.

    Play To and Media Sharing for Metro style Apps
    “The Windows Developer Preview introduces a number of new APIs to enable Play To and home media sharing experiences in Metro style apps. This white paper provides an overview of these new APIs along with some examples and guidance on how to enable Play To and media sharing in Metro style apps.”

    1. I’ve got it working on VirtualBox 4.1.2
      Make sure you check ‘Enable IO APIC’ under the Motheboard setting.

      To get your networking working, change your adapter type to ‘Intel PRO/1000 MT Desktop (82540EM) under the “Network->Adapter 1” setting

  2. And so reality begins to settle in. This resembles .NET in a coarse way. Is this the rumored replacement for .NET? Does this mean that .NET is deprecated?

  3. This is the most interesting bit to me as a developer, looking forward to any more info you learn about WinRT. As a user the whole Win8 deal looks awesome to me. Thanks for the great coverage of Build.

  4. This miht be a very little detail, does anyone know if WinRT can load exiting .Net assemblies (libraries etc.) ?

  5. WinRT is a new API that replaces the old Win32. HTML & XAML are the ways to create new intensive user interfaces. You can code in c++ C# JSCRIPT or and then talk to the WinRT. Very nice architecture!

  6. Gerardog, WinRT doesn’t actually replace Win32. You can actually call a subset of the Win32 functions from WinRT (this includes graphics API’s such as D3D11,D2D,DWrite amongst other things). WinRT is meant for Metro style apps. Normal desktop apps from what I have seen do not know much about WinRT

  7. the key is “fast and fluid”.
    so it is powered by C++ and DirectX technologies.
    Inspect how is build Windows Explorer and you will notice it’s not about GDI standard.
    New rendering engines like IE9&10 are powered by DirectX, Direct2D stuff.
    Microsoft has b uilt a new technology built upon COM’s dadday stack. Refer to IInsapectable.
    New headers in windows are MIDL genereted stuff. Everything is new COM.

    since Windows Division has wanted to pull a new UI and definitively to target low-level archiecture (ARM), the only tools that can make cross compiling is C++ and Visual C++.
    All windows stuff is made of Win32 and COM. So it a natural way for softies to continue and expand this way.

    WPF and SL fans are not part of the Windows ecosystem. Let them out of the billions gambling.

    regards, christophep

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