Build Windows–Now We Know

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After weeks of waiting, enduring silence and rumors, developers finally got their
first public look at Windows 8 at Microsoft’s BUILD conference. People here at the
conference were pretty excited about what they saw, and I can imagine many, many more
watching remotely were also excited, or even relieved to see the details. Having talked
to a number of people about their expectations a lot of people were very concerned
to learn about the future of the technologies they have invested in both personally
learning and financially building into projects. 

For people who were worried, maybe the biggest news for them is that if your application
runs under Windows 7 it will continue to run under Windows 8. That being said, we
can not expect innovation without change at some point along the way. Windows 8 introduces
“Metro style Apps”, a new multi-language, multi-view technology. By multi-language
it means that native languages such as C and C++, managed languages like C# and VB.Net,
but also JavaScript and have equal access to the Windows (WinRT) APIs to interact
with windows. In reference to the views, it allows the use of HTML/CSS with JavaScript
and XAML with both C# and C++ applications. The “Metro Style” applications are part
of an “immersive”, “touch first”, “no compromise” user experience that spans all aspects
of Windows 8.

 

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[slide borrowed from \\Build\  keynote

As you can see in the above diagram, the new “Metro Style” apps run along side the
traditional “Desktop Apps”. Again, this means that the app you are working on today
will continue to work on Windows 8. In many ways, today marks the begging of a new
era in Windows application development. Well that may sound sound a bit outlandish,
it’s true. This no application model not only allows a new model for application interactions,
it promotes it with a variety of services to let apps communicate with each other
and with other devices through the cloud.

Bottom line, Windows 8 is going to be a game changer that creates many exciting opportunities.