WinRT: The New Runtime in Windows 8

By Dino Esposito (DDJ)

A quick overview of the the replacement for Win32 and the code changes it will require.

In Windows 8, you can still keep writing classic .NET applications as you have done for the past decade. Windows 8, however, adds a new family of applications often referred to as “Metro applications.” To be precise, “Metro” is the blanket term used to indicate a collection of design principles that have inspired Microsoft in the creation of the new interface of Windows 8, running side by side with the classic Windows interface. Glimpses of the Metro style are visible in Windows Phone and will likely be visible in the new releases of Microsoft’s flagship products in the months to come. I agree with those who say that we can measure the real commitment of Microsoft to Metro with the next version of Office.

According to Wikipedia, Metro is a “design language” inspired by the “principles of classic Swiss graphic design” that emphasize cleanliness and readability. If Metro is mainly a design language, then a Metro application is a Windows application whose user interface and user experience are inspired by the Metro principles. In light of this, what’s the role of Windows 8 and why does Metro seems to be so tightly bound to it? What’s really going to be different for developers?

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