The future of COM and WinRT

Back in 2011 I wrote, Windows 8 is Microsoft’s gift to the native C++ developer. Obviously, I was implying that the Windows Runtime is a gift to C++ developers.

I had that all wrong but I only just realized it now. This explains why I’ve been so uneasy about C++/CX this whole time. Now there’s a story I need to tell…

My next COM/WinRT course for Pluralsight is finally taking shape. I hope you’ve watched parts 1 and 2 already.

Update: This post wasn’t meant as a tease. What I wrote in 2011 is still technically correct (the “how”) but my rationale was all wrong (the “why”). The “why” just dawned on me and with this final piece of the puzzle, I can finally explain “The Essentials of the Windows Runtime”. It will take me some time to get it all sorted out and written down for Pluralsight, and perhaps MSDN Magazine – if they will print it. :)

26 thoughts on “The future of COM and WinRT

  1. Kenny Kerr Post author

    It wasn’t meant as a tease. What I wrote in 2011 is still technically correct (the “how”) but my rationale was all wrong (the “why”). The “why” just dawned on me and with this final piece of the puzzle, I can finally explain “The Essentials of the Windows Runtime”. It will take me some time to get it all sorted out and written down for Pluralsight, and perhaps MSDN Magazine – if they will print it. :)

    Reply
      1. anthony

        Hmm…if this one you want to tell us is something like: “C++/CX was a temporary step for something else to come and will not be with us next year” then someone who has already “invest” on it will surely take this as bad news! :)

      1. anthony

        Ok, fair enough! We will be waiting, then. (Any *hint* will be greatly appreciated, though…) Take care!

  2. Jarlob

    Let me guess…
    “What I wrote in 2011 is still technically correct (the “how”)” – Sure WinRT IS a gift for a man who knows c++. No doubt about it.
    “…but my rationale was all wrong (the “why”)” – Just for a moment imagine there was no intention to run Win8 on tablets. Image it was yet another OS version for workstations. The only reason they took COM and have built something native on top of it is because tablets have limited memory, cpu resources. All these async API, responsive UI. What is it for?
    What is the future of c++/cx? Depends on two things:
    1) Will MS keep trying to conquer the tablets market?
    2) How fast the hardware of tablets will match usual pcs?

    Reply
  3. anthony

    Hi Kenny,

    I do not know what story you have to tell us (but I wait desperately to hear it!!) but I think I like C++/CX.

    I mean, if we assume that Windows 8+ is the future of Microsoft Windows (and I mean the UI here), then we have a complete and modern dev-stack (UI and more) that can be used with C++. And it seems so good that actually Microsoft never had for use with C++. And not only that, but the core of the system (WinRT) Is built on modern C++ too!

    Yes, the longer you mess with CX the more “locked” in Windows you will be. But it is the first time in microsoft history that a C++ programmer may actually enjoy writing software and using *one* language from the UI to sockets and the like…

    But as I said, I’ m waiting to hear your story…

    Take care :)

    Reply
  4. James

    You have pretty much single handedly taught me everything that I know about native development. When I started trying my feet in the software development waters I taught myself c#. But managed programming leaves a lot to be desired. I have watched every one of your courses on pluralsight and read many of your articles on MSDN. Thanks for your hard work man!

    Reply
  5. Ali

    Hi Kenny,

    I really enjoyed your two COM courses on pluralsight. Thank you very much for your contributions.
    I was wondering if you have an ETA on the WinRT follow up course?

    Reply
  6. Kenny Kerr Post author

    [ This was in response to a comment which I’ve since had to remove due to the poster being a troll ]

    I was not a fan of C++/CX but didn’t know why. I needed a timeline reminder of when I realized what was wrong with it. That’s what this blog post was. Since I had originally published The Road to Windows 8 on my blog, I thought I should also share this thought with anyone who happens to read my blog. Unfortunately, I haven’t yet had the time to tell this story. I apologize for that but providing for my family comes first and ranting about the Windows Runtime does not put food on the table.

    As for std::thread, well I stand by that tweet. It’s a terrible abstraction. It should be evident if you play with it for a few minutes. I’m sorry if you find it obnoxious. I’m not trying to be provocative. As far as I know, I’m a relative unknown, in a relatively obscure niche of computer science. I hardly think anyone is put out by my observations. :)

    Reply

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