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The blogged wandering of Robert W. Anderson

More on the death of WinFx (Part 3)

Andrew Hilton recently commented on WinFx is Dead Part 2.  I am promoting it to a post so I can better comment on the comments.

Andrew says:

I’m of the opinion that it is not yet the official windows API because it simply wasn’t ready, and using .NET 2 with WinForms would have been too restrictive and no doubt would not have integrated with the subsystems of Vista (such as graphics). The .NET framework 3.0 was not released until almost the final release of Vista. The risk of developing the windows front end under the managed API and still ship on time would have been too great.

I think you are correct regarding the .NET 3.0 components of WinFx: there was an early plan that Vista and Office would take advantage of these technologies, but of course, everything was late.   Using .NET the .NET 2 WinForms really didn’t make sense either.

From what I’ve heard early versions of Vista and Office 2007 did use the managed API (or at least an early version of WPF). My feeling is that the dev teams simply couldn’t cope with a large framework like that shifting beneath their feet causing all manner of chaos. Hence the move by both Vista and Office 2007 back to COM, which also gave leeway to the WinFX teams to change stuff radically if they needed to. My assumption is that given the large technical leap of WPF, WCF etc there would have been many back steps as they were trying to go forward.

Yeah, but I’ll bet the delays of .NET 2 had a bigger impact on the likelihood of managed APIs in Vista than, let’s say, WPF or WCF.

I’ll be very suprised if the consumer version of Vista does not include some managed code WPF apps. All the indications are that WPF will do very well (for example see the recent video of the WPF version of Yahoo messenger), . . .

Yes, I think this is all true, but hold on.

My post wasn’t about .NET 3.0 (or what they were calling WinFx), but of the original idea for WinFx: a full (or fairly full) Windows API.

WPF and WCF have little to do with that, certainly WF has nothing to do with it, and Info Cards, not really either.  Of course, this last one is a part of Vista though as kind of an add on. 

All of this stuff is very cool, but WinFx was supposed to push managed APIs deeper down into the OS, not to be extra layers on top of it.  The internalization of these APIs were to supply a more robust and secure OS. 

And it is that WinFx that appears to be dead.

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1 Comment »

    rwandering.net » Thoughts on Windows 8 wrote @ June 3rd, 2011 at 3:45 pm

[...] for core Windows development from day 1.  OK, from day 2, because on day 1 they said .NET would be the new Windows API.  It never happened.  And this is just another indication that it never [...]

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