Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Why WinRT in Windows 8 is based on COM instead of .NET – Part 3

Hope for WPF

I talked a lot about the potential of .NET in part 2 of this blog series. The DevDiv at Microsoft finally tried to use that potential. They decided to reengineer Visual Studio – using WPF as UI technology in Visual Studio 2010. Dogfooding .NET UI technology – finally. This decision should have a great impact on WPF and .NET runtime performance.
Microsoft saw first-hand that WPF performance in .NET 3.5 wasn’t sufficient for a real-world product like Visual Studio. I think the .NET runtime never saw a bigger performance improvement than with the release of .NET 3.5 SP1. These improvements were vital to ship a good Visual Studio 2010 and helped a lot of .NET projects out there.
All looked good. At the time I thought WPF might make it into Windows core – as Microsoft had promised at PDC 2003 when WPF was introduced as Avalon and MS showed pictures that .NET would step by step become core technology to replace the WIN32 API. But things went differently…