Way back in the beginning of the 00’s, before Win7 was Win7, Microsoft announced the development of a new OS that was named Longhorn. This was an ambitious plan to move from the old Win32 programming interface to a newcomer called .NET which Microsoft had designed to be an alternative to both Win32 and VisualBasic. There would still be backwards compatiblity with Win32 apps but no more extensions to the API would be created. Of course as we know this project never saw the light of day and Win7 remained dependant on the two old, if familiar APIs.
Now, in a move that is hard to judge if it is a mean trick or an honest attempt to placate the hoards of fuming .NET programmers, Microsoft has announced that Longhorn is not dead; it was just resting. Windows 8 will ship with a pair of runtimes, .NET 4.5, and a C++ implemention which will be called WinRT and do everything Win32 could do and more and will work with the new user interface design tool they’re calling DirectUI. Even Silverlight is being integrated into the APIs, which means all that training in Microsoft programming may pay off in the end. Drop by Ars Technica and decide if this is bull or not.
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