Windows 11: Sun Valley

Windows Central: “The next major Windows update, known widely as Sun Valley, is expected to debut in October 2021. Microsoft is planning to unveil the next generation of Windows, and the teaser appears to suggest that a “Windows 11” could be announced.

I recently replied to a Jennifer Gentleman tweet asking if we’d stuck to a single OS more or less over the years. I was a Windows developer for years and years. From 1989 to 2006 I worked in Windows.

In 2006 I became a development lead for a small team and spent less time writing code. At that time work purchased me a MacBook Pro. I’d SSH to my Linux box and ran Windows in a VM. Even when I went back to being a contributor the same workflow was just fine. It even lead me to building a GDI based renderer for our media pipeline because DirectX wouldn’t work in a VM at that time.

I’ve been all in on Mac since 2006.

At some point Microsoft really shifted focus to web based messaging and I feel like they lost their messaging on the desktop. Now, to be fair, that could have been me falling out of touch with Microsoft and Windows as a developer. It seems like C#/.Net are the definitive language and runtime choice but what about the desktop framework? I’m old. I learned on Win32, AKA the Windows API. It was so simple and straight forward to develop with. Sure it was all C code. Sure it was procedural. None of that mattered. It provided base level functionality necessary to build a great Windows application. Heck, it was really easy to wrap in C++ to build your own framework. My 20 year old little framework still works to this very day.

So, what should you use today to do a great Windows Desktop application? Is it Win32, WinForms, WPF, UWP, or the latest offering, Windows UI 3? Oh, and don’t forget WinRT as a replacement for Win32.

My sincerest hope is Windows 11 is a rework of the Windows user interface that makes everything consistent and that it provides a clear and concise guide for all Windows apps moving forward. So, I’m thinking a combination of WinRT and Windows UI 3 are the way to go.

Here’s hoping Windows 11, or whatever it’s called, gives new life to Windows.

I’d love to build a Windows version of Stream after I complete the Mac version. To that end I’m building a C++ framework just for Stream that handles the network, feed processing, models, and database persistence. That framework will be coupled with a native Windows UI 3 user interface. At some point I believe I’ll bring all that code back to iOS and Mac.

We’ll see.


WinRT, a replacement for Win32

Duct tape makes the world go 'round!Paul Thurrott: “Microsoft has an unfortunately inaccurate high-level diagram showing the relation between WinRT and the environments its replacing (which are shown as IE, Win32, and .NET). But the important thing to note is that there’s the NT kernel and then, right on top of it (like Win32) is WinRT. This WinRT has an application model and three boxes of capabilities that are expressed by APIs (Communications & Data, Graphics & Media, and Devices & Printing). “Above” WinRT is the two sets of presentation layer/programming language couples: XAML and various high level programming languages (C#, VB, and so on) and HTML/CSS and JavaScript, respectively. (DirectX is left out, but this sits on top of WinRT too.)”

In an earlier post, Windows 8 Speculation, I had diagrammed some options for WinRT. It looks like Microsoft went with the middle choice, making WinRT a peer to Win32. This is a very good thing.

Now I’m pretty excited to see what the API’s look like.