Improvements in the CLR Core in .NET Framework 4.5

September 17, 2011

Alongside all the exciting advents in Windows 8 and Metro apps, the .NET CLR is marching on. The next version of the CLR will feature several “internals” improvements, mostly in the performance area. Read on to learn about changes to the garbage collector, the JIT, and the native image generator engine in the next CLR. Background mode for Server GC Background GC is a neat feature introduced in CLR 4.0 to the Workstation GC flavor. It’s a little hard to explain without any background (pun intended), but the general gist is the following: while...
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Metro .NET Framework Profile (“Windows Tailored”)

The amount of confusion generated by the first two keynotes at BUILD was immense. The blogosphere and Twitter were brimming with bold rumors of the “.NET is dead” kin. I even heard someone discuss seriously the possibility that C# Metro apps will be compiled directly to native WinRT bindings, bypassing IL and JIT altogether, so that clr.dll won’t even be loaded. Even though I disproved these rumors two days ago, it was still great to hear Krzysztof Cwalina explain in detail how .NET remains a fully-featured framework for developing Metro applications in C# and VB.NET. As you may...
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Under the Covers of WinRT Using C++

The WinRT type system relies strongly on WinRT components, which are COM objects implementing a specific set of interfaces and adhering to a certain ABI (Application Binary Interface). We will examine here this ABI and how C++ compiler extensions help reference that ABI without exposing the nitty-gritty details of dealing with COM interfaces and COM activation. A WinRT component implements the IInspectable interface, which derives from IUnknown (however, WinRT components do not have dual interfaces, i.e. they do not implement IDispatch). The IInspectable interface contains three methods: GetIids, which returns the interfaces implemented by the component; GetRuntimeClassName, which...
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Windows To Go

September 16, 2011

After experiencing it first hand, I can only say that Windows To Go feels like magic. The potential uses are truly overwhelming. Read on to learn why. Windows To Go allows you to capture a fully configured Windows environment on a USB stick and use it to boot on any host. This is not just booting Windows from USB – which was theoretically possible before – this is about specializing the image for each host you boot from it. It’s about taking your operating system on the go. Some of the enterprise scenarios this enables...
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SELA Blogs and Tweets @ BUILD

September 15, 2011

The group of 19 experts we have here at BUILD have had some things to say about the conference. You can follow us on the Twitter list or read our blogs. Here are some highlights from the last two days: Yuval Mazor: It is time for BUILD! Elad Shaham: My Impressions from BUILD Keynote Sasha Goldshtein: Windows 8 Announcement Executive Summary Yuval Mazor: Impressions of the First Day of BUILD 2011 Sasha Goldshtein: Some Thoughts on Windows 8 Ran Wahle: Windows 8 For Developers - What's New? Shai Raiten: Windows 8 Developer...
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WinRT and .NET in Windows 8

The Web today is full of rumors about the demise of Silverlight, .NET, Win32, and nearly anything else that doesn’t align immediately with Metro-style apps. Indeed, it seems sometimes that we are so eager to focus on “what’s dead” that we forget to look at the new announcements and try to figure out “what’s alive”. From a brief analysis of the Windows 8 Developer Preview, Visual Studio 11 Developer Preview, and whatever bits of information delivered at the conference sessions, I think I have a pretty decent mental picture of what’s going on. First of all, a...
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Sessions at BUILD Day 2 and Windows 8

The second day of the BUILD conference was dedicated mostly to breakout-style sessions on the various topics covered only in brief during the keynotes. Some of the new stuff I’ve seen today in pseudo-random order: Visual Studio 11 Productivity Power Tools (with over a million downloads)! are going to be built-in in Visual Studio 11. You can right-click a piece of code in Visual Studio and select “Find Matching Clones” for a similarity analyzer that detects copy-paste across the board. Visual Studio will feature...
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Some Thoughts on Windows 8

September 14, 2011

Following a day full of announcements, I’ve had some thoughts brewing inside for a while about Windows 8 and its application model. While the things we’ve seen today are immersive, cool, and even downright amazing considering the timeframe, I’d keep in the excitement until I’ve had a chance to play with the platform a little bit. The Windows Store model announced today pretty much seals the fate of cowboy free-style application development we were used to on Windows. No longer a bunch of APIs and some docs and go ahead to build your app with no...
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Windows 8 Announcement Executive Summary

Well, the first day of the BUILD conference certainly started with a blast. I just came back to the hotel after sitting through a full day of keynote presentations introducing Windows 8 – the operating system, the development platform, and the user experience. The purpose of this post is to summarize briefly the Windows 8 announcements and the way they reflect on existing and future development. This is just an executive summary – if you are looking for the nitty-gritty details, follow this space (and other spaces :-)) for future posts. Windows 8 and Metro Apps ...
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9/11

September 11, 2011

A couple of days ago I got a phone call from my dad at 7:30AM. He asked “Are you guys OK?” and immediately scenarios of terrorist acts or missile launches started running through my head. It scared me – this unnatural but immediate reaction to an innocent question. The reality of living in Israel during the last 20 years has conditioned all of us to think in terms of surviving yesterday’s bombing or tomorrow’s war, and the periods of relative peace sometimes spanning months in a row aren’t enough to wipe away the instincts and fears. Whenever...
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