Say I'm a .NET developer and want to build my application on WinRT. What I've read is that it is a completely new API for Windows 8, strongly related to Metro-style apps.

I'm assuming that I can develop for WinRT in .NET/C#? How does it relate for example to WPF or Silverlight? Does WinRT provide it's own UI framework, or can I build a WPF application on top of WinRT?

What about basic I/O. .NET provides methods for that, if I develop with/for WinRT, do I have to use other methods, or will the .NET framework use WinRT under the hood?

Besides these specific questions, the overal question is really how does it relate to the other APIs and frameworks I'm currently familiar with as a .NET/C# developer?

3 Answers 3


As I understand it WinRT is a new framework sitting on top of the Windows Kernel. Most functionality of .Net should be available in WinRT as well although namespaces and implementations may differ.

What happens to WPF or Silverlight is anyones best guess, they didn't get much mention on Build yet. I suppose Silverlight will see a final version 5 and .Net 4.5 but I doubt both will be advanced that much further. On the other side WinRT apps only run on Win8 and some apps don't even make sense in Metro-Design so MS should/could/who knows? be working on improvements to the .Net Framework for some time/forever. ;)


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    see also dougseven.com/2011/09/15/… in which Doug Seven offers "more correct (but still marketecture that is not wholly technically accurate)" "boxology."
    – StevenV
    Sep 16, 2011 at 18:27

I've found a blog entry from Julian Bucknall that summarizes the keynote along with two slides. Maybe this will shed some light for your question, but always remember: it's a beta thing and might change regardless what is published now and by whom ...


I guess you are going way ahead at this time. Let Microsoft roll Win-8 and the rest of the story will unfold later. They might have planned to roll out a new API along the lines of New OS, but that surely can't come before the OS itself.

So, just wait for few quarters and then think about WinRT

  • I had assumed what WinRT would be available the same time as Windows 8. Since a developer preview of W8 has already been released i'd also assumed that most of what i'm asking would be known already.
    – Bubblewrap
    Sep 15, 2011 at 8:13
  • Nah , i don't think so. I guess there will be a beta release and then inbetween the final product, they might release what you are expecting. Sep 15, 2011 at 8:15

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