I have previously worked on COM, however I have observed for quite sometime that hardly any company asks for COM exp.

Is COM dead or reports of its demise are highly exaggerated?

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    I sure hope so.... – Aren Nov 26 '10 at 1:01

COM is still widely used within Windows. Many of the new features within Windows are built upon a COM base as it is the main native code component model and Windows is primarily native code. But most non-system application development on Windows is now done in managed code so COM is less relevant (although accessible) as there are .NET framework wrappers. So it is definitely not dead but not that relevant for most people day to day.


To quote Don Box:

Is COM dead? It's not dead - it's done.

Because you can add a "COM Reference" to a lot of the Windows goodies that are presented as COM rather than flat APIs, a lot of managed code devs can ignore it. There are still scenarios where more detailed knowledge (controlling lifetimes or marshalling, implementing specific COM interfaces in managed code for the OS to call, etc) is needed, but they aren't day-to-day.


There's plenty of existing COM code out there that needs to be integrated with. Often it can be handled with COM wrappers, but the young upstarts have no awareness of the COM's constraints.

Its very rare to want to, or need to write a new COM object. Last time I did this was 2 years ago.

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    Until the day you write a Windows Explorer / Shell extension. Then, welcome to COM fun. (And lots of other OS services use COM, if building native WIN32 applications that play with lumps of the OS, you will need to know COM). – quickly_now Nov 26 '10 at 8:58

I wish...

That said, the only context I still have to deal with it in is essentially legacy. So I would say it's "dead" in about the same sense as classic VB is dead: few or no new projects are going to be done with it now and into the future. But legacy support and integration will still be around for quite some time.

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    VC++ is most definitely not dead. – In silico Nov 26 '10 at 5:47
  • See previous comment - because of its tight integration into the Windows OS, it will be a long, long time before its dead or goes away. If ever. – quickly_now Nov 26 '10 at 8:59
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    What @In silico is saying is that you can't lump classic VB, a product that is no longer sold and is out of extended support, in with VC++, a product that still ships, was updated extensively for VS 2008, with an out of band release a year or so later, and again for VS 2010. People are still writing new stuff in VC++. That is not (much) the case with classic VB. – Kate Gregory Nov 26 '10 at 15:30
  • Fair enough. I was hasty to lump them together. :) – Bobby Tables Nov 26 '10 at 20:18

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