Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 21st May 2012 20:03 UTC
Windows For Microsoft, the traditional desktop is old news. It's on its way out, it's legacy, and the harder they claim the desktop has equal rights, the sillier it becomes. With companies, words are meaningless, it's actions that matter, and here Microsoft's actions tell the real story. The company has announced the product line-up for Visual Studio 11, and the free Express can no longer be used to create desktop applications. Message is clear.
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RE[9]: "19th Century Dentist"
by Alfman on Wed 23rd May 2012 16:11 UTC in reply to "RE[8]: "19th Century Dentist""
Member since:


Ah, it turns out my post repeated alot of things you said in yours.

Thanks for explaining how Metro swaps out it's entire working set. It didn't stand out to me but it may be the source of some minor differences.

"In Win32 if you want to write a process that uses background processing for something, battery life goes down, but you can write the application. In WinRT you can't. Which is better depends purely on your values (absolute battery vs. flexible applications.)"

I personally don't like not being able to run things in the background, even if it's something I as a user would have to grant on an individual application basis, I'd rather be able to do it.

I wonder how a metro dvd burning software would work, or P2P, video conference overlays (aka netconf), or whatever that I'd want to run in the background. Microsoft might carve out some exceptional APIs for these, or it may not. Maybe it's not supported at all, maybe only privileged commercial software will be granted exceptions. Maybe only microsoft software will be allowed to do it and we'll be forced to interface through it.

What sucks about all this is that independent 3rd party developers are no longer in the driver's seat, we cannot build new innovations on top of metro without mother microsoft's consent no matter how much customers may want it.

Edited 2012-05-23 16:21 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[10]: "19th Century Dentist"
by Alfman on Wed 23rd May 2012 18:02 in reply to "RE[9]: "19th Century Dentist""
Alfman Member since:

More info on Metro background tasks:

Below are some snippets. Metro background processing quota's are above "zero", but still extremely limited.

"Scenarios that are not appropriate for background tasks are indexing mail, transcoding photos, running SETI type workloads, or anything that requires user interaction through displaying UI or audio."

Table 5 – CPU resource constraints on background tasks
Lock screen app: 2 CPU seconds per 15 minutes
Non-lock screen app: 1 CPU second per 2 hours

Table 6 – Example network throughput for background Data throughput, in megabytes (MB)

Lock screen apps:
From 188KB to 3.5MB per 15min depending on bandwidth (avg 208B to 4.2KB per s).

Non-lock screen apps:
From 3MB to 60MB per day (avg 34B to 694B per s)

"Critical background tasks
Real-time applications like VOIP that rely on the Control Channel or Push Notification trigger may not want their critical background tasks to be suspended due to resource constraints in the middle of something important; for example,. an incoming call. Hence, background tasks that use the Control Channel or Push Notification trigger receive guaranteed application resource quotas (CPU and network) for every running task."

"if a device is running on AC power then background tasks are not network constrained. They are free to use as much network bandwidth as they need ... Note that CPU usage for a background task is always resource constrained even if the device is running on AC power."

"Threading model for background tasks hosted in the app
If background tasks authored in C# or C++ are hosted within the app instead of the recommended BackgroundTaskHost.exe, there are some threading model complexities to keep in mind.

Decoupling the background task from the app
For non-JavaScript apps, the background tasks are hosted in an in-proc DLL that is loaded in a multi-threaded apartment (MTA) within the app. For JavaScript apps, background tasks are launched in a new single-threaded apartment (STA) within the WWA host process. The actual background task class can be either an STA or MTA threading type. Because background tasks can run when an app is in a Suspended or Terminated state, they need to be decoupled from the foreground app. Loading the background task DLL in a separate apartment enforces separation of the background task from the app while allowing the background task to be controlled independently of the app."

This is all ok for power constrained tablets, but it's kind of wasteful to impose on owners running metro on multicore desktops with oodles of ram. A better approach is to give owners a choice in the matter so they can configure metro however they want.

Edited 2012-05-23 18:14 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2