The Active Network
ActiveWin: Win XP Active Network | Intro | FAQ | Win XP Tips | Compatibility List | Forum




Windows Longhorn represents a major change in Windows based applications, by introducing a new approach to developing these applications. WinFX is exposed mainly through managed code, which makes it rather revolutionary in comparison to its predecessor, Win32. It has been in development for years now and has matured into a complete set of managed APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) for Longhorn native programs; it also supplies all the functionality of Win32 APIs.

 WinFX provides advances in Presentation, Storage, and Communications that enhance the writing of a new set of applications in Windows Longhorn. Existing applications will be able to take incremental advantage of the new capabilities in Longhorn through a range of different approaches depending on the scenario and feature.

 Here are some new ways to look at WinFX from a high level to better understand the new capabilities this will offer in Windows Longhorn: 

  • Presentation: Because Avalon is exposed through WinFX a user can navigate a user interface more competently. This makes the interface pleasant to interact with and the way data is visualized will be more tangible to the user.
  • Data: This depends on how data is stored locally on the PC. WinFX allows greater exposure of metadata to other applications and to Longhorn about files it has encountered, which makes it easier for users to search for data within an application developed exclusively with the WinFX API.
  • Communications: WinFX allows better security and reliability when it comes to a new set of applications, which includes communication between a server and working off line. Other capabilities include better integration between third-party services that could benefit from the application.

When it comes to migrating your application from Win32, the developer has strong advantages here, this is includes reusing some key parts of existing code base. By wrapping the reused code in managed objects so that they can immediately interoperate with the managed code.

With this approach, you can eventually rewrite these objects with managed code without affecting how the object interacts with the rest of the application. One example of migration would be writing a new UI with Avalon, while reusing some ActiveX controls.

 What is an ActiveX Control?

ActiveX controls are used extensively on the Internet. They can make browsing more enjoyable by providing video, animated content, and more. These programs can, however, malfunction or give you content you donít want. In some cases, these programs can be used to collect information from your computer in ways you might not approve of, possibly damage data on your computer, install software on your computer without your consent, or allow someone else to control your computer remotely. Given these risks, you should only install these programs if you completely trust the publisher.

What is Metadata?

Data about data, for example, the Title, Subject, Author, and Size of a file constitute the file's metadata.

In conclusion, WinFX is a foundation technology in Longhorn that presents a new type of application that is smarter, connected and more interactive for the end user. It also makes developing these types of applications much easier and enhances the user experience in areas such as Presentation, Data Management and Communication. Other benefits includes the ability to take incremental advantage of the capabilities in Windows Longhorn through a range of different approaches depending on the scenario and feature a developer is wishing to provide in his/her application.


This feature information was obtained partially or in full from Microsoft at and are provided by for your convenience. For the most accurate information please visit the official site. Microsoft retains all intellectual property rights.



 Return To The Windows "Longhorn" Section


  *   *