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The Future of Managed Code - Where is it all headed?

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    A lot of talk has been going around about the trusted computing initiative and how .NET fits into all of this (maybe a little too much talk). Correct me if I'm totally misguided here, but it seems that in the not too distant future (maybe even in the Longhorn timeframe) only managed code applications will run in windows without some kind of security alert (similar to the ones received running a native app from a web url today).

    Am I way off here? Note also that I say Managed code with a specific reference to managed code execution and not necessarily managed data, as I can see the performance requirements for having a certain level of native memory access.

    Will we see the windows release after longhorn running managed code at the Device Driver level (where the true instability of windows still stems from in versions W2K+)

    Anyone got thoughts on this?

    Is performance the only thing keeping native code around?

    If so will we see it fade away with hardware improvements?

    Hardware accellerated JIT here we come!!

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    Hi Flatliner,

    These are good questions. I can answer a few of them.

    As far as unmanaged code running on Windows, it will work as it always has. That is, there will be no special treatment as far as security warnings being invoked when unmanaged processes are started (there's plenty of unmanaged code in Windows after all, including Longhorn). In the Longhorn timeframe and certainly beyond that there will be less of need to be unmanaged when writing Windows applications. In fact, having to be unmanaged will be the exception not the norm, as it is today. 

    Kernel mode components (like device drivers, etc) will continue to be unmanaged in the Longhorn timeframe. However, a managed kernel is far from a fairy tale and we are actively thinking about this. It requires changes in hardware, not just software. 

    As time progresses the CLR will sink deeper and deeper into Windows. In Longhorn, it is already pretty deep (Avalon, WinFS, etc). 

    Stay tuned.


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    Is anyone documenting the journey to managed code?  

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    What I'm more worried about is if they packed enough snacks to last until the end of the journey..

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