Hints at Win32 Deprecation

I just read today (wow, where have I been?) about the issue with Win32 binaries under the (delayed) Vista version of Windows – most notably, that Win32 binaries will need to be signed, otherwise they will provide a, er, “downlevel” user experience. A proposed workaround is to code to another runtime environment (.NET, Java, Ruby, you name it) so that getting the actual Win32 binary signed is someone else’s problem.

This reminded me of comments I made a few years ago, closer to the dawn of .NET: that if .NET works out well, native binaries will end up deprecated, supported for a long time but in the same way that we can still run an ancient DOS “.com” binary on Windows XP… i.e. not really as first-class citizens. At the time I got rather negative feedback to such a comment, but now the Vista feature above seems like the first step in that direction.

Update: As far as I know, this feature did not make it in to Vista – unsigned EXEs are still OK.