Microsoft's Project N aims to enhance speed and memory footprints of Windows Store apps

Microsoft releases .Net Native Preview, speeds up startup time of Windows Store applications

It’s the second day of Microsoft’s annual developer conference, Build. The software giant has released the first developer preview build of .Net Native. Codenamed ‘Project N’, it’s an attempt from Microsoft to enhance the start-up time and reduce the memory footprints of Windows Store apps. It will “evolve and improve native compilation for the range of .NET applications”, notes Microsoft. The company has been working on this project for a while now.

Last November, someone spotted an application in the Windows Store which had a surprisingly fast start-up time. This technology will speed up the start-up time of Windows Store/Metro-Style apps up to 60 percent. Furthermore, it will reduce the memory footprints utilized by such apps by around 20 percent.

In a nutshell, .Net Native first compiles C# codes (high level language) into machine code (something the processor could understand) that perform like C++. "Our compiler in the cloud compiles the app using .Net Native in the Store, creating a self-contained app package that’s customized to the device where the app will be installed," explains Microsoft. Last year, when Microsoft launched Visual Studio 2013, it showed a glimpse of .Net Native. "This preview release of .NET Native offers you the performance of C++ with the productivity of C#. .NET Native enables the best of both worlds!", it explained.

Machine abstractions at the application level are yet to be introduced, moreover, developers will still find the entire developing-debugging experience the same. The first developer preview build of .Net Native will allow the developers to create apps for Windows Store for both ARM and x64 architectures with Visual Studio. Microsoft also notes that support for x86 architecture will arrive soon. There was no word on when the final version will be released. Hit the Download link to check the developer preview of .Net Native.

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