Programming languages: Rust for Windows just got another update

Microsoft has announced the latest version of its Rust project for Windows, version 0.9.

Rust for Windows is a language projection for Windows and allows developers to use any Windows API through the the Windows crate (Rust’s term for a binary or a library). the Rust for Windows ‘Windows Crate’ version 0.9 is now available on the Rust Foundation crates.io site.

The goal of Rust for Windows – formerly Rust / WinRT – is to ease the path for developers looking to write Windows applications in Rust by allowing them to naturally call a variety of application programming interfaces (APIs). Windows, including Win32, Component Object Model (COM), and WinRT.

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Rust for Windows is still in preview and was released last May to help developers integrate Rust to build desktop apps, store apps, and device drivers.

Microsoft, Amazon Web Services, Google, and Facebook rely on Rust to build on old C ++ code because of Rust’s memory security features, which help minimize memory security vulnerabilities – the largest category of security vulnerabilities patched monthly by Microsoft.

While Rust isn’t strictly limited to systems programming, that’s why it has become popular among big tech companies. Google is writing new components of Android in Rust, while AWS uses it extensively for infrastructure programming.

Rust for Windows takes inspiration from old Microsoft C ++ / WinRT and aims to provide “a natural and idiomatic way for Rust developers to call Windows APIs.”

“Once consumption support is complete, you can now call all Windows APIs (past, present, and future) using Rust language projection”, said Angela Zhang, program manager at Microsoft.

“Rust developers have access to the entire Windows API surface in an idiomatic way, making it easy for them to take advantage of the power and breadth of Windows development.”

Zhang has provided some key improvements and changes to Windows for Rust since the preview was released as Rust / WinRT, including the fact that windows crate unified the Win32 and COM APIs.

“With this increased coverage and the unification of Windows APIs, we changed the name of the project from ‘Rust / WinRT’ to ‘Rust for Windows’,” notes Zhang.

There is also new application examples on the Rust repository for Windows which shows how to call the Win32, COM, and WinRT APIs.

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Additionally, Windows Crate is now released on crates.io and is dual licensed under MIT or Apache licenses.

Windows Chat now relies on Linux as there are improvements for Win32 APIs, such as support for array types, a variety of string types, and updated metadata. Microsoft also promises improved build times and error handling.

To get developers started with Crate’s new Win32 API support, Microsoft has provided instructions for building a simple application in Rust.


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