WinRT Live Tile Manager: it’s being deprecated

22 October 2015

Two years or so ago, we introduced a component that enabled you to start up and communicate with live tiles in Windows 8 from a WinForms application. So, you know, a non-Windows-RT application talking to a tile on the Start Screen. It was the WinRTLiveTileManager control.

Let’s put it like this. It’s never been that popular. We can tell how well-used one of our controls is by just looking at tickets in the support center. The more people that use a given control, the more tickets we get about how to use it (our documentation needs improving, in other words), the more tickets we get about issues (our code needs fixing, in other words), and the more tickets we get about new features (our imagination needs a jolt, in other words ;) ). Much as we or any other control vendor would like to pretend, we don’t get things right first time. So in general “popular, widely-used control” means more support tickets. The Live Tile Manager has virtually none; the terms “popular” and “widely-used” don’t really apply.

The issue for us is that Windows 8 has been replaced by Windows 10 and the Start Screen has gone away (and if I may make a personal comment here: Yessssss!). The desktop rules again and the weird dichotomy between desktop and Start Screen has gone. Ditto, the need for such a control has also pretty much gone. Corresponding to all this evolution in OS capabilities and UI, the “Live Tiles API”, if I may call it that, has drastically changed.

The upshot of all this is that we have a little-used component, the need for it has pretty much disappeared, and the API has changed. Hence the decision is to not update it for Windows 10 at all and to deprecate it in v15.2. Although it will still be shipped with the install (at least to begin with), it will no longer be installed by default in the toolbox in Visual Studio. It will, in fact, only work with Windows 8:

WinRTLiveTileManager Is For Windows 8 Only

Of course, as with any announcements we make about features in our products, feedback is most welcome. Let us know what you think.

1 comment(s)
Nate Laff

I suppose the lack of blog comments is also telling of why this is being removed ;)

As much as we like to think so, not everything we put out is a winner. Such is development.

23 October, 2015

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