Microsoft Project Austin: superb C++ code sample for Windows 8

No time to blog in detail about this; but developers with any interest in Windows 8 should check out Project Austin, a sample project for Windows 8 whose quality exceeds most of what is currently available in the Windows Store.

This is a simple note-taking app but beautifully rendered and with support for adding photos, sharing via Charms, and more:

It’s amazing how useful just a pen and a paper are by themselves. But when you take that concept to the computer realm and expand it to do things like add photos and annotate them right on the spot, and digitally share what you create, then the possibilities are endless.

say the project’s creators. More to the point:

Austin aims to demonstrate with real code the kind of device-optimized, fluid and responsive user experience that can be built with our newest native tools on the Windows8 platform.

Most of the code has been put on CodePlex under the Apache 2.0 license. It demonstrates C++ AMP, the new parallel library for GPU computing, as well as C++ coding for the Windows Runtime.

I downloaded and built the project with few issues, following the helpful guidance here. I did have to add the boost libraries manually to the include path.


It is not completely stable but is already very pretty.


Immersive UI of course. The tools disappear while you are working. I am still not sure how well I like this, but it is good to see examples of how Microsoft thinks this should work.

One thought on “Microsoft Project Austin: superb C++ code sample for Windows 8”

  1. It’s pretty simple. Most developers can’t code, and even more are unable to do good design. The ones who can, get snatched up by Google, Microsoft, et al, where they work on ads, or Excel, or other such stuff that stifles their talents.

    It will only when they are unleashed that the computing experience gets better for the average user.

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