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How to Compile and Port Win32 Apps for Windows RT

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How to Compile and Port Win32 Apps for Windows RT

One of the things Windows RT users have found most frustrating is the inability to run traditional desktop apps on their shiny new(ish) device. Although it was never any secret that this would be the case, it’s still something that many people were hoping would cease to be an issue thanks to the development community.

The release of the RT Jailbreak Tool, which allows the device to run .exe files that aren’t officially compiled and signed by Microsoft, was a huge step towards solving this problem. What remained was to start porting across applications to run on the ARM architecture. XDA Senior Member no2chem has put together a pretty comprehensive guide to porting Win32 apps to run on Windows RT, which will hopefully spur a few people on to porting and sharing some applications and helping to fulfill the potential of RT powered devices, at least until we see the selection of apps available for the platform bulk out a little.

If you have previous experience of developing for Windows, chances are you already have most, if not all of the required tools and shouldn’t struggle to get started with this. If you do not have any previous experience, you’ll probably need to do a little reading before attempting this, although no2chems guide does take you through the process in a good amount of detail. Check out the original forum thread for more information if you’re looking to add to the collection of previously ported applications.

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