Microsoft Project “Rome”

he Windows platform targets devices ranging from desktop PCs, laptops and smartphones, to large-screen hubs, HoloLens, wearable devices, IoT and Xbox. The device landscape is further diversified with Android and iOS devices, emerging VR/AR solutions, and new IoT products. This heterogeneous environment provides the average user with many choices and device options.

However, the tasks we perform on a daily basis (whether at home with family, or at work with colleagues) are not inherently device-centric, but rather human-centric. As we increase our device count and rely more on apps to run our lives, it is becoming more complicated to get things done.

Project Rome is a platform for creating experiences that transcend a single device so they can harmonize across devices – empowering a developer to create human-centric scenarios that move with the user and blur the lines between their devices regardless of form factor or platform. This vision is beginning to take shape in the Windows 10 Anniversary Update (Windows 10, Version 1607) with the Remote Systems API, enabling developers to extend their app experiences across Windows devices connected proximally or through the cloud.

The Remote Systems APIs introduced in Windows 10, version 1607, enable you to write apps that allow users to start a task on one device and finish it on another. The task remains the central focus, and users can do their work on the device that is most convenient. For example, you might be listening to the radio on your phone in the car, but when you get home you may want to transfer playback to your Xbox One that is hooked up to your home stereo system.

You can also use Project “Rome” for companion devices, or remote control scenarios. Use the app messaging APIs to create an app channel between two devices to send and receive custom messages. For example, you can write an app for your phone that controls playback on your TV, or a companion app that provides information about the characters on a TV show you are watching on another app.

Devices can be connected proximally through Bluetooth and wireless, or remotely through the cloud, and are connected by the Microsoft account of the person using them.

See the Remote Systems sample for examples of how to discover remote system, launch an app on a remote system, and use app services to send messages between apps running on two systems.


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