Win32 and COM API

Win32 and COM for Windows Runtime apps and Universal Windows Platform (UWP) apps

Windows Runtime apps and Universal Windows Platform (UWP) apps can use a subset of the Win32 and COM APIs. This subset of APIs was chosen to support key scenarios for Windows Runtime apps that were not already covered by the Windows Runtime, HTML/CSS, or other supported languages or standards. The Windows App Certification Kit ensures that your app uses only this subset of the Win32 and COM API. In a native app, you can call these APIs directly. In a managed app, you can call them via a Windows Runtime Component. For more information, see the Windows Runtime components documentation.

Windows API documentation and header files for Windows Runtime apps

The documentation for each programming element in the API indicates whether it can be used in a Windows Runtime app. See the "Applies to" line at the top of the page.

In addition, the subset of the Windows API that can be used in a Windows Runtime app is indicated in the header files in the Windows Software Development Kit (SDK) for Windows 8.1. Look for the following statements in the Windows header files.


These statements respectively indicate whether the API in the defined region can be used in Windows Store apps, Windows Phone Store apps, both, or neither (desktop only).

The compiler and object browser in Microsoft Visual Studio use these statements to determine whether to show or hide a Win32 or COM API element.

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