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And neither of those (cx/winrt) produced standalone native executables.

Sure they do, perfectly binary only x86, x64 and ARM executables.

In fact, the Office team is probably the biggest consumer of C++/Winrt.

Sorry, mixed with C++/CLI (which needed .NET Framework). As for WinRT - I wouldn't pick anything that doesn't support the second most popular desktop OS - Win7.

Fair enough, a problem that Microsoft keeps fighting to this day, for whatever reason C++/CX means managed code.

Windows 7 is dead, it is the new XP, time to move on.

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