But precisely WPF was designed for the “old” model: fat desktop applications, whereas Win RT uses a totally different model, taking into account the new mobile needs.
Of course the desktop and PC market is not dead, far from it, but it is not the predominant model anymore.
And if Microsoft did not invest in this it’s simply because it tries to get rid of Win32 to replace it with Win RT which is specially tailored for the new IT trends.
He is replacing Steve Ballmer, who did not understood the new mobile market (first i Phone and Android) and is probably one of the reasons Microsoft completely missed the boat and is now fighting hard to get a place taking market shares to competitors (Apple, Samsung) percent after percent.Contrary to his predecessor Satya Nadella’s global strategy for Microsoft is “cloud first and mobile first“, so exit the traditional desktop model, and again this is a very sane strategy.The WPF Toolkit is a free and open source project developped by the Microsoft team and designed as the anteroom of the official WPF releases.As an example the was not present in the initial release (WPF 3.0 and 3.5) but was available in the toolkit, and was finally added to WPF 4.0.Since 2009 I have put a huge personal and professional investment in WPF, using it to develop LOB applications in the financial industry, and now I’m even providing training on this topic.
So as a professional developer and trainer the future of WPF is critical for me so I’ve studied this issue more thoroughly.And unfortunately AFAIK the Windows Store applications must be based on Win RT, so your WPF applications can’t be deployed through the store.Note that this is not an issue for businesses that deploy their applications internally and don’t need a store, nor for big applications vendors like ERP who use their own commercial channels to sell their applications, but this is an issue if you are a small vendor who need the visibility of the store, before a competitor eats your market shares.On the tablets and laptops side, to compete with i Pad tablets and Mac Book Pros laptops, Microsoft has launched the Surface series.There were 2 versions of the Surface 1 and 2 depending on the hardware architecture: x86 and ARM, the later benefiting from a dedicated version of Windows: Windows RT (not to be confused with Win RT which is a software layer).The official toolkit played this role till 2010, but since then the project is idle, so seems like there is no more stuff in stock for a next release.