Microsoft has been working on initiatives around the Rust programming language for a while. In late April, for example, it revealed that it was working on a major project to rewrite Windows in this more efficient code. Now it is releasing more features for Windows’ Rust kernel in the latest Insider build.
Insider Build 25905 was released on Wednesday and comes with a Rust-based GDI Regions implementation. This means that the win32kbase_rs.sys driver in System32 is now equipped with a Rust-based option to see where, for example, a cursor is located on the desktop.
Microsoft says in a blog detailing the update that it is a “small trial.” It further states, “We are beginning to roll this out, so the experience isn’t available to all Insiders in the Canary Channel just yet as we plan to monitor feedback and see how it lands before pushing it out to everyone.”
In the message, Microsoft reiterates two main motivations for moving toward Rust. One is that it would have advantages in terms of reliability and security compared to C and C++.
As always, such updates in the Canary Channel are fresh off the press and so there may be compatibility or stability issues.
It will continue to be interesting to see how advanced Microsoft’s Rust plans are. Throughout the IT industry, the programming language has been in demand for some time, with, for example, a 2020 Stack Overflow article touting that Rust had been favored over other languages as early as 2016.
As a programming language, Rust is exceptionally good at monitoring memory integrity, which is often a dangerous place for data when it comes to being exposed to cybercriminals.