WinRT and COM are similar, in fact WinRT is a subset of COM, the specifications can be found in the ECMA 334 specs and are a free download, if you are using this for your students then you should consider having them download it and do a quiz to make sure they look at the paragraph on COM.
So I wrote a class objective for our class objective:
At the conclusion of this class the student will be able to demonstrate User Interface design using C++ that can operate either connected or disconnected with cloud based computing.
In this class the professor would lead the students through structured learning to combine user interface design that incorporated C++ with cloud computation when required and client based computing when economical. The software design will incorporate Modern UI design, with standard feedback for the user touch, device rotation, as well as onboard sensors and ports. Further the software design would introduce the concept of cost of computing in the cloud versus on the client and then how to inform the user which types of computing is being accomplished.
The class will use game design as the goals of the design, although students will be encouraged to follow their own design arc.
If we are going to do Data Structures, then we need to be able to access C++, but keep the students interested and feeling that the work they do has impact on their world. For a few, mainly students who will become researcher or engine designer (games, database, etc.) then the pure C++ data structure makes sense. Data Structures using Java is somewhat interesting, but like C#, there has to be a great deal of effort to make Java seem like a language that uses pointers, etc. This was effective for Sun Microsystems, but now that Oracle controls the language, don’t we have the same issues that professors had with C#? Except that Java has no specifications, which C# does. Also, C and C++ knowledge is important for engineering students who will use older simulation systems or need to build compact systems. Finally, maintenance of the systems created by the researchers and “engine” creators often requires in-depth knowledge of C and C++.
The only problem is casting it so that is in a game and useable for a Windows 8 application.