• Solid Foundation
  • Richer Application Experiences
  • The Best of Windows and the Web
  • Compatibility and Reliability
  • Applications
  • Reliability Access Monitor
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    Windows 7 Developer Guide

    Published October 2008

    For more information, press only:

    Rapid Response Team

    Waggener Edstrom Worldwide

    (503) 443-7070


    The information contained in this document represents the current view of Microsoft Corp. on the issues discussed as of the date of publication. Because Microsoft must respond to changing market conditions, it should not be interpreted to be a commitment on the part of Microsoft, and Microsoft cannot guarantee the accuracy of any information presented after the date of publication.

    This guide is for informational purposes only. MICROSOFT MAKES NO WARRANTIES, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, IN THIS SUMMARY.

    Complying with all applicable copyright laws is the responsibility of the user. Without limiting the rights under copyright, no part of this document may be reproduced, stored in or introduced into a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form, by any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise), or for any purpose, without the express written permission of Microsoft.

    Microsoft may have patents, patent applications, trademarks, copyrights or other intellectual property rights covering subject matter in this document. Except as expressly provided in any written license agreement from Microsoft, the furnishing of this document does not give you any license to these patents, trademarks, copyrights, or other intellectual property.

    Unless otherwise noted, the example companies, organizations, products, domain names, e-mail addresses, logos, people, places and events depicted herein are fictitious, and no association with any real company, organization, product, domain name, e-mail address, logo, person, place or event is intended or should be inferred.

    © 2008 Microsoft Corp. All rights reserved.





    Solid Foundation 1

    Richer Application Experiences 2

    The Best of Windows and the Web 2



    Compatibility and Reliability 3

    Applications 3

    Drivers 3

    Devices 3

    Reliability Access Monitor 3

    Management and Deployment 4

    Windows PowerShell 2.0 4

    Windows Installer 5

    Security 6

    Windows Filtering Platform 6

    User Account Control 7

    Performance 7

    Building Power-Efficient Applications 7

    Service Control Manager 8

    Windows Troubleshooting Platform 8

    Documents and Document Peripherals 9

    Open Packaging Conventions 10

    XPS Documents 10

    Accessibility and Global Support 11

    Windows Automation 12

    Accessibility Support Tools 12

    Improved Multi-Language User Interface Support and Linguistic Services 12



    Intuitive User Experience 13

    Multi-Touch Gestures, and Manipulation and Inertia APIs 13

    Single-Finger Panning 14

    Raw Touch Input Data 14

    Handwriting and Ink 15

    Math Recognition 15

    Pen Input Diagramming 16

    Handwriting with Personalized Custom Dictionary 16

    The Desktop Experience 17

    Jump Lists—Getting Users into Your Application Quickly 18

    Enhanced Taskbar 19

    Gadgets Platform 20

    Scenic Ribbon 20

    Animation 21

    Managing Files and Data 22

    Libraries 22

    File Formats and Data Stores 23

    High-Fidelity Graphics with DirectX 24

    Direct2D 25

    DirectWrite 26

    Windows Imaging Component 26

    Direct3D 11 26

    Direct3D 10 improvements 27

    DirectX/GDI Interoperability 28

    Media Platform 28

    Format Support 28

    Hardware Devices 28

    Simplified Programming Model 29

    Platform Improvements 29

    Devices 30

    Device Experience Platform 30



    Services 31

    Windows Web Services 31

    Distributed Routing Table 32

    Windows BranchCache™ 32

    Windows Connectivity Platform 32

    Federated Search 33

    Sensor Platform 34

    Internet Explorer 8 35


    Building applications that are easy to use, visually appealing, and offer high performance is a challenge that developers face every day. Innovative applications can greatly improve the user experience, empowering companies to differentiate their services and solutions. However, developers are increasingly asked to do more in less time, while also optimizing the power and performance requirements of their applications.

    The Windows 7 platform makes it easy for developers to create engaging, user-friendly applications by providing familiar tools and rich development features that allow them to take advantage of the latest PC capabilities.


    Developing software has never been more exciting. The world has never been more connected, interactive and mobile. User experiences and content have never had higher fidelity. Advances in connectivity, mobility, natural interfaces, graphics and media are enabling new scenarios and opportunities for developers. At the same time, expectations have never been higher for performance, flexibility and interoperability. A world-class developer platform must provide a flexible and complete foundation for developers and their solutions, empowering them to build applications that set them apart from the competition while maximizing their investments.

    The Windows® 7 operating system is the essential platform for developers. Listening to our customers, looking ahead to the scenarios of tomorrow, and building on the capabilities of Windows Vista®, Microsoft offers developers a wide variety of choices and capabilities within the Windows developer platform, while empowering developers to deliver creative solutions that are mobile-aware, connected, high-fidelity, and provide a highly intuitive user experience. Most importantly, developer platform fundamentals such as security, performance, and compatibility are top priorities in Window 7.

    This guide summarizes the key developer advances in each of the following three areas:

    Solid Foundation

    Great user experiences start with a solid foundation. Windows 7 delivers a solid development platform and innovative tools that give you more options, increased application compatibility, better performance, and sophisticated document support. This results in a simple, more reliable environment for your applications and a familiar, intuitive one for your users.

    We’ve kept the user interface consistent, predictable and easy to use, while adding multi-touch support, scrolling, and other intuitive interaction features that take advantage of the latest PC and mobile device capabilities. With Windows 7, developers have the power to build the right user experiences for their applications.

    Richer Application Experiences

    Windows 7 enables developers to build applications today that will run on the PCs of tomorrow. Service-enabled software and devices, such as mobile phones, portable media players, and digital cameras, demand constant connectivity and advanced applications. Windows 7 delivers a platform for both, making it easy for developers to take advantage of the functionality and features of next generation hardware, while ensuring that users are always on, and always connected.

    The Best of Windows and the Web

    With Windows 7, it’s easy to get connected and stay connected. Windows networking offers developers options for better caching and sharing of data to improve network performance. Network diagnostics in Windows 7 give developers relevant information for monitoring network issues. Internet Explorer™ 8 is the essential platform for building fast, rich Web experiences. Whether the goal is to connect devices, connect to a network, or connect to the Internet, Windows 7 provides an enhanced platform.


    Windows 7 provides a highly productive developer platform and tools that deliver on core operating system fundamentals. Windows 7 builds upon the Windows Vista platform, giving developers the power to build applications that are compatible with both platforms while limiting application compatibility issues. Windows 7 dramatically improves performance and power management so that you can create applications that optimize the mobile experience. As a result, your applications will be more visually appealing, easier to create, and support a wider range of international standards. Advances have also been made in global support, accessibility, and application deployment.

    Compatibility and Reliability

    Windows 7 is designed to run on the same hardware as Windows Vista, and to be compatible with applications and device drivers that work with Windows Vista.

    Windows 7 is the most reliable version of Windows yet. Designed on an improved technology foundation, Windows 7 allows users to reliably start up, shut down, or hibernate their computers without having to worry about losing valuable work. Furthermore, Windows 7 makes it easier than ever to back up and restore data to network drives or DVDs. Windows 7 also improves upon print reliability and performance.


    To help ensure compatibility, Windows 7 has been designed in close partnership with software vendors and PC manufacturers. Early engagement has enabled Microsoft to build a comprehensive list of the most widely used applications. Automated testing cycles ensure that compatibility issues are detected and fixed early in the development cycle.


    The Windows Driver Kit (WDK) Version 3.0 provides the build environment, tools, documentation, and samples that developers need to create quality drivers for Windows. The WDK 3.0 supports static source code analysis, using PREfast to detect certain classes of C and C++ coding errors. PREfast includes a specialized driver component, known as PREfast for Drivers (PFD), which detects errors in kernel-mode driver code. In addition, the WDK has been enhanced by annotating all kernel header files for PFD support. New sample drivers have been added that demonstrate new technologies, and the documentation has been expanded.

    Windows 7 supports a large variety of software and hardware products designed to integrate seamlessly with the platform. Drivers that were created for Windows Vista should not require updating to run correctly in Windows 7.


    Windows 7 provides flexible, robust support for a wide variety of applications and devices, including music players, storage devices, mobile phones, and other types of connected devices. Automatic testing of these devices is used to ensure that compatibility issues are fixed early in the development cycle.

    Reliability Access Monitor

    Reliability Analysis Component is an in-box agent that provides detailed customer experience information on system usage and reliability.   This information is exposed through a Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI) interface, making it available for consumption by Portable Readers Systems. By exposing Reliability Analysis Component through a WMI interface, developers can monitor and analyze their applications, increasing reliability and performance,

    Windows 7 uses the built-in Reliability Analysis Component to calculate a reliability index which provides information about your overall system usage and stability over time. Reliability Analysis Component also keeps track of any important changes to the system that are likely to have an impact on stability, such as Windows updates and application installations. You can use the Reliability Monitor snap-in to see trends in your system's reliability index correlated with these potentially destabilizing events, making it easy to trace a reliability change directly to a particular event.

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