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Allchin Breaks Out The Pom-Poms For Vista

Just in case developers weren't planning on supporting Windows Vista, Jim Allchin wants to make sure they do.

The co-president of Microsoft's  Platforms and Services group, who is retiring after bringing his baby to market, posted a lengthy update on MSDN aimed at encouraging developers to get on the Vista bandwagon.

He reiterated the company's delivery schedule, saying that the software will be done by the end of the year and available to consumers in January, barring any bugs around "data corruption, resiliency or security…

"Windows Vista is going to give you, developers, new opportunities on a scale you haven't seen since Windows 95," he wrote. The cynical translation could mean more Windows XP apps will be broken under Vista than Windows 3.1 apps were broken in the move to Windows 95.

Perhaps for that reason, he did emphasize visiting developer-related sites like the Application Compatibility Cookbook to check an application against the many changes in the new platform.

He also pointed to the MSDN site for Vista and the Vista portal with additional tools and resources.

Among the tools for developers is Orcas, the codename for the next version of Microsoft's Visual Studio programming environment. Orcas, which does not have a formal name yet or release date, is optimized for writing Vista applications.

Microsoft has also made available the pre-release code for .Net Framework 3.0, which adds security, a new graphical interface and a workflow mechanism. Also available is the new line of Microsoft Expression products for developers and designers to build new Vista-oriented applications.

Much of the letter was downright gushing. "More than 1,000 companies are engaged in our early adopter programs, and some of the initial work I've seen has simply blown me away. People will just love these applications - from new DX10 games to cool Sidebar gadgets to new rich visual enterprise applications. Some of these apps are mind-bogglingly cool."

Gartner analyst Michael Silver told internetnews.com he thinks the letter is likely an effort to attract additional developers to the fold, not the key ones they need for launch, which Microsoft has already got.

"Microsoft still has a good relationship with developers and have been working with key developers around Vista for a long time. Jim’s note is likely looking to shore up ones that have been waiting for a market before they commit and have still been on the fence," he said.