Libraries Give Vista Apps a Windows 7 Look
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Microsoft on Tuesday released the final code for a set of libraries that enables developers to write applications for Windows 7 that will also preserve the Windows 7 look and feel when the application is run on Windows Vista.
The Platform Update for Windows Vista is a free download from Windows Update, Windows Server Update Services and the Microsoft Download Center. There is also a similar package for deployment on Windows Server 2008.
The announcement of the code libraries came in a post on the Windows 7 Team Blog.
"It includes updates to DirectX to support hardware acceleration for 2D, 3D and text-based scenarios; DirectCompute for hardware accelerated parallel computing scenarios; and XPS Library for document printing scenarios," according to a Microsoft document online.
Among the runtime libraries provided as part of the platform updates is code that supports the "ribbon" user interface used in Office 2007 and some Windows 7 utilities, for example. There's also support for Windows 7 graphics and imaging as well as the XPS library for printing.
Additional technologies include support for accessibility tools, and for standardizing data transfers to and from mobile devices.
Windows 7 already contains all of the technologies supported in the code libraries in the Platform Update for Vista, as does Windows Server 2008 Release 2 (R2). Developers need to be running Vista and Windows Server 2008 with Service Pack 2 installed to use the libraries.
The move is a recognition that despite the fact that Vista was not considered a popular Windows version, there are none-the-less at least tens of millions of copies of Vista in use, and many of them will remain in place for years.
The platform update provides a way for developers to save effort while making sure that those users with Vista are not orphaned as Windows 7 enters the market.
"The Platform Update for Windows Vista enables consumers running Windows Vista to be able to run the latest games, productivity applications, and other software," a Microsoft spokesperson told InternetNews.com.