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Get to know the Windows Vista Developer Story

Everyone know Windows Vista is coming. However, not everyone is fully acquainted with the behemoth operating system's new features and what they mean to the .NET developer. (One thing we do know: as of now, developing for Vista means using Visual Studio 2005, not earlier versions.)

To that end Microsoft has created a page called the Windows Vista Developer Story, where developers can learn more about security, communication frameworks and the user interface in Vista. The site has been up and running since April 2006, and a new article is added every two weeks.

According to the site, Microsoft sees five so-called "pillars" of application development for Windows Vista. Four of the five pillars are also used to organize the articles that appear, or will appear, on the page.

  • Fundamentals refers to underlying elements of an application, like security, deployment and servicing. Articles here include Top 10 Ways to Light Up Your Windows Vista Apps, a primer on maximizing what Vista has to offer, and Requirements for User Account Control, a look at how to manage user rights and privileges. There are also two tutorials for working with the Control Panel.
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  • Presentation will examine UI improvements available through the Windows Presentation Foundation, ASP.NET, the upcoming Windows Graphics Foundation (an updated version of Direct 3D) and Aero (the Vista shell). As of yet this "pillar" contains no articles.

  • Communication looks at enhancements to Web services, RSS capabilities and collaboration through the Windows Communication Foundation and through IIS. Resources here include a WCF Roadmap and .NET Framework Communication, IIS, and Collaboration, which introduces the relevant technology in Vista and indicates what the new OS will and will not support.

  • Data discusses improvements like better search capabilities and a common XML document format. The lone article currently in this section, Search and Organize, offers hints for doing just that with your data, with details on filters, indexing and using breadcrumbs in a Web application.

  • Finally, the pillar called Productivity and Tools covers that which eases the application development process in Vista. No articles fall under this pillar; instead, there are sections for mobility, interoperability and media.

    As stated, the page is currently incomplete, though there is a list of what topics will be covered in future articles. Moreover, the lack of links for productivity tools like Visual Studio 2005 does raise an eyebrow.

    In spite of these shortcomings, Windows Vista Developer Story is definitely worth a look, both as an introduction to the ins and outs of application development for Vista and as a springboard for further investigation.

    This was first published in December 2006

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