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Windows 7 for Developers

Last week I attended a two day Microsoft training about Windows 7 for Developers at U2U. We took a closer look at the Release Candidate and it’s features for developers.  It was quite interesting to see how to develop applications that use specific Windows 7 features like the new taskbar (thumb previews, jump lists, icon overlays), ribbons, multi touch, UAC, power management, sensors and location, Direct2D, DirectWrite, …

Afterwards I take some time to look up some extra information, libraries and tools. I found a lot of interesting websites and blog posts and so I summarize them here:

Windows 7

Microsoft already created a website with all information and downloads for Windows 7

Another very interesting source is Paul Thurott’s Supersite for Windows

As a developer you really should follow up the posts at the hereunder blogs. Sergey Zwezdin posted 10 great posts about programming Windows 7.

There are several Windows 7 forums with a lot of interesting posts. You surely should checkout the Tutorials section of SevenForums.

Windows API Code Pack

The Windows API Code Pack contains several .NET libraries to access all the new Windows 7 features. This MSDN Code Gallery page also provides several videos.

Federated Search (ODSX)

Following articles explain how to create your own Federated Search OSDX files. Popular OSDX files for Live, Google, MSDN, Wikipedia, Flickr, … can also be downloaded.

Boot from VHD files

Windows 7 offers great support for virtual harddisks and following articles describe how to create and mount these virtual harddisk VHD files and how to boot from them.

Library XML files

Windows 7 introduces the concept of libraries. A library is an aggregate of many different folders and it provides a view for specific content types. I noticed that there is no way to change a Library icon via the Windows UI. Following forum post explains where you can find the XML files which describe a Library and how to add a custom icon.

Run as different user

In Windows 7 the “Run as” option is not visible by default. It seems that it is implemented as an extended menu which is only displayed if you hold the SHIFT key. More info can be found at following forum post:

Ribbon

The WPF Ribbon control, a UI control that will replace menus, toolbars and popup windows in future applications, can be downloaded at Codeplex :

UAC

The User Account Control Helpers library is a project on CodePlex supporting all the UAC features of Windows Vista and Windows 7. It facilitates interaction with the UAC mechanism, handles manifest creation, extraction and embedding, and more.

Compatibility

Microsoft provides a Application Compatibility Toolkit (ACT) that contains all the necessary tools and documentation to evaluate and mitigate application compatibility issues before deploying applications to Windows 7. The toolkit already contains a lot of shims but you can also create your own shims to force privileged rights or program files or registry virtualization to run older applications.

Instrumentation

Following MSDN page provides a good overview of all the performance analysis, instrumentation, WMI, … features and tools:

If you are using WMI, you definitely should check out the LINQ to WMI project at CodePlex:

Training Kit

Update: The official Windows 7 Training Kit for Developers can be downloaded at the Microsoft website

Last week I attended a two day Microsoft training about Windows 7 for Developers at U2U. We took a closer look at the Release Candidate and it’s features for developers. It was quite interesting to see how to develop applications that use specific Windows 7 features like the new taskbar (thumb previews, jump lists, icon overlays), ribbons, multi touch, UAC, power management, sensors and location, Direct2D, DirectWrite, …

Afterwards I take some time to look up some extra information, libraries and tools. I found some interesting websites and blog posts and so I will share them:

Windows 7

Microsoft already offers a website with all info and downloads about Windows 7: http://www.microsoft.com/windows/windows-7/

Another very interesting source is Paul Thurott’s Supersite for Windows : http://www.winsupersite.com/faq/windows_7.asp

Several Windows 7 forums contain a lot of interesting posts:

http://www.sevenforums.com

http://www.w7forums.com/

http://windows7forums.com

Windows API Code Pack

The Windows API Code Pack contains several .NET libraries to access all the new Windows 7 features.

http://code.msdn.microsoft.com/WindowsAPICodePack

Federated Search (ODSX)

Following articles explain how to create your own Federated Search OSDX files. Popular OSDX files for Live, Google, MSDN, Wikipedia, Flickr, … can also be downloaded.

http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd742951(VS.85).aspx

http://www.windows7hacker.com/index.php/2009/04/how-to-create-custom-open-search-in-windows-7/

http://www.blogsdna.com/2307/windows-7-search-connectors-for-google-youtube-yahoo-wikipedia-twitter.htm

http://www.beingmanan.com/wp/2009/01/windows-7-resources-built-how-to-on-themes-connectors/

http://www.sevenforums.com/tutorials/742-windows-7-search-federation-providers.html

Boot from VHD files

Windows 7 offers great support for virtual harddisks and following articles describe how to create and mount these virtual harddisk VHD files and how to boot from them.

http://edge.technet.com/Media/Windows-7-Boot-from-VHD/

http://blogs.zdnet.com/hardware/?p=3324

Library XML files

Windows 7 introduces the concept of libraries. A library is an aggregate of many different folders and it provides a view for specific content types. I noticed that there is no way to change a Library icon via the Windows UI. Following forum post describes where you can find the XML files which describe a Library and how a custom icon can be added.

http://www.sevenforums.com/tutorials/3011-libraries-icons-change.html

Run as different user

In Windows 7 the “Run as” option is not visible by default. It seems that it is implemented as an extended menu which is only displayed if you hold the SHIFT key. More info can be found at following forum post:

http://www.sevenforums.com/tutorials/419-run-different-user.html

Ribbon

The WPF Ribbon control, a UI control that will replace menus, toolbars and popup windows in future applications, can be downloaded at Codeplex :

http://wpf.codeplex.com/Wiki/View.aspx?title=WPF%20Ribbon%20Preview

UAC

The User Account Control Helpers library is a project on CodePlex supporting all the UAC features of Windows Vista and Windows 7. It facilitates interaction with the UAC mechanism, handles manifest creation, extraction and embedding, and more.

http://uachelpers.codeplex.com/

Compatibility

Microsoft provides a Application Compatibility Toolkit (ACT) that contains all the necessary tools and documentation to evaluate and mitigate application compatibility issues before deploying applications to Windows 7. The toolkit already contains a lot of shims but you can also create your own shims to force privileged rights or program files or registry virtualization to run older applications.

http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyId=24DA89E9-B581-47B0-B45E-492DD6DA2971&displaylang=en

Instrumentation

Following MSDN page provides a good overview of all the performance analysis, instrumentation, WMI, … features and tools:

http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/performance/default.aspx

If you are using WMI, you definitely should check out the LINQ to WMI project at CodePlex:

http://www.codeplex.com/linq2wmi

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