Windows Vista Technologies

The following table describes new and updated Windows Vista® technologies available in the Windows SDK.



.NET Framework 3.0

The .NET Framework 3.0 is an integral Windows® component that supports Windows Communication Foundation, Windows Presentation Foundation, and Windows Workflow Foundation. For more information, see What's New in the .NET Framework Version 3.0.


New APIs have been added for Windows Vista. For a list of new functions, see Windows Vista.

C/C++ Code Analysis Tool

The C/C++ Code Analysis Tool provides information to developers about possible defects in their C/C++ source code. Common coding errors reported by the tool include buffer overrun, uninitialized memory, null-pointer dereference, and memory and resource leaks.

#pragma Header

Developers can use the #pragma directive to treat warnings as errors and to enable or disable warnings, as shown in the following examples:

#pragma warning (error: 6260)

#pragma warning (disable: 6011)

#pragma warning (enable: 6056)

Annotation Support

Annotations improve the accuracy of the code analysis. Annotations provide additional information about pre- and post-conditions on function parameters and return types. For example:

#include <CodeAnalysis/SourceAnnotations.h>
[returnvalue:SA_Post(MustCheck=SA_Yes)] double* CalcSquareRoot
[SA_Pre(Null=SA_No)] double* source, unsigned int size

In the preceding example:

[Post ( MustCheck=SA_Yes)] requires caller to check the return value of CalcSquareRoot.

[Pre ( Null=SA_No)] requires caller to pass non-null parameter "source" to CalcSquareRoot.

Command-line support

Developers can use the analysis tool from the command line, as shown in the following example:

C:\>cl /analyze Sample.cpp

Core Audio APIs

In Windows Vista, a new set of user-mode audio components provides client applications with improved audio capabilities. These capabilities include:

  • Low-latency, nearly glitch-free audio streaming.

  • Improved reliability (many audio functions have moved from kernel mode to user mode).

  • Improved security (processing of protected audio content takes place in a secure, lower-privilege process).

  • Assignment of particular system-wide roles (console, multimedia, and communications) to individual audio devices.

  • Software abstraction of the endpoint audio devices (for example, speakers, headphones, and microphones) that the user manipulates directly.

The Core Audio APIs serve as the foundation for the following higher-level APIs:

  • DirectSound

  • DirectMusic

  • Windows multimedia waveXxx and mixerXxx functions

  • Media Foundation

  • Streaming Audio Renderer (SAR)

File Services

Common Log File System (CLFS) provides high-performance persistent log services to user-mode and kernel-mode applications. To learn more, see About Common Log File System.

Transactional NTFS (TxF) is new to Windows Vista. It integrates transactions into the NTFS file system, which makes it easier for application developers and administrators to handle errors gracefully and preserve data integrity. To learn more about Transaction NTFS, the impact of transactions on storage, and the impact of transactions on the Win32® programming layer, see About Transactional NTFS.

Virtual Disk Service (VDS) is a Windows service that performs query and configuration operations at the request of end users, scripts, and applications. The service extends the existing storage capabilities of the Windows Server family by providing an API to the existing volume and disk management features in Windows, and unifying volume management and hardware Redundant Array of Independent Disks (RAID) management under a single API. To learn more about the VDS, see About VDS.

Volume Shadow Copy Service(VSS) is a Microsoft Windows service to create shadow copies of volumes. The service ensures file system consistency of the shadow copies and also provides APIs to involve applications in the creation process thus enabling application-level consistency as well.


Gadgets are small Windows applications that are developed using HTML and script. They are installed locally and reside on the Windows desktop or in the sidebar.

Gadget development follows a process that should be familiar to any Web developer, and includes creating an HTML file that does something interesting and an XML manifest file to store the gadget's properties, such as name, icon, and description.

Windows Sidebar Gadgets can be extended to Windows SideShow.

To learn more about Gadgets, see Windows Sidebar Gadget Development Overview.


New HTTP APIs have been added for Windows Vista, and platform information has been updated in existing API documentation to indicate support for this version of Windows.

Internet Explorer 7.0

Internet Explorer 7.0 introduces new functionality, including enhanced security and privacy, additional browser features such as tabbed browsing, and enhanced usability for platform developers.

To learn more, see What's New in Internet Explorer 7.


Web Services for Management (WS-Management) is the Microsoft implementation of the WS-Management public standard protocol for enterprise management. The WS-Management protocol provides a common way for systems to locate and exchange management information. To learn more, see About WS-Management.

The Windows Event Log enables an application to publish, access, and process events. With the Windows Event Log API, an application can define a custom event and publish it either to an event log or to a specified publisher channel (a named logical stream of events). To access an event, an application either queries or subscribes to the log or channel. To learn more, see About Windows Event Log.

Media Foundation

Microsoft Media Foundation is the next-generation multimedia platform and infrastructure for Windows. The first release of Media Foundation in Windows Vista focuses on content protection, audio and video quality, and interoperability for digital rights management (DRM).

Memory Management

The Memory Limits for Windows Releases topic has been updated to include memory limits information for Windows Vista.

Microsoft Management Console (MMC)

This release includes documentation for Microsoft Management Console 2.1. MMC is a framework that includes a graphical user interface (GUI) and programming platform in which snap-ins (collections of administrative tools) can be created, opened, and saved.

This version provides tools for writing .NET-based snap-ins for managing applications. Improvements include easier development and reduced snap-in development costs, increased reliability, integrated Windows Forms support, new view types, and improved usability.

For more information, see What's New in MMC.

Mobile PC Development

The new auxiliary display platform has been introduced in Windows Vista, allowing instant access to PC data, even in hibernate mode.

Monitor Configuration

The new Monitor Configuration APIs make it possible to calibrate color, adjust the monitor's display area, save and restore display settings, and use vendor-specific monitor features.

Network Connected Devices

Function Discovery is a new technology that integrates and unifies the discovery and delivery of metadata for both installed hardware devices and software components so that applications can easily query and build lists of devices and objects sorted by function or class. To learn more, see About Function Discovery.

Web Services for Devices (WSDAPI) is a complete implementation of the Devices Profile for Web Services (DPWS). The DPWS describes a set of requirements that enable a device to be discovered by clients and describe available services to those clients.

To learn more about Web Services for Devices, see About Web Service for Devices.


Windows Vista introduces three new networking technologies: Network Access Protocol, Network Location Awareness, and Windows Filtering Platform.

Network Access Protection (NAP) is designed to help administrators maintain the health of the computers on the network, which in turns helps maintain the network’s overall integrity. To learn more about Network Access Protocol, see About NAP.

The Network Location Awareness (NLA) API enables applications to avoid randomly selecting a network to connect to. NLA identifies available networks and returns network attribute data to the application. To learn more, see About NLA.

With the Windows Filtering Platform (WFP) API, developers can create code that allows applications to participate in filtering that happens at all layers in the networking stack. To learn more, see About Windows Filtering Platform.

Rights Management

Rights Management provides the ability for client computers to run applications based on Rights Management technologies.

This release does not include three functions (DRMGetClientVersion, DRMGetIntervalTime, DRMSetIntervalTime) and the server lockbox that are available in Version 1.0 SP1.

For more information about functionality available in each version of Rights Management, see What's New in Rights Management Services.

Shell and Common Controls

This release includes several new programming elements for the Shell and Common Controls, as well flags and controls for use with existing elements.

Tablet PC Development

The Tablet PC platform has added new Ink Analysis APIs for improved parsing and recognition of digital ink, and a COM version of the RealTimeStylus API. For a list of changes in this release, see What's New in Tablet PC Development.

Task Scheduler

This release includes APIs that support programming for Task Scheduler. The Task Scheduler service enables performing automated tasks on a chosen computer.

To learn more, see About the Task Scheduler.

Windows Image Acquisition (WIA)

The Microsoft Windows Image Acquisition (WIA) interface is both an application programming interface (API) and a device driver interface (DDI). Dozens of new WIA APIs are introduced in this release. To learn more, see What's New in Windows Image Acquisition.

Windows Imaging Codec (WIC)

Codecs are a fundamental component of imaging applications and the Microsoft Windows Imaging Codec (WIC) application programming interfaces (APIs) provide a single, authoritative source of imaging codecs.

The WIC APIs provide 3rd party independent software vendors (ISVs) the ability to develop their own imaging codec components and integrate them with the platform, both programmatically and through automatic component discovery.

To learn more about WIC, see About Windows Imaging Codec.

Windows Contacts

In Windows Vista, Windows Contacts replaces Windows Address Book (WAB) as an application programming interface (API) for extending the contacts functionality.

Windows Mail

Outlook Express has changed its name in Windows Vista to Windows Mail.

Windows Media DRM Client Extended APIs

The Windows Media DRM Client Extended APIs, which are part of the Windows Media Format 11 SDK, include objects that can be used to manage Windows Media Digital Rights Management (DRM) operations on a client computer. The primary focus of these objects is the management of licenses for protected digital media content.

Windows Media Player 11 SDK

The Windows Media Player 11 SDK has been significantly updated with the last release, and includes documentation and samples for many new features, including player control, skins, plug-ins, and more. For a complete list, see What's New in Windows Media Player 11.

Windows Forms

The Windows Forms classes contained in the .NET Framework are designed to be used for GUI development. You can easily create command windows, buttons, menus, toolbars, and other screen elements with the flexibility necessary to accommodate shifting business needs. To learn more, see Windows Forms Applications. In this release, the Windows Forms documentation has been refreshed and updated since the Visual Studio 2005 and .NET Framework SDK 2.0 were released.

Windows Portable Devices

Windows Portable Devices is a new way for a computer to communicate with attached media and storage devices. This system supersedes both Windows Media Device Manager and Windows Image Acquisition by providing a flexible, robust way for a computer to communicate with music players, storage devices, mobile phones, cameras, and many other types of connected devices.

See Also


Windows Server 2008 Technologies