Microsoft Issues Updates For Vista, Windows Server 2008

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As the launch frenzy of Windows 7 dies down, Microsoft has pushed out platform updates for both Windows Server 2008 and Vista

Just days after the launch of Windows 7, Microsoft has introduced platform updates for Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008, with more runtime libraries for supporting new technologies.

“The Platform Update for Windows Vista features a set of runtime libraries which add support for new technologies,” Brandon LeBlanc, a spokesperson for Microsoft, wrote in a posting on The Windows Blog, “making it easier for developers to develop for Windows 7 and Windows Vista without impacting their users.”

The free Platform Update is available through Windows Update, Windows Server Update Services and the Microsoft Download Center. Among the features contained:

  • Windows Ribbon and Animation Manager Library: The Windows Ribbon API allows developers to create rich ribbon experiences within applications, while the Windows Animation Manager API provides “an animation framework for managing the scheduling and execution of user interface element animations.”
  • Windows Graphics, Imaging, and XPS Library: This part of the update is meant for developers who work on games, multimedia, imaging or printing applications. It includes DirectX support for hardware acceleration for 2D, 3D and text-based scenarios, “DirectCompute for hardware accelerated parallel computing scenarios,” and XPS Library for any developers’ document printing scenarios.
  • Windows Automation API: “Allows accessibility tools and test automations to access Windows user interface in a consistent way across operating system versions.” This part of the update will also be available as a separate download for Windows XP-equipped PCs.
  • Windows Portable Devices Platform: Standardises data transfers between applications and portable devices such as smartphones and portable media players.

More information about the update can be found on this Microsoft site.

Microsoft is also issuing a Platform Update for Windows Server 2008, which includes the Windows Automation API, Windows Ribbon and Animation Manager Library APIs, and the Windows Graphics, Imaging, and XPS Library.

Windows Vista will likely go down in tech history as one of the great misfires by a major IT company. Soon after its 2007 release, the operating system gained a reputation as memory-intensive and application incompatible. Users complained that Vista’s User Account Control was too aggressive in asking them to approve changes to the system, and IT pros raised a variety of security concerns.


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