In September, Microsoft unveiled a beta of a toolset that was designed to improve compatibility between Vista and Windows 7 (as well as Windows Server 2008 and Windows Server 2008 R2). The Redmondians made available on October 27 the final version of that tool, known as the Platform Update for Windows Server 2008 and Windows Vista.
The Platform Update — which is a set of runtime libraries — includes the Windows Ribbon and Animation Manager Library; DirectX updates for hardware acceleration; DirectCompute for hardware-accelerated parallel computing support; the XPS printing library; the Windows Automation API; and the Windows Portable Devices Platform, which standardizes data transfers across apps and portable devices.
Microsoft officials said the primary target for the Platform Update (on the client side, at least) are developers doing “games and multimedia applications that take advantage of the new features in DirectX 11, and a lot of mobile phones that wirelessly sync with music applications like Rhapsody using MTP over Bluetooth,” in the words of a corporate spokesperson.
Microsoft is planning to make the Platform Update to all Windows Vista customers over Windows Update, Windows Server Update Services (WSUS), System center Configuration Manager and “other third-party desktop management tools” so that developers who use the Platform libraries in building their products “can feel confident knowing it is broadly deployed.”
Here are the pertinent informational links on what was released today: