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Windows 7 Technologies

The following table describes new and updated technologies for Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2.

For an alphabetical list of functions and interfaces, see Windows 7 API List.


Active Directory Rights Management Services

For a list of API additions, see RMS in Windows 7.

Biometric Service API

Use the Biometric Service API to create client applications that call into the Windows Biometric Framework (WBF) to capture, save, and compare end-user biometric information.

For more information, see Biometric Service API.


For a list of API changes, see Changes to COM in Windows 7.

Core Windows

For a list of API additions, see the following topics: What's New in Power Management, What's New in Processes and Threads, What's New in Services, and What's New in Synchronization.

Distributed File System Replication

For a list of API additions, see What's New in DFSR in Windows Server 2008 R2 and Windows 7.

Enhanced Storage

The Enhanced Storage API enables consistent end-to-end authentication for personal storage devices that differ in form factor.

For more information, see Enhanced Storage.

Enhanced Taskbar

The taskbar has been extended significantly under the guiding principle of getting users where they're going as quickly and efficiently as possible. To that end, the application windows, files, and commands that the user needs to accomplish that are now centralized into a single taskbar button that consolidates previously scattered information sources and controls. A user can now find common tasks, recent and frequent files, alerts, progress notifications, and thumbnails for individual documents or tabs all in one place.

For more information, see Taskbar Extensions.

Event Tracing for Windows (ETW)

For a list of API additions, see What's New.

Extended Linguistic Services

Extended Linguistic Services (ELS) supports text-based services, including language detection, script detection, and transliteration services.

For more information, see Extended Linguistic Services.

File Server resource Manager

For a list of API additions, see What's New.

Hardware Counter Profiling

This API enables applications to capture thread profiling data such as cycle time and the reasons for context switches.

For more information, see Hardware Counter Profiling.


For a list of API additions, see What's New in Hyper-V.

Internet Explorer

Internet Explorer 8 is available for download and is also included in Windows 7.

For more information, see What's New in Internet Explorer 8.

Location API

The Location API helps to simplify location-aware programming by providing a standard way to retrieve data about user location and standardizing formats for location data reports. The Location API automatically handles transitions between location data providers and always chooses the most accurate provider for the current situation.

For more information, see Location API.

Mobile Broadband

The Mobile Broadband API is used to implement connectivity to cellular networks. Applications should not communicate with such mobile broadband devices directly. Instead, they must use the Mobile Broadband API.

For more information, see Mobile Broadband.

Native Wifi

For a list of API additions, see What's New in Native Wifi.

Network Share Management

For a list of API additions, see What's New in Network Share Management in Windows Server 2008 R2 and Windows 7.


A package is a compressed file that contains application data. The Open Packaging Conventions (OPC) introduce two basic concepts to describe a package: parts and relationships. A part is a physical object that contains application data and is located inside a package. A relationship is a logical association between any package or part and a URI-addressable resource such as a part or an external Web site.

A digital signature is used to validate the package originator's identity and to confirm that the signed contents of the package have not been modified after signing. In a package, the signature can reference the package components that have been signed; it can include objects that contain application data, which may also have been signed; and it can include certificates, which can be used in signature validation.

For more information, see Packaging.

Parental Controls

For a list of changes, see What's New in Windows 7 Parental Controls.

Peer Distribution

Use this API to publish or consume digital content.

For more information, see Peer Distribution.

Performance Counters

For a list of API additions, see What's New.

Power Management

For a list of API additions, see What's New in Power Management.

Sensor API

Sensors are devices or mechanisms that can measure physical phenomena, provide descriptive data, or provide information about the state of a physical object or environment. Computers can make use of built-in sensors, sensors that are connected through wired or wireless connections, or sensors that provide data through a network or the Internet. The Sensor API provides a standard way to programmatically access data that sensors provide.

For more information, see Sensor API.

Virtual Disk Service

For a list of API additions, see What's New in VDS in Windows Server 2008 R2 and Windows 7.

Virtual Hard Disk

The Virtual Hard Disk (VHD) format is a publicly-available image format specification that specifies a virtual hard disk encapsulated in a single file, capable of hosting native file systems while supporting standard disk and file operations. An example of how VHD files are used is the Hyper-V feature in Windows Server 2008, Virtual Server, and Virtual PC. These products use VHD to contain the Windows operating system image utilized by a virtual machine as its system boot disk.

For more information, see Virtual Hard Disk.

Volume Shadow Copy Service

For a list of API additions, see What's New in VSS in Windows Server 2008 R2 and Windows 7.

Windows Animation

For more information, see Windows Animation Manager.

Windows Connect Now

Windows Connect Now (WCN) allows mobile and embedded devices, 802.11 access points (APs), and computers to securely connect, and exchange settings with each other. WCN is designed for the home or small business user, providing a reasonable compromise between ease-of-use and robust security.

For more information, see Windows Connect Now.

Windows Error Reporting

For a list of API additions, see What's New in WER.

Windows Event Log

For a list of API additions, see What's New.

Windows Gadget Platform

The Windows Gadget Platform is the new framework for creating and hosting mini-applications called gadgets on the desktop.

For more information, see Windows Gadget Platform.

Windows Installer

For a list of changes, see What's New in Windows Installer 5.0.

Windows Ribbon Framework

The Windows Ribbon (Ribbon) framework is a rich command presentation system that provides a modern alternative to the layered menus, toolbars, and task panes of traditional Windows applications. Similar in functionality and appearance to the Microsoft Office Fluent Ribbon, the Ribbon is a command bar that exposes the major features of an application through a series of tabs at the top of an application window.

For more information, see Windows Ribbon Framework.

Windows Touch

New hardware and API support enables applications to receive multitouch input. This gives such applications the ability to detect and respond to multiple simultaneous touch points on the application’s visible surface. Functionality for this feature is provided by a new set of dedicated window messages that report touch down, up, and move actions. The new messages report action and position of touch points with unique identification of simultaneous touch points.

For more information, see Windows Touch.

Windows Troubleshooting Platform

Windows Troubleshooting Platform (WTP) provides ISVs, OEMs, and administrators the ability to write troubleshooting packs that are used to discover and resolve issues found on the computer. Previously, troubleshooting software and hardware issues was a manual process; however, using WTP you can automate the process of fixing the most common detectable issues that the user might encounter using your software or hardware.

For more information, see Windows Troubleshooting Platform.

Windows Web Services

Windows Web Services API (WWSAPI) is a native-code implementation of SOAP which provides core network communication functionality by supporting a set of the WS-* and .NET-* family of protocols. WWSAPI offers C/C++ application programming interface (API) for building SOAP based web services and clients to them.

For more information, see Windows Web Services.

XPS Documents

Application developers can use XPS documents to share and archive content as electronic paper in a high-fidelity, efficient, and trustworthy format. The XPS document APIs enable developers to create, access, and manipulate XPS documents easily.

For more information, see XPS Digital Signatures and XPS Document.