Get Connected

Windows Vista® provides a number of new technologies that help build connected systems that provide secure, reliable, transacted interoperability.

Windows Communication Foundation

Windows® Communication Foundation (WCF) is a framework for building and running service-oriented applications. WCF unifies and extends the functionality of existing Microsoft connecting technologies providing a single programming model independent of underlying communications protocols. WCF applications can interoperate with other technologies using open standards and protocols. WCF is a core component of the Microsoft® .NET Framework 3.0 runtime, which is standard for Windows Vista and is also available for both Windows® XP and Windows Server® 2003.

Windows Communication Foundation delivers the following primary benefits: service-oriented architecture (SOA) support, flexible support for messaging models, a unified programming model, protocol neutrality, increased reliability, standards-based interoperability, integrated security and messaging services, and a flexible architecture designed for extensibility.


Communication (especially Windows Communication Foundation)

Relevant Windows Vista Developer Story links.

WCF Software Development Kit (SDK) Docs

MSDN Conceptual documentation describing Windows Communication Foundation.

System.ServiceModel, System.ServiceModel.Security

API documentation relating to two namespaces that contain the key Windows Communication Foundation functionality.

WCF Community site

Microsoft Community site for Windows Communication Foundation.

Peer-to-Peer Networking with PeerChannel

Documentation about using Windows Communication Foundation to create peer-enabled network applications.

Peer-to-Peer Networking with PeerChannel

Documentation about using Windows Communication Foundation to create peer-enabled network applications.


These Windows Vista technologies are useful for applications that require real-time communication and collaboration across distributed networks.



The classes used to create peer-enabled network applications.

Peer-to-Peer Collaboration Infrastructure

An API that can be used in collaborative, server-less network applications, such as instant messaging and multiplayer game matchmaking.

People Near Me API reference

Blog post on People Near Me API

People Near Me (PNM) is a way for people and applications to advertise themselves and their interests for easy connection and collaboration. The Near in People Near Me is the set of users located on the same subnet.

Windows Contacts

Windows Contacts is a new mechanism and user interface for storing and retrieving information about people (contacts) who are important to the users of Microsoft Outlook® and Windows® Mail (formerly named Outlook Express).

Windows Contacts replaces Windows Address Book (WAB) as an API for extending the functionality of Windows Contacts.

Rendezvous API documentation

The Rendezvous API provides communication between an instant messaging (IM) application, such as Windows Live Messenger™, and two-person interactive applications, such as Microsoft Windows Remote Assistance.

Introduction to Windows Peer-To-Peer Networking

Peer-to-peer technologies.

Windows Filtering Platform

Use Windows Filtering Platform (WPF) to write network packet inspection, monitoring, and modification solutions.


Windows Filtering Platform

MSDN documentation.

Internet Protocol Version 6 Stack

Windows Vista includes a new IPv6 stack that provides next-generation networking capabilities. By making an application IPv6 ready, users can run it on next-generation networks, traverse NATs and firewalls, and connect peer-to-peer.



MSDN documentation.

Quality of Service

These technologies manage the transmission of particular types of data: for instance, streaming media to ensure that data is transmitted at the right time with the right speed.

Quality Windows Audio/Video Experience

Windows Vista extends QoS functionality by adding network awareness and greater user-friendliness through the package.

Windows Workflow Foundation

A workflow is a discrete series of steps that describes the activities of the people and software involved in a business process. Once this workflow has been defined, an application can be built around that definition to support the business process.

The Windows® Workflow Foundation (WF) contains the programming model, engine, and tools for quickly building applications that model and support a workflow.


WorkflowFoundation Community site

Microsoft Community site.

WorkflowFoundation SDK Docs

MSDN Software Development Kit (SDK) documentation.

Windows CardSpace

Windows CardSpace™ enables users to provide their digital identities in a familiar, secure, and easy way.


CardSpace Community site

Microsoft Community site.

CardSpace SDK Docs

MSDN documentation.

Bring Data to Users with RSS

Use the Windows Vista Really Simple Syndication (RSS) feed APIs, common feedlist, shared data store, synch and parsing engines, and list extensions to RSS.

Really Simple Syndication Platform

The Windows RSS Platform includes components that enable an application to easily consume RSS feeds. If an application or service provides data that periodically changes or updates, or to which users might want to subscribe, consider exposing that data as RSS. Additionally, if an application enables users to consume and subscribe to information sources, enable users to subscribe to information exposed via RSS.


Windows RSS Platform

MSDN documentation.

RSS Simple List Extensions

This technology is used in applications that consume provided information listed in an order other than chronological (for example, wish lists or photo albums).

RSS Team Blog

Development blog for the Microsoft Really Simple Syndication team.

WCF RSS Toolkit

A Windows Communication Foundation–based framework for generating RSS 2.0 and Atom 1.0 content feeds.

Unified Feed Parsing

Unified Feed Parsing applications can access feeds in a consistent manner, without having to worry about parsing all the different flavors of RSS: versions RSS 2.0, RSS 1.0, RSS 0.9x, Atom 0.3, and Atom 1.0. 


Unified Feed Parsing

MSDN documentation.

IFeed Interface

The feed parsing API makes it easy to access list extensions and custom metadata, such as geocoding or ratings on feed items.

Shared Feed List

Shared Feed List is a technology that enables users to subscribe to a feed in one application, such as Windows Internet Explorer 7®, and make that feed available to all other applications.



An API that exposes methods that provide access to the Common Feed List, which is a hierarchical folder representation of the feeds to which the user is subscribed.

Feed Download Engine and Automatic Download for Enclosures

The RSS platform automatically handles download of feeds and media enclosures, such as video, photos, or audio podcasts. Downloads run automatically in the background, prioritizing bandwidth usage.


Understanding the Feed Download Engine

MSDN documentation.

Make Document Data Accessible

Use the open XML file format used by XML Paper Specification (XPS) and Office 12 to make documents easier for users to find, manage, and create.

XML Paper Specification

The XML Paper Specification (XPS) documentation defines a standard system for organizing complicated collections of documents in Windows Vista.

The .NET Framework 3.0 runtime includes the XPS package APIs that enable developers to more easily create and process XPS-based containers or files.


XPS Specification Overview

Microsoft XML Paper Specification technology overview with essential links.

XML Paper Specification Download

A description of XPS documents and how they are organized internally and rendered externally.

XPS Sample Documents

Windows Hardware Developer Central sample XML Paper Specification documents.

XPS Team blog

XML Paper Specification development team blog.

Open Packaging Convention

The Open Packaging Convention (OPC) describes the method for packaging content, resources, and metadata in a ZIP-based file format.


OPC Foundation

The Convention Foundation.

The Addressing Model of the Open Packaging Conventions

A technical article that provides an overview of the addressing model used in the Open Packaging Conventions.

Build for Mobility

New advances in power management, network awareness and synchronization allow developers to create a more seamless user experience on Mobile PC applications.

Features such as Windows® Sideshow™ and Ink provide new ways of interacting with users.


MSDN Mobile PC Developer Center

The Microsoft Mobile PC development center.

Mobile PC Development Guide

MSDN Documentation.

Mobile PC User Experience Guidelines for Developers

Guidelines that describe how to optimize the computing experience for mobile PC users by following established user interface design principles.

Tablet PC Development Guide

MSDN Documentation.

Ultra Mobile PC (UMPC, formerly code named Origami)

A portable device class of computers running the Windows operating system.

Tablet PC COM Libraries

MSDN documentation.

Power Management

Use the new power management libraries and notifications to improve battery life and enable users to continue using applications longer.

Use the monitoring system and end-user input in Windows Vista to detect when the system is being actively used to write applications, and power down hardware only when it is truly idle.


Power Management on Windows Vista 

An overview of power management considerations on Windows Vista.


Documentation for a power management flag that enables applications to deal gracefully with sleep and hibernation states when power is low.

Network Awareness

Build network awareness into an application to provide a seamless user experience for customers' mobile experience.


Network Awareness

Documentation about writing network-aware applications on Windows Vista, code examples included.

Network List Manager API documentation

The Network List Manager enables detection of network characteristics and automatic adjustments of application settings.

Data Synchronization

Synchronizing data between mobile PCs and other computers and devices can now be accomplished through one, common user interface.

Implement a sync handler to add robust synchronization and conflict resolution to mobile PC applications.


Data Synchronization

MSDN page discussing Mobile PC data synchronization on Windows Vista.

Sync Center

Windows Vista Sync Center enables users to synchronize their data with other computers and devices from one common user interface.


Use Ink to take advantage of Windows Vista's powerful handwriting features and enable an enhanced user experience for TabletPC users.


Pen Input, Ink, and Recognition (System.Windows.Ink)

MSDN handwriting recognition documentation.

Mobile PC User Experience Guidelines

A guide for optimizing the computing experience for mobile PC users by following established user interface design principles in an application.

Programming the Text Input Panel in Windows Vista

The Text Input Panel controls the onscreen appearance and behavior of the Tablet Input Panel.

Digital Ink

Ink Support in Windows Presentation Foundation.

Windows Sideshow

Windows Sideshow provides an API for applications to send content and notifications to devices, receive events from devices, manage device connection and management, and see Control Panel settings to enable users to control their auxiliary device settings.

Use the Windows Sideshow Platform API to enable users to easily see the most important information to them without entirely powering up their device.

The Sideshow platform is connection agnostic. It does not matter whether an auxiliary display is connected through USB, Bluetooth, TCP/IP, or other future protocols, as long as the appropriate user mode Sideshow transport driver is present.

Additional filter drivers can be added that convert the auxiliary display content format into something that can be understood by the specific device.


Windows Sideshow Platform API

MSDN Documentation.

Community Additions