Windows Vista Technologies

The following table describes new and updated technologies for Windows Vista.


Core Audio

The core audio APIs serve as the foundation for higher-level APIs such as DirectSound, DirectMusic, multimedia wave and mixer functions, Media Foundation, and Streaming Audio Renderer (SAR).

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.

Core Windows

For a list of API additions, see the following topics:

Application Recovery and Restart
Boot Configuration Data
Common Log File System
Condition Variables
Debug Help Library 6.6
Kernel Transaction Manager (KTM)
Multilingual User Interface Functions
Multimedia Class Scheduler Service
Object Namespaces
Offline Files
One-Time Initialization
Performance Logs and Alerts
Restart Manager
Thread Ordering Service
Thread Pool
Transactional NTFS (TxF)
Wait Chain Traversal
Web Distributed Authoring and Versioning (WebDAV)
Windows Error Reporting

File Services

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

Transactional NTFS (TxF) 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 API, see Transactional NTFS (TxF).

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 Windows Server 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. See What's New in VSS in Windows Vista.


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.


New HTTP APIs have been added, 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.


Windows Remote 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 Windows Remote 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 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).

Microsoft Management Console

Microsoft Management Console (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 3.0.

Mobile PC

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 Function Discovery.

Web Services on 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, see Web Services on Devices.


Windows Vista introduces the following 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, see Network Access Protection.

The Network Diagnostics Framework (NDF) provides a way for component and application developers to simplify network troubleshooting for users. Users can attempt to diagnose and repair a network problem using a single troubleshooting tool.. To learn more, see Network Diagnostics Framework.

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

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 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 Rights Management, see RMS in Windows Vista and RMS in Windows Vista SP1.

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

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 What's New in Task Scheduler.

Terminal Services

For a list of updates, see What's New in Windows Vista.

Windows Desktop Sharing

Windows Desktop Sharing is a multiple-party screen-sharing technology. Key scenarios include remote assistance, real-time collaboration and conferencing, and video communication. With Terminal Services, a session is always created when a user connects remotely through Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP). With Windows Desktop Sharing, a local desktop can be transmitted over an RDP connection without creating an additional session.

For more information, see Windows Desktop Sharing.

Windows Image Acquisition (WIA)

The Microsoft Windows Image Acquisition (WIA) interface is both an 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 Component (WIC)

Codecs are a fundamental component of imaging applications and the Microsoft Windows Imaging Component (WIC) 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 Windows Imaging Component Overview.

Windows Contacts

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

Windows Deployment Services

Windows Deployment Services (WDS) is the revised version of Remote Installation Services (RIS). WDS enables the deployment of Microsoft Windows operating systems. WDS can set up new clients with a network-based installation without requiring that administrators visit each computer or install directly from CD or DVD media.

For more information, see Windows Deployment Services.

Windows Error Reporting

Windows Error Reporting (WER) is a new error-reporting feature that enables users to notify Microsoft of application faults, kernel faults, and unresponsive applications.

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

Windows Mail

Outlook Express has changed its name to Windows Mail.

Windows Media DRM

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

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 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.




Build date: 9/5/2012

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