Windows 7 offers new functionality that developers can exploit in their applications to provide enhanced experiences and productivity for their end users. Included among these new features is the ability to add custom Tasks to the Taskbar Jump Lists, support the new Libraries and make your application Library aware, allow enhanced user interaction with Multi-Touch, and extend the application to “react” to its surroundings by adopting the Sensor and Location platform. You can read about these and many more new Windows 7 features in the Windows Engineering blog, Channel 9 videos, in earlier posts, and on The Windows Blog.
The Windows 7 Beta SDK is a great source of documentation and examples for using these new sets of APIs. However, most of the examples are written in native code similar to Windows 7 APIs which are all native C, C++, and COM APIs, which makes the life of managed code developers a bit hard. For that reason, Microsoft created the Windows Vista Bridge project that makes it easier for managed code developers to use Windows OS-specific APIs such as those described above. The current version of the Window Vista Bridge, version 1.4 contains many useful “Windows Vista” features such as Restart and Recovery, Search, Power Awareness and other Shell integrations. However the current version doesn’t include any Windows 7 features. It will support key Windows 7 APIs in the near future, but until then, we have developed an intermediate set of solutions for supporting managed code developers who wish to target Windows 7 Beta today and not wait for the time the API Code Pack for the .It is important to be aware that these solutions are not the “official libraries”; they come with no support or any sort of warranty — in other words, use them at your own risk!
With that caveat in place, we can go ahead and introduce some new managed code wrappers that will allow managed code developers to use the Windows 7 Taskbar, manipulate Libraries, add Multi-Touch support for WinForms or WPF 3.5 SP1, and enable Sensors and Location in their applications.