Windows 7 new APIs and Libraries

Windows 7 new APIs and Libraries :

1. Multi-Touch
2. Ribbon
3. Location
4. Shell Integration

1. Multi-Touch
Touch-based interfaces allow users to interact with applications in a more intuitive way. Windows 7 introduces multi-touch input and manipulation processing through Windows Touch.

For native C++ developers, MFC now supports using a touch-enabled interface. MFC will do much of the heavy lifting: it listens for touch-related messages from Windows and calls out to a number of virtual functions to handle them. Developers merely need to register for touch input, set the gesture configuration, and override these virtual methods as required to touch-enable their application.
WPF 4 includes object model additions for touch interfaces so managed code developers can easily add touch support to their applications as well. Multiple finger input will be exposed through existing and new input events, while new manipulation and inertia events will be exposed for developers to consume.

2. Ribbon
Adding a Ribbon to your application can help organize your commands, tasks, and menus in a friendly way that makes it easier for your customers to find what they’re looking for. Whether your application is written in Win32, MFC, or WPF, new controls and APIs will help you add a Ribbon to your application.

If you write Win32 applications, the Ribbon framework provides a set of APIs for creating a Ribbon for your application. You can find out more about the Windows Ribbon Framework for Win32

The new WPF Ribbon Control will be released out of band around the same time as WPF 4 through the Office UI Licensing site. You can find instructions on downloading the WPF Ribbon (currently in Preview)
here. The WPF Ribbon will feature skins for Windows 7 and Office and all the standard Ribbon features that users are familiar with, including tabs and groups, dynamic resizing, quick access toolbar, application menu, contextual tabs, key tips, and more! The Ribbon will remain available as a separate, standalone assembly.

3. Location
Windows 7 features the Location platform, which makes it easy to write applications that can make use of the user’s location. The Location platform opens the doors to some interesting application scenarios – especially on mobile computers. For example, a location-aware application might use the current location to show the user nearby restaurants or shops, or an instant messaging or email application might tag messages with the sender’s location.

The Location platform provides a way for location devices, such as GPS and WWAN radios, to integrate with Windows and includes an API that applications can use to determine the current location of the computer. Because the Location API exposes its functionality through COM interfaces, C++ programmers and scripting language programmers alike can take advantage of it. The Windows 7 SDK includes samples and documentation to help you build location-aware applications. Find out more about the COM Location API on

In addition to the COM Location API, .NET Framework 4 will include built-in managed APIs for location, making it easy for .NET applications to take advantage of Windows 7’s location capabilities.

4. Shell Integration
Windows 7’s Shell enhancements empower application authors to provide a richer integrated user experience. Jump Lists provide access to contextual startup tasks and files available to the applications. For instance, right-clicking on the Outlook icon will show the mail messages you’ve recently opened in the Jump List:

Windows® API Code Pack - API to access Windows 7 features

Windows® API Code Pack for Microsoft® .NET Framework provides a source code library that can be used to access some new Windows 7 features (and some existing features of older versions of Windows operating system) from managed code. These Windows features are not available to developers today in the .NET Framework. The individual features supported in this version (v1.0) of the library are:

Windows 7 Taskbar Jump Lists, Icon Overlay, Progress Bar, Tabbed Thumbnails, and Thumbnail Toolbars.

Windows 7 Libraries, Known Folders, non-file system containers.

Windows Shell Search API support, a hierarchy of Shell Namespace entities, and Drag and Drop functionality for Shell Objects.

Explorer Browser Control.

Shell property system.

Windows Vista and Windows 7 Common File Dialogs, including custom controls.

Windows Vista and Windows 7 Task Dialogs.

Direct3D 11.0, Direct3D 10.1/10.0, DXGI 1.0/1.1, Direct2D 1.0, DirectWrite, Windows Imaging Component (WIC) APIs. (DirectWrite and WIC have partial support)

Sensor Platform APIs

Extended Linguistic Services APIs

Power Management APIs

Application Restart and Recovery APIs

Network List Manager APIs

Command Link control and System defined Shell icons.What’s New in this update (v1.0):

The new features added in this update of code pack are:

Shell Search API support.

Drag and Drop functionality for Shell objects.

Support for Direct3D and Direct2D interoperability.

Support for Typography and Font enumeration DirectWrite APIs.

Somasegar’s blog -

Windows 7 Taskbar and Libraries .NET Interop Sample Library -

Tim Sneath's Windows 7 Blog -

Windows Team Blog -

Windows Developer's site -

Windows 7 Developer Guide -

Windows® API Code Pack for Microsoft® .NET Framework -

Arun Kishan MSDN Channel 9's Windows' low level architecture -

Mark Russinovich's MSDN Channel 9's discussion of Windows 7 kernel-level stuff -