I’ve made a few changes to my professional life. I’ve had the opportunity to work with some really talented developers in London and I’m sorry to say goodbye to them. I’ll talk more about that in the coming weeks and months but one of the outcomes is that I’ll have much more time for my software projects. To unwind from employment (e.g. slavery :) ) I took Karin and the kids camping and boy did things change in the world of Microsoft technology in just one week. Here are just some of the announcements.
Windows 7 (and Server) Release Candidate – by far the biggest news is the arrival of the Windows 7 RC. You can get it from your MSDN subscription along with the latest Windows SDK. The server version of Windows 7, called Windows Server 2008 R2, is also available. Interestingly, the Windows SDK is now split across platforms.
Office 2007 Service Pack 2 – the next service pack for Office 2007 is out so if there was ever any doubt that Office 2007 is ready for mass corporate adoption you’re now all out of excuses! :)
Windows Vista Service Pack 2 – the second service pack for Windows Vista has also been released.
Virtual PC Beta – we all thought it was dead but here comes a new version. It looks like this will be the last version of Virtual PC before Hyper-V is rolled into all versions of Windows. In other words I expect Windows 8 to include Hyper-V just as Windows Server now does. This is in much the same was as Remote Desktop Services first debuted in Windows Server and is now included in all editions of Windows.
If you really need XP support then you may want to take a look at Windows 7’s XP Mode, which allows you to run Windows XP applications on your Windows 7 desktop. This uses the new version of Virtual PC but will eventually be based on Hyper-V.
As a (native) C++ developer there’s just so much to be excited about when you consider Windows 7. I’ve started covering Windows 7 technology in my Windows with C++ column in MSDN Magazine and you can expect many more articles focused on Windows 7 in the coming months. Here are just a few that I’m particularly interested in:
Virtual Disk API – I covered this in the April 2009 issue of MSDN Magazine.
Direct2D – I have an introduction to Direct2D in the upcoming June 2009 issue of MSDN Magazine.
In addition there are new APIs for advanced text rendering and typography, powerful user interface animation, ribbon user interface, web services clients and servers, and much more. And all of this is designed for C++ developers! I’ll be covering many of these in upcoming articles.
As I’ve said before, these are exciting times for a C++ developer on Windows.