In 2007 I published an article about the cool XmlLite API introduced with Windows Vista. Although the XmlLite developers wanted to provide a redistributable for Windows XP, they never managed to get it past the Microsoft lawyers. Eventually Windows XP Service Pack 3 was released including XmlLite but by then many developers had given up on it. I felt that this was a great embarrassment for Microsoft. But that was in the Windows Vista era. Surely things have improved in the Windows 7 timeframe.
Fast forward to 2009 and in the November issue of MSDN Magazine I wrote about the excellent Windows Web Services (WWS) API introduced with Windows 7. If you’re targeting Windows 7 and later this is an excellent addition to your developer toolbox. But it seems a similar fate has befallen it. Although a redistributable is apparently available I have yet to see it again thanks to the lawyers. After months of requesting and waiting, I finally heard back from a lawyer again but now it turns out I need to purchase a premiere support contract in order to qualify for the redistributable.
I’ve never needed paid support from Microsoft and I don’t see why I need to get a contract now! For crying out loud I’m a Microsoft MVP and I provide free support to Microsoft customers. Just a little ironic. Anyway, if you’ve got one of these fancy support contracts I guess you’ll be fine. As for me I’ll just have to wait till Windows 7 is as ubiquitous as Windows XP before I will give it another look. This really would not have bugged me if Microsoft hadn’t made such a big deal about how a redistributable would be made available to developers.