Windows Web Services FAIL

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.


  • I'm not surprised. There seems to be a concerted effort to discourage native Windows development and in particular development with C++. I think the same guy who thougt it made sense for Visual BASIC to have no main client window is the same guy responsible for this inanity in order to protect C# and .Net. Now that Java isn't considered a viable platform for writing seriously performing applications, C# has lost it's purpose and there's less of a desire on the part of developers to look past its shortcomings. So, I think this guy is defending his baby with all he's got.

  • I don't understand why lawyers have a say in this case. But then, I don't work at Microsoft nor do I live or work in the US.

  • Amazing the drop off in C++ these days. Every time I get my MSDN mag I turn to the C++ section by you Kenny. The rest is all linq and patterns and practices and really dumbed down stuff for teams. If I want patterns I will get a book on designer clothing.
    MFC is making a comeback, I note, as I saw a channel 9 video on the new GUI "catch alls" to make your app like the real thing the Office team guys churn out (ribbon etc.)
    Documetation for the MFC feature pack is 'just' there. I managed to use the CMFCBrowseCtrl by setting up a class override. It worked! :-) Yay! I hope MS don't make "COM" and "C++" naughty words. Never mind ATL / WTL already politically incorrect to mumble. Hey Bill Gates - we need you back!
    Keep up the good work Kenny. Blogging is the only way I guess if MSDN Mag is shutting down.
    Just put your stuff on line? Yes?
    Kenny with C++ & Mark Russinovich with the internal secrets would be my favorite 2 blogs.

  • I just ran down the exact same path. In the end, bascially you need $37,000 to sign up for the Partner Advantage agreement.

    $37K just to support WWSAPI on Windows 2003 !

    Another stillborn Microsoft technology...

  • Same experience here. After weeks of back-and-forth (including signing of an NDA) with MS attorneys, I was informed that I needed this support contract to proceed.

    Of course, no micro-ISV can afford such an agreement.

    What a complete and utter waste of time!

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