Ok, so I've most definitely been neglecting this blog for way too long.  It's the most common form of blogicide; you start out with the greatest of intentions and then, well, life happens.

But fear not, I'm not going to let that happen.  My lame excuse:  We're in the final big push on Windows Vista, and things have been just a little busy.  I wish I could say things are getting back to normal, but in all honesty, this is pretty much what defines normal around here.

The news for today is the availability of WIC for Windows XP and Server 2003 (and all the various flavors of 64-bit Windows.

WIC (or Windows Imaging Component as its known when it gets all dressed up and go out to parties) is the unmanaged code imaging layer supporting Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF.)  I guess if WPF is the "foundation" then that makes WIC the bedrock.  WIC includes a whole lot of imaging goodness, including the Windows Media Photo codec.  So, if you have WIC, you have Windows Media Photo.

WIC is built into Windows Vista and its also a part of .NET Frameworks 3.0.  So, if you install .NET Frameworks 3.0 on Windows XP (or one of the other supported operating systems) you've got WIC.  However, .NET Frameworks 3.0 is a huge multi-megabyte managed code layer that is a lot to download and install if all you want is WIC (and Windows Media Photo.)

So, WIC is now available as a separate download that you can install without installing all of .NET Frameworks.  If you have .NET Frameworks 3.0 you don't need this.  If you have Windows Vista, you don't need this.  But if you want WIC (including the Windows Media Photo codec) on Windows XP, here are the handy, easy-to-remember links:

x86: http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=a6e324c4-ae01-4725-a92e-2b38beaf34c0&DisplayLang=en

x64: http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?familyid=597A3323-4D48-4993-9CF9-B486856436F2&displaylang=en

Complete programmer's documentation on WIC can be found here: http://windowssdk.msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms735422.aspx

For lots more goodness including lots of inside information and technical details about WIC and WPF, I definitely recommend you visit Robert A. Wlodarczyk's Blog.

Bill