Windows 7 logo and Microsoft .NET logoUntil now, taking advantage of the UI improvements in Windows 7 (and even some features in Vista) took a fair bit of work – there was a lot of stuff that wasn’t available through the .NET Framework. You’d have to either switch to C++ or resort to hacks in order to access these goodies.

That’s all changed with the newly-released Windows API Code Pack for Microsoft .NET Framework. Written in C# – with some DirectX stuff written in C++ – this library acts as a wrapper that gives managed code access to features including:

  • 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
  • Shell search API support
  • Drag and drop functionality for Shell objects
  • Support for Direct2D/Direct3D interoperability
  • Support for typography and font enumeration DirectWrite APIs

The system requirements are:

We’ll cover the Windows API Code Pack for Microsoft .NET Framework over the next little while in a couple of places – certainly on this blog, as well as at the TechDays 2009 cross-Canada conference in the Optimizing Your Apps for the Windows 7 Experience session.

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Download Windows API Code Pack for Microsoft .NET Framework (v1.0)

 

(This article also appears in my personal technical blog, Global Nerdy.)