As I promised a few blog entries ago, I’m going to be blogging regularly on new developer technologies that are coming as a part of Windows Vista. 

Today, I want to start off by answering one question that I often get asked by developers - how can they make their applications take advantage of the new features of the operating system?. 

Windows Vista is the most visual operating system that we’ve ever released and, as a part of that, we’ve put together a set of guidelines to show developers how their applications can Light Up on Vista. 

Some of the guidance on this site dates from the Professional Developers’ Conference that we held last year but is also complemented by material in the Vista Developer Story. 

Regardless of the type of applications that you create, there are suggestions on that page that include new ways to produce compelling user experiences.    Whether you’re looking to take advantage of the new common file dialogs, build an application using WPF, integrate search, or build for connected systems, we have resources there that can get you started.

One key attribute that I am personally excited about is how you can take your application forward in a “pay as you play” mode.  The opportunity for you to provide differentiated, yet rich user experiences is a core part of what we are enabling with Vista.  New user experiences are about more than just making your application look good: they’re about giving your users new ways to interact with their data and new ways to build applications that create emotional attachment.  The Light Up on Vista provides some more detail on how to really start to take advantage of this.

If you’re interested in seeing what your application can look like when finished, I’d suggest taking a look at  Under the “Engaging Your Customers” section, you’ll see examples of customers such as The North Face, The British Library and Mercedes AMG’s online ads.  These are examples of how you can use Windows Vista technologies to make your applications truly light up.