Let me start off by introducing (or more precisely) re-introducing myself. My name is Barry Butterklee and as of the middle of March, I started a new role on the SDK team: Release PM for the Windows SDK for Windows Server code name “Longhorn” and .NET Framework 3.5. Yes, the name of the SDK is quite the mouthful, so for the remainder of this post, I will simply refer to it as the Windows SDK or the SDK. It has been quite the experience coming up to speed as a Release PM just a few short weeks before we ship; fortunately our team has a lot of experience shipping SDKs that I was able to leverage.
Now, back to the main news of this post; namely that the Windows SDK for Windows Server code name “Longhorn” and .NET Framework 3.5 (I promise, this is the last time I use the long SDK name in this post) is available for download (note: the download servers are under heavy load right now and you might need to refresh the download url)! This release of the Windows SDK is designed to operate with Beta3 of Windows Server code name “Longhorn”. The SDK is compatible with the RTM release of Microsoft® Visual Studio® 2005 SP1. Express Editions of Microsoft® Visual Studio® are available to download from the Microsoft® Visual Studio® Express Editions, free of charge. As always, we strongly recommend reading the Release Notes for a description of known issues with the SDK.
One very important item from the Release Notes is that this release of the SDK is an ISO-only download. This means that you will need to download the entire ISO and then either burn it to a DVD to use in your local DVD drive, mount it virtually as if it were another drive, or copy the contents locally, in order to run the SDK’s setup.exe. More details about how to work with the DVD ISO image can be found at the download page for the SDK.
Another item of interest relates to the second part of the SDK’s name; specifically .NET Framework 3.5. The SDK not only ships content aligned with Windows Server code name “Longhorn”, but also content that aligns with the upcoming .NET Framework 3.5. The .NET Framework 3.5 is available with the Beta1 pre-release editions located at Microsoft® Visual Studio®, Code Name "Orcas" Downloads and is required in order to take advantage of any tools or samples that have a dependency upon the .NET Framework 3.5.
One cool new feature in the SDK, that has been frequently requested is, an alphabetized list of the APIs in the documentation. It is located in the documentation under the Getting Started | Platform Information section and contains lists of APIs (also constants, enumerations, and structures) grouped by managed APIs, Win32 and COM APIs, new to Vista APIs, and one large over-arching list of all these APIs. Also, the SDK contains millions of samples, thousands of tools, and has been known to cause people to jump for joy after they’ve installed it. Well perhaps the part about the millions of samples and thousands of tools is a little bit of an exaggeration.
We encourage you to install this SDK on a test machine and let us know what you think.
Windows SDK Release PM