Writing native Win32 applications for the Windows Vista Aero UI

If you’re a Windows developer and your looking to write native Win32 applications that support Microsoft Vista’s new $g(Aero UI) you’re sort of on your own right now. If you’re a Visual Basic 6.0 developer you’ll need to “roll your own” solution since Microsoft has moved to .NET. If you’re an MFC developer, based on a few Microsoft blog posts, it appears you’ll have to wait for the Orcas release of Visual Studio which Scott Guthrie has said will be shipping sometime in the second half of 2007 though it’s unclear, at least to me, what level of support is actually planned and I’ve Googled all over looking.

In Delphi 2007, which CodeGear has announced to be available in Q1, you will not only be able to develop new Win32 applications that support Aero but you’ll be able to update exising VCL applications as well. There has been a lot of work on the VCL to support Vista including the Aero UI, the common dialogs, the TaskDialog API. Allen has a nice write-up on how we implemented some of these changes without breaking existing unit compatibility with $g(BDS 2006)

Here is a screenshot of Delphi 2007 VCL application I threw together illustrating the new Aero support:

VCL application with Windows Vista Aero UI support

Of note in this screenshot is the Glass UI which extends into the client region of the form, the new style listview/treeview controls, the gradient toolbar style and the combobox style.

4 thoughts on “Writing native Win32 applications for the Windows Vista Aero UI

  1. Sounds great! A small question: is it a 100% Vista-like user interface? As I known, the tool-tips, the secret window (Application.Handle) and owner drawn menu items (made by turbo delphi) look inconsistent with Vista-style. Anyway, delphi2007 is worth waiting.

  2. stanleyxu,
    I think i read somewhere they changed the way an application works (means no secret window) for Vista.

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