Developers Now Have Spec for Windows Apps

Microsoft Corp. today announced the release of the Application Specification for Microsoft Windows 2000, a technical guide to developing reliable and manageable applications for the Windows platform, and it is available on the MSDN Web site (

"Business customers today are demanding greater reliability from their applications and operating system," says Brian Valentine, vice president of the business and enterprise division at Microsoft, in a company release. "For the past two years, Microsoft has been working with corporate customers and industry-leading software vendors to develop this specification to meet these customer needs."

Microsoft reports that customers will realize the greatest benefits when running these applications on the Windows 2000 Professional and Windows 2000 Server operating system, however some specs will benefit earlier versions of Windows.

The specification is available in two versions: a core specification for desktop applications and a comprehensive specification for distributed applications across Windows 2000 Professional and Windows 2000 Server.

To get the right spec, Microsoft worked with key business partners ranging from Carnegie Mellon University ( to Nortel Networks Corp. (

Developers can have their applications tested for compliance with either specification as part of the upcoming Windows 2000 logo program. Testing will be performed by an independent testing agency starting later this summer. To help developers meet this specification Microsoft is providing technical resources including developer support, sample code and training through the Windows 2000 Readiness Program for Applications and Developers.

Benefits of using the Application Specification for Windows 2000:

  • Provide a robust, self-repairing installation that helps minimize conflicts among shared components ("DLL Hell") to enable better co-existence of applications.
  • Facilitate easier software deployment and management for organizations.
  • Correctly maintain user preferences and computer settings to ensure a good "roaming user" experience, support for multiple users per machine, and regeneration of application settings in machine replacement scenarios.
  • Run in a tightly controlled network environment, to enable network administrators to secure and control corporate desktops.
  • Provide a consistent user experience and support accessibility standards to reduce support and training costs.
  • Provide a smooth transition of the application for users that upgrade from a previous version of Windows.
  • Support OnNow power management for the best mobile computing experience possible.

In addition, distributed applications that comply with the Specification offer the following additional benefits:

  • Easier access to and management of a globally available infrastructure.
  • Provide secure access to resources.
  • Present common visualization of management-oriented tasks.
  • Ensure the best operation possible after a power transition from AC to battery power in servers with UPS battery backup.

-- Brian Ploskina

About the Author

Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.

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