Which Version of the Windows SDK Should You Use?

July 13, 2007 at 7:05 pm Leave a comment

The Old Windows XP Platform SDK
Have you tried to download the Windows XP Platform Software Development Kit (PSDK) lately? It’s not there, although you can still find a link to where it used to be in Brian Johnson’s weblog:

Thursday, September 02, 2004 5:00 PM by Brianjo

I saw on Mitch Walker’s blog that the Windows XP SP2 Platform SDK has been added to the SDK Update site. You can download it from this page: Microsoft Platform SDK

The reason the old Windows XP PSDK is gone, is that it has been replaced. First it was replaced by a combined PSDK for both Windows XP SP2 and Windows Server 2003 R2, and later by the new “Windows SDK” for Vista which still supports development for previous versions of Windows.

The Windows Server 2003 PSDK
Microsoft published a new SDK on 3/14/2006 for application development on 32 and 64 bit versions of both Windows XP and Windows Server 2003. (It also provides limited support for development on Windows 2000, Windows NT 4.0, Windows Me, Windows 98, and Windows 95.) The release notes are available here: Windows Server 2003 R2 PSDK Release Notes. You can download this PSDK from either of the following links below:

The New Windows SDK
In November of 2006, Microsoft released a new combined Windows SDK. This was the beginning of Microsoft’s new strategy to combine all the SDK’s for Windows development in one SDK called the “Windows SDK”.  You can download a video in which Melinda Jackson describes the combined Platform SDK, .NET Framework SDK, and WinFX SDKs, in the new Windows SDK here: MSDN TV: Introduction to the New Windows SDK. This video is the only overview of the Windows SDK I have been able to find on the internet. If anyone has a link to a written overview of the Windows SDK, please post it!

The Windows SDK for Vista was released on 11/7/06. It can be downloaded from this link:

On 3/22/07, Microsoft issued an update to the Windows SDK for Vista. This update only contains the platform SDK, it does not include the .NET Framework 3.0 which was part of the previous release of the Windows SDK and has not changed. This updated SDK is the version recommended for Windows development on Vista, Windows XP, or Windows Server 2003, and contains the same compilers used in Visual Studio 2005 SP1. The SDK and it’s release notes can be found via the following links:

 Note: While the DirectX SDK is not included in the Windows SDK, DirectShow is included in the Windows SDK. (The DirectX SDK does not include DirectShow.)

The Next Windows SDK
A preview of the next Windows SDK  is available here: Microsoft® Windows® Software Development Kit (SDK) for Windows Server code name “Longhorn” and .NET Framework 3.5

Release notes for this preliminary Windows SDK is are available here: Windows SDK for Longhorn release notes

Links to More Information

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Entry filed under: Development, Programming, Technology, Windows SDK. Tags: .

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