The Platform Update for Windows Vista will be available for free via Windows Update, Windows Server Update Services and the Microsoft Download Center. You will need to have Windows Update “recommended settings” enabled in order to automatically receive the update without additional action.
These updates include the following:
* Windows Ribbon and Animation Manager Library: contains the Windows Ribbon API, a command framework that enables developers to quickly and easily create rich ribbon experiences in their applications, and the Windows Animation Manager API, an animation framework for managing the scheduling and execution of user interface element animations. * Windows Graphics, Imaging, and XPS Library: components for developers to leverage the latest advancements in modern graphics technologies for gaming, multimedia, imaging and printing applications. It includes updates to DirectX to support hardware acceleration for 2D, 3D and text based scenarios; DirectCompute for hardware accelerated parallel computing scenarios; and XPS Library for document printing scenarios. * Windows Automation API: allows accessibility tools and test automations to access Windows user interface in a consistent way across operating system versions. * Windows Portable Devices Platform: supplies the infrastructure to standardize data transfers between an application and a portable device, such as a mobile phone, digital camera, or portable media player.
Note that the Windows Automation API will also be made available as a separate download for PCs running Windows XP.