Scenic Ribbon UI framework to be backported to Vista with “Windows 7 Client Platform Update”


They don’t call Microsoft the platforms company for nothing. Thanks to a tip from reader Boldizsár, some developer documentation on MSDN is indicating Microsoft will indeed be backporting the new Scenic Ribbon UI framework introduced in Windows 7 to its misunderstood predecessor, Windows Vista (and Windows Server 2008).

Further information posted by a Microsoft employee in the MSDN forums reveals however a rather non-intuitive implementation of how the backport will be delivered to users. Instead of a simple redistributable resource file or runtime developers can bundle with their application package as one might expect, a “Windows 7 interoperability pack” creatively dubbed the “Windows 7 Client Platform Update” will be made available via Windows Update by October. This “recommended” update will then have to be installed manually by the user or silently triggered by the application setup to be applied.

Although the decision to backport Scenic Ribbon might come as somewhat of a surprise, it does make sense for Microsoft to quickly broaden support for its new frameworks rather than driving developers to adopt premature technologies that only become mainstream a release or two later.

If you’re a developer and have been holding back on adopting Scenic Ribbon in your application for this very reason, let this be the green light to Ribbon-away. That is of course if you’re willing to give up some XP users, but I say they don’t deserve it.

45 insightful thoughts

  1. They said this long ago didnt they? they always do this.. XP had various updates just before vista came out to make some features more targetable.

  2. XP users won’t upgrade unless forced to by said developers. So when the needs of the developers finally overcome their fear of losing a few customers with old systems, they can stop supporting XP.

  3. So, just to be clear here, they’re not back-porting the actual Windows 7 applications that implement the Scenic ribbon, but instead they’re back-porting the underlying code/assemblies/binaries/WhatHaveYou that allow Windows Vista/Server2k8 users to run third-party applications that utilize the ribbon, or expect the ribbon underpinnings to be in the operating system, yes? (I was a little bit confused with the graphic at the beginning of the post.)

  4. well i do see av companies dropping support for older windows os’es
    & xp got a exfat addition to the removeable media cleint & a new remote desktop client & of course the topology mapping

  5. “That is of course if you’re willing to give up some XP users, but I say they don’t deserve it.”

    that’s right we don’t deserve such shitty updates.. leave it for the vis7a nubs.. Besides many third party ribbon styled applications I’ve seen have been shit anyway.. XP users won’t be missing a thing.. even the ones running fast systems 😛 suck on it long.

  6. askimet missed some spam!!

    i agree xp doesnt deserve it. Haha, i sound bad, but its my view, people with xp want xp, not vista or windows 7 they want xp, they want to use an operating system thats 8 years OLD. so no this should touch xp….probably just cause Blue screen….boy i havent seen one of those for a LONG time. XP users like BSOD aswell.

  7. what xp bsod? actually funnily the last bsod I had was on a vista os on new hardware and latest drivers… as for it happening on XP.. I guess it must just happen to noobtards.

    “they want to use an operating system thats 8 years OLD”

    its funny that.. 8years+ old and still in many ways better… in functionality & workflow etc than the new shit. Such is the FAIL at Microsoft noob camp developments and lack of decent improvements.

  8. Now only if they would backport something useful like the accessories or the XPS COM API or the updated WIC or WDDM 1.1. Even a Windows Desktop Update for Vista would be awesome. Why no WMP12, RDP 7.0 or MSI 5.0 for Vista users? A less annoying UAC or DNSSEC? XP users got so much with the release of Vista. Poor Vista users are ripped off at almost every occasion.

  9. @MarkKB … he said something useful! .. Directx 11 on Vista pfff.. I hope they got dx12 coming aswel.. I can’t wait to see it put to good use…It can’t be that long now.

    “Poor Vista users are ripped off at almost every occasion.”

    Well you can’t rip off a user who doesn’t know any better 🙂 feeding them crap is all part of the good deal, until they stop being noobs. Anyway Windozy 7 is coming out soon, its got some miraculous(or was it marginal?) improvements over Vista. heh heh , snigger

    “Please don’t feed the trolls ”
    yum yum yum 😛

  10. whichever ribbon it is, none of my friends/colleagues/customers/teachers/papa/mommy like it … no one, and not a bit of it …

    Menu hierarchy with floating toolbars is already perfect, next thing are all those future all-mighty multi-touchy interface. Ribbon is never going to be something in between …. big fail

  11. No one is going to use the Scenic Ribbon anyway. We already have implementations for MFC, WinForms and WPF from various vendors. The Scenic Ribbon also doesn’t fit into any programming model.

    And I have to disagree with you Long, Microsoft is no longer a platform company. Otherwise this would be a registerless redistributable DLL and not a “Platform update”.

  12. I will still keep my full modded Xp it’s the best MS OS ever with still more than 70% users, no need for such shit like this. An OS is just for running your productive apps right? as long as it’s functional and so on, no need for upgrade for eye candy and also this shit. Btw then why Office 2010 (with scenic ribbon UI) is also for Xp? (Just installed the technical preview on my Xp, good but still prefer 2007). Anyway long live Xp!

  13. Why do you have to call unmanaged dlls to get this to work in .NET? Why are Microsofts APIs so inconsistent and hard to use?

    I have been developing Windows Forms and WPF in .NET framework and found that its very inconsistent some features in Win Forms aren’t in WPF and both are missing a whole lot of stuff from win32 unmanaged APIs. It is a big frigging mess and developers keep developing inconsistent looking user interfaces because of this.

    DROP everything and make .NET the only API please.

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  15. Sounds good! 🙂 I’m sure the intention is to serve to minimize the reasons to NOT develop this in Windows 7, and thus make Windows 7 more appealing. Yet, at the same time, it’s not a reason large enough to stick with Vista. It’ll likely just make Windows 7 even more appealing. Without this move, you can be sure that the Scenic interface would have trouble gaining traction. Sure, Windows 7 is popular, and Windows Vista not, but Vista still has a major userbase these days to consider.

  16. lol @ Jayz, I’m not sure if that’s sarcasm or not. 😀 Or if it’s one of those “cart guys”.

    You know, those who are happy with a horse and cart, because it works.
    Sure, XP works great, but so did Windows 2000.

  17. “DROP everything and make .NET the only API please.” – You need to see beyond your own nose.

  18. If you’re calling XP a horse and cart.. then Vista must be a fucking wheelbarrow case 😛 And Win7 is just an extra shovel to go with the wheelbarrow.. so long noob.

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  20. @Brian, you need to realize winforms and wpf are drastically different, wpf being a completely from scratch ui framework with some winforms interop.. as you can imagine this makes it impossible to make a feature once that works on all.. what they can do is make a specification once so they work as consistently as possible.

  21. Good Lord that is lighting quick! You started something alright. Please make a feature website using this please?

  22. Ooh, this is good news. Though… it’ll be interesting to see if any developers actually start using this. It would be nice if they did. 😛

  23. I never liked these ribbons, like in Office 2007…

    About the debate between Windows XP vs Windows Vista/7, I agree about the fact than Windows XP is very fast, very popular and compatible with everything.
    But, this OS is 8 years old…
    When did XP will die? Why nobody use Windows 95, for example?
    OK, Windows Vista eat LOTS of memory (1 GB isn’t enough…), need a very recent computer, have lots of useless eyes-candy for a professionnal use of the computer (do you need Aero at work?) and isn’t compatible with some softwares and hardwares (like 3D Studio Max 7, for example…)…
    But, if all the people continue to use Windows XP, the innovations won’t continue and our computers will stay in 2001 for ever…
    I used XP between 2004 to 2007, and I had lots of problems with this OS.
    But, since I use Vista, I doesn’t have any problems with it, except a general slowdown of my computer (Vista love eating the RAM!)…
    And, don’t worry, Windows 7 doesn’t need an high-end computer to run… Any PC who can run Windows XP very well can run Seven without any problems… 😉

    So, we don’t have the choice, we should change…
    Long life to Windows 95! (OK, I feed the Trolls… :p )

  24. More regarding the Windows Vista/7 vs. XP debate,

    I use XP at the moment because it is fast, reliable and all I need. When I find that I need it to run the latest apps, then I guess I’ll upgrade.

    I have to say that my experiences with Windows Vista have been terrible, but those with Windows 7 have been much more reasonable – looks like MS got something right there :).

  25. To M$: please port this f**ing ribbon feature to XP as well and make everyone happy! Anyway only three words as always: Long Live XP! The best MS OS ever!

  26. I have a number of Ribbon customizations in Excel 2007 and Word 2007. Should I be worried that my current markup will be useless when and if I switch to the Scenic Ribbon?

  27. MS won’t release the libraries for XP (for free), but if you’re XP user, then i think you may still get the features on XP by installing Office 2010. Maybe next some future scenic/ribbon-only apps can also take advantage of that if they are “ported” to work on standard XP OS with Office 2010 installed (just like “ink” updates on Office 2000/XP or higher) i.e just using some function import/links. Some devs, maybe?

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