§ ¶Platform support on Visual Studio 2012
Much has been said about the lack of support for targeting Windows XP in the RTM version of Visual Studio 2012. However, it looks like there are also ominous clouds on the horizon for Vista.
I happened to be looking at the Visual Studio 2012 compatibility page and noticed something weird: the little footnote  that indicated Remote Debugging was not available for a platform was not only on the XP row, but also on the Vista row. I figured that must have been a mistake, until I also checked the Visual Studio 2012 Remote Tools download and found that it requires Windows 7 SP1. Now, I don't exactly feel like dragging out the old laptops to find out which one has the secondary Vista installation to test, so I'll have to take Microsoft's word on this. If it's true, though, it would be the first time I can remember that Visual Studio would let you target a platform and have no debugging support for it. I also find it weird because generally there are a lot more reasons at the API level to require Vista than to require Windows 7. With Vista, you get some long desired goodies like native conditional variables and CancelIoEx(). Requiring Windows 7 doesn't give you nearly as much, particularly with some of the new stuff back-ported through the Vista Platform Update.
Microsoft has announced that they will be working on an update to VS2012 to allow targeting Windows XP with the 2012 compiler, but I haven't heard about extending the debugging support. As such, it might be a good idea to brush up on your WinDbg skills. But hey, as I always say, using WinDbg builds character.
The funny thing is there are some software vendors that drop official support for Vista while still supporting XP, such as Photoshop CS6.
Yuhong Bao (link) - 26 08 12 - 12:44
Yup, Windows 7 polished a lot of the rough edges on Vista, particularly memory/CPU usage issues in the DWM and over-eager preloading, and it was an incremental improvement so they didn't change around a bunch of stuff in the UI again. No real reason to choose Vista once Windows 7 became available.
That having been said, it'll suck for people who are currently on Vista and don't upgrade their OS unless they buy a new computer (which I can't blame them for, given what can go wrong). I think we'll see a lot of software go from XP required to Windows 7 required over the next year.
Phaeron - 26 08 12 - 13:05
Long live Windows XP: the last resource conscious, efficient OS Microsoft will probably ever produce.
Josh Straub (link) - 01 09 12 - 07:27
Have we forgotten Windows 2000 already? :)
Phaeron - 04 09 12 - 16:20
I'd disagree with XP being Microsoft's last resources-conscious OS. There was considerable wailing and gnashing of teeth back in 2001 when it came out that XP was practically unusable on less than 256MB of RAM and a 500MHz CPU, and the several gigabyte base install size was massive. Being resources-conscious doesn't mean not using resources, it means being well optimised for the systems that it'll be running on. Hardware marches on and those requirements seem laughably low now. So will Windows 7's in ten years.
Mike - 10 09 12 - 06:40
I deleted some bizarre comments fixated on "I." Please don't feed the trolls, folks.
Phaeron - 09 10 12 - 15:44
"Windows XP: the last resource conscious, efficient OS Microsoft will probably ever produce."
Thick lenses on those nostalgia goggles I guess. Reformatting the hard drive for XP was pretty commonplace as it didn't manage its resources that well at all. It simply got bloaty.
KSib - 24 01 13 - 04:10
Very true, I remember seeing Windows XP as bloated because it took 1.2GB of disk space instead of the 200MB that Windows 2000 took. Of course, that view became obsolete once Windows Vista arrived with its 5GB+ footprint. Thankfully, it seems that the Windows team has started learning from the Office team and is now working harder at keeping install footprint under control.
Phaeron - 25 01 13 - 18:41