Communication History from Longhorn Prototypes in 2004: Now Possible With New Windows 7 in 2009?

Had a conversation with Yochay Kiriaty, who leads Windows 7 Evangelism for Developers in DPE and he had let me know about the new Windows API Code Pack that was just released a week ago.

In short, Windows API Code Pack is a project inside Windows SDK Team with goal to provide .NET Developers with managed APIs for Windows. One of the cool new things supported by this Pack are Libraries and Explorer Browser Control.

Do you remember the Communication History concept from Longhorn Prototypes in 2004?


So as I was excited by that prototypes about ugh 5 years I wanted to look if we can Finally do that same stuff in 2009 but with real technologies (I mean it; no WinFS guys).

This is what I was able to achieve with half day of coding (BreadcrumbBar is from VistaBridge Library v1.4):


The screenshot above should show a filtered view of a “Communication” library. The reality is (as far as we do not have any WinFS and there is no Communication Library and messages are not stored in it) that I’ve created a saved search (and it’s really local only as it involves name of my Exchange Mailbox in scope), named it as “Received Messages” and set the scope for my Inbox folder. I did the same for Sent Messages search, too.

The list with filters under “Communication Links” is showing real content of “Filters” folder stored inside the manually created “Communication” library. The messages you see on the screen is my real world copy of Inbox folder of my Exchange mailbox so I cleared personal info from the screenshot. The Explorer Browser Control is used to show saved search results; each time a new item arrives to Inbox in Outlook this search result is automatically updated so actually you can work with your inbox through my app without need to go to Outlook.

Also I didn’t want to focus on Back, Forward buttons as well to Command Bar buttons – hopefully you’ll forgive me 🙂

The Navigation, Details, Preview, Commands panes are hidden by default (in order to mimicry the Longhorn 2004 Prototype User Experience). I also changed the gray background for the window to a Glass one (it was the goal for Longhorn, too).

So far, it seems that we can make the 2004 Longhorn’s promise a reality also 5 years left from that time and the future is not about just this stuff anymore…

-the Best,


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