How would you spend $100 to improve Windows SDK components?

How would you improve the Windows SDK components? If you had a hypothetical $100 to spend on the list of existing SDK components below, what would you improve? There are no rules. You can spend it all on one component you think needs help, or divide the money out in any combination.  Feel free to explain your rationale if you want.  If we’ve missed a component that you think needs improvement please add it to the list. 


Additional surveys: how you use the Windows SDK and how would you spend $100 on new features/components.  


1.      Setup, download, install, uninstall and repair

2.      Documentation

a.      Documentation viewer (Dexplore.exe)

b.      .NET Framework documents

c.       Win 32 documents

3.      Samples

a.      .NET Framework samples

b.      Win32 samples

4.      Tools

a.      .NET Framework tools

b.      Win 32 Tools

c.       Mobile Tools (.NET Compact Framework)

5.      Reference Assemblies and Intellisense

6.      Windows Headers and Libraries

7.      SDK Build environment

a.      VC++ compilers that ship in the SDK

b.      Command line build environment

8.      Configuring Visual Studio to use Windows SDK components

Sarah Maurer
Program Manager
High School Intern
Windows SDK Team

The MSDN Windows SDK Developer Center is the place to find resources and links to Windows SDK products, release notes, technical articles, and more.

Comments (14)

  1. ugly-horse says:

    I would like to see/get

    1. Assembler (IDE + assembler)

    2. Fortran (IDE + compiler)

    3. Cobol (IDE + compiler)

    Other comment:

    Come on baby blog!


    I’m now more than 10 min’s here,

    so blog something for me, please.

    Please baby blog some thing new.

    I’m waiting for it!

  2. CheapRita says:

    1.      Setup… $10

    2.      Documentation… $0

    3.      Samples… $25

    4.      Tools… $5

    5.      Reference Assemblies… $0

    6.      Windows Headers and Libraries… $10

    7.      SDK Build…

    8.      Configuring Visual Studio… $50

  3. jason.long says:

    Samples 70% – code example of implementing a new RNG provider. documentation makes thi s look simple.

    documentation 30% – typical microsoft cryptographic documentation.  Dont need the libs just use the docs 🙂 no bugger will ever decrypt them.

  4. How would you spend $100 on NEW Windows SDK features? We’re planning our next version and subsequent

  5. jpassing says:

    Documentation: better separation between  unmanaged and managed code – I do not see a point in intermixing the two. $20

    MASM documentation: it is downright abysmal. $30

    Performance/memory usage of dexplore.exe: 10$

    Better integration with WDK: $40. The SDK that ships with the WDK is not the same as the "pure" SDK, which is unfortunate. Integrating SDK and WDK is a pain: The SDK installs to %program files%yada yada by default – a path that contains spaces, which WDK’s build.exe cannot handle. And the SDK does not set an envvar like %SDKROOT%, so that it is not easily located from within makefiles (the registry keys are not of great help here). Either ship an up to date SDK with the WDK or make the integration between the two easier.

  6. Jarlsberg says:

    $2 1.      Setup, download, install, uninstall and repair

    2.      Documentation

    $10 a.      Documentation viewer (Dexplore.exe)

    $10 b.      .NET Framework documents

    $15 c.       Win 32 documents

    3.      Samples

    $2 a.      .NET Framework samples

    $5 b.      Win32 samples

    4.      Tools

    $3 a.      .NET Framework tools

    $4 b.      Win 32 Tools

    $3 c.       Mobile Tools (.NET Compact Framework)

    ? 5.      Reference Assemblies and Intellisense [I’m honestly not sure what this is – is it the autocomplete stuff, and if so, can’t this be automatically generated?]

    $28 6.      Windows Headers and Libraries

    7.      SDK Build environment

    $8 a.      VC++ compilers that ship in the SDK

    $5 b.      Command line build environment

    $5 8.      Configuring Visual Studio to use Windows SDK components

    So, um, yes. Documentation, in my mind, is one of the most important things when you’re writing an SDK, for two reasons – firstly, there’s no point in having an SDK if no one knows how to use it, and secondly, having to write the documentation can produce information on how the SDK could be improved itself: eg. if a section of the documentation you’re writing seems convoluted and complicated, it can be because what you’re trying to describe isn’t well implemented.

    Also, as jpassing says, not having two very overlapping and very similar products entirely separate would be helpful.

  7. Jaykul says:

    $25 1.      Setup, download, install, uninstall and repair

    2.      Documentation

    3.      Samples

    $20 on .Net and PINVOKE …

    4.      Tools

    $20 on .NET Framework tools

    5.      Reference Assemblies and Intellisense

    6.      Windows Headers and Libraries

    7.      SDK Build environment

    $15 a.      VC++ compilers that ship in the SDK

    $10 b.      Command line build environment

    $10 8.      Configuring Visual Studio to use Windows SDK components

  8. gbjbaanb says:

    well, documentation indexes need some work, and have done ever since WinCE was the default result for every search… Now its replaced with .NET only. We would want to see more obvious distinctions between the two – with more focus on putting the old win32 documents back online (some of us only work with ‘legacy’ code, some of us may want to go .NET only but still have to maintain legacy code).

    8 is the best though – I’ve seen too many people install VS and think that’s all that needs doing. And I still see code written that #imports msxml6, still! Get integrated with VS, WDK, DDK, SDK – it can all be driven from VS, maybe a "click here to install the SDK components" in the VS installer and ‘download SDK components’ in a VS menu.

    And – integrate some SDKs that aren’t part of the SDK. I mean, come on, DirectX should be part of the one true SDK.

    I’d spend all $100 on this better single-SDK approach. If I can’t have that, 50/50 to the docs and configuration, nothing to the .NET stuff – thats had too much spent on it already.

  9. hintzen says:

    1.Setup… $10


      a. Documentation viewer (Dexplore.exe)… $5

      b. .NET Framework documents … $10

      c. Win 32 documents… $0


      a. .NET Framework samples… $25

      b. Win32 samples… $0


      a. .NET Framework tools.. $20

      b. Win 32 Tools..

      c. Mobile Tools (.NET CF).. $10

    5.Reference Assemblies… $0

    6.Windows Headers and Libraries…

    7.SDK Build…

    8.Configuring Visual Studio… $20

  10. frast says:

    I think it is time to spend some money on consolidation. I have installed VS2003, VS2005, VS2008 and the Platform SDK. Every installation brought its own documentation. My 120GB laptop harddrive is already filled up with this stuff. What bothers me is that it is all the same data. In my opinion one documentation for the Windows Platform would be sufficient. If I can set filters I can search for my target platform efficently. Why must every new version of the SDK has its own documentation? The differences between operating systems or versions could well be shown on one doc page. The use comments made for a API function for the CE-platform are almost always useful for the non-CE-Platforms. Please reduce the amount of redundant data and consolidate the documentation into the latest msdn or sdk documentation.

  11. We want to share some preliminary results from the recent Windows SDK customer surveys asking how would

  12. Peter Ritchie says:

    Given that I’ve essentially given up on dexplorer, I too would spend $100 on sample code.

  13. We want to share some preliminary results from the recent Windows SDK customer surveys asking how would

Skip to main content