Introducing the Windows 7 Accelerator Platform Beyond IE8

Written By The Ones on Sunday, May 10, 2009 | 4:34 AM

Accelerators are by no means restricted to Internet Explorer 8. In fact, Microsoft has worked to build the necessary infrastructure in Windows 7 in order to deliver the fertile soil necessary to make Accelerators pervasive throughout the operating system. Just as IE8 features a collection of accelerators, so can any application running on top of Windows 7. In regard to functionality, the accelerators in Windows 7's programs can cover the same range of services as those featured in Internet Explorer 8. This is all possible with the Windows 7 Accelerator Platform.

“One of the cool things about the Accelerator Platform is that we’ve essentially given you the same amount of power that IE has in interacting with Accelerators. Our APIs are flexible enough that you have a lot of latitude in customizing how your program interacts with the Platform. There are three broad classes of functionality you’ll probably care about in working with the Platform: Enumeration; Execution; and Preview,” explained Jon Seitel, program manager.

Microsoft has essentially made it easy for developers to add Accelerators to their Windows 7 applications. Seitel informed that all devs had to do was call the Accelerator Platform, in order to allow users to access the same range of items as Internet Explorer 8. In this regard, he underlined that developers should focus their projects on the Enumeration and Execution aspects of the Accelerators, as Preview was harder to achieve since it required UI tweaking.

“Platforms exist as a scaffold on which people can build, so we deliberately made the Accelerator Platform very flexible. You can decide what kind of user experience will work best in your application and implement it. For example, if you wanted to enumerate all of a user’s Accelerators in a single menu, without any kind of structure, that would be quite possible to do. That said, it probably wouldn’t be the best of ideas,” Seitel added.

Accelerators in Windows 7 have the same functionality as they do in IE8. They allow end users to cut precious extra steps when performing mundane operations and tasks and speed up their workflow. Even from Windows 7, Accelerators will allow users to map an address from a Word document directly to their default browser, no more copy-paste.

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