Microsoft to offer production-ready Vista technologies

Setting the stage for its planned Windows Vista desktop OS, Microsoft on Wednesday will release production-ready versions of Web services and workflow technologies slated for inclusion in Vista.

The vendor will offer "Go-Live" versions of Windows Communication Foundation, which is Microsoft's Web services technology, and Windows Workflow Foundation, which provides a workflow engine. Windows Communication Foundation formerly was known by the code name Indigo.

These two technologies and the Windows Presentation Foundation technology for building rich client interfaces are part of Microsoft's WinFX managed code framework. The Go-Live licenses will be included as part of a January Community Technology Preview of WinFX on the Microsoft Developer Network (MSDN).

Although the two technologies are still classified as being in an early release phase, they can be used in production environments, said Ari Bixhorn, director of Web services strategy at Microsoft.

"These special builds [of Windows Communication Foundation and Windows Workflow Foundation serve as] the green light for customers to deploy these technologies," Bixhorn said.

Expected to be Microsoft's most enterprise-class version of Windows, Vista is due to ship at the end of the year. But WinFX technologies also will function with the existing Windows XP and Windows Server 2003 platforms.