Windows Vista Ships with .NET FX 3.0 and IIS7 Built-in

As you might have already heard, earlier today Microsoft released to manufacturing (aka RTM'd) Windows Vista.  This is a huge milestone, and the product contains a ton of great features and value.  I've been running it as my only operating system since July, and have been really impressed the last few months (I haven't had a single crash or issue with it since RC1 - despite using it heavily 12+ hours every day).

Two feature highlights I'm particularly excited about being built-in to Vista:

  • .NET Framework 3.0 (including the new Avalon, Indigo, Workflow and CardSpace libraries)
  • IIS 7.0 (including its deep integration with ASP.NET)

These are going to significantly improve the developer experience and the capabilities of applications on both the client and server.  It is really going to be fun to see what people build and launch with them.

IIS Stats v1.0 for Windows SideBar Sample

Speaking of fun cool Vista developer things, Bill Staples posted a neat IIS7 SideBar Gadget sample on his blog earlier today (for an example of what it looks like check out the image to the right of this post).  It enables you to track the total number of requests to an IIS7 server since it was launched, as well as the current requests per second (RPS) for all sites.  It provides an easy way to monitor what your box is doing on your desktop - as well as a cool sample to learn how to build SideBar Gadgets of your own.

Click here to download Bill's sample as well as the source code that shows how he built it (it uses the new IIS7 Health Monitoring diagnostic information exposed via WMI apis).

Hope this helps,



  • Hi Scott I posted something this morning about your post on IIS 7. I still don't get it, what is the point of running IIS 7 on Vista when we know that we have to wait for Vista Server to be released to use it for the masses??

  • I can answer that. IIS 7 on Vista has many new updates that are useful even if you are developing for IIS 6. For one, you can have more than one website on Vista. That alone is a big deal to help developers work on multiple projects. Also, IIS 7 on Vista will not reject requests if you exceed what is allowed for the version you buy. You won't get Server Too Busy errors if you have more than 10 requests going like you would in XP with IIS 5.1. So it's a good environment for application development for your current web servers.

    Of course, IIS 7 has so many new capabilites that you'll probably want to explore convering ISAPI filter to custom modules, or exploring possiblities to use Forms authentication and a .NET membership provider on that PHP app. You can start exploring proof of concepts and betas for web applications that run on IIS 7 so that when you're ready to role out Longhron Server, your web applications are ready too.

    Finally, there are plenty of people that will be writing new features for IIS 7 and offering them sale or just giving them away to show off cool new ideas. When the Server OS is released, there should a healthy demand for 3rd party add on modules and services. Vista on IIS 7 lets develoeprs get started on writing those modules, handlers, and the UI extensions to configure them.

    -brett hill
    IIS technical evangelist

  • The point is developers can develop on it.

  • Hi, So can u install IIS 6.0 on Vista then? If not then that's going to be a real pain for ASP.Net 2.0 development over the coming years. You shouldn't develop on one platform to deploy on another...

  • Scott, will it be possible to install IIS7 on Windows 2003 Server until Longhorn Server is out? We apparently won't run a server with windows vista :o)


  • I tried using Vista as my development OS and kept getting annoyed at the fact that since I was running as administrator I wouldn't be able to attach to processes to debug. I know there's a workaround for that (Right-click, run as administrator) but do you have any tips for using Vista as your development environment that might help grease the wheels?


  • Hi Steve,

    IIS7 supports both an "integrated" mode and an "Classic .NET Compatibility" mode when running ASP.NET applications.

    If you set it to "Classic .NET Compatibility" you should find the runtime characteristics identical to IIS6. This should enable you to easily build apps using IIS7 and then run them on both IIS6 and IIS7.

    Integrated mode (which is the default) then gives you even more features you can optionally leverage and use to target IIS7 servers as well.

    Hope this helps,


  • Just to clarrify one confusion point I saw on Pascal's blog about (unfortunately comments had a problem on it so I couldn't post directly there):

    Windows Longhorn Server is scheduled to ship next year (2007) and will have a go-live beta in the early spring.

    Hope this helps,


  • Hi Zack,

    Here is a post I did a few weeks back about using VS 2005 today to target IIS7:

    One option you can also consider if you don't want to have to remember to run VS elevated, is to go into your Vista Control Panel and turn off the UAC feature. This will give you the same experience as running applications on Windows XP (no elevation prompts).

    Hope this helps,


  • Scott I know that but I am talking about realistic dates on my post. Nobody seriously will jump immeditely on a new Vista Server the first day you release something. So you might talk about 2 to 3 years before having a significant portion of companies using the new OS. This is something I find really annoying with Microsoft is the marketing push to new things when you know that in the real world it's always slower! IIS 7 should be an option for Windows 2003!

  • Scott by the way can you tell me why you have troubles to comment on my blog?

  • You cannot expect IIS 7 to run on Windows 2003 when it is so tightly coupled with .NET 3 and the systems that Vista is built on. Granted .NET 3 can't be the only reason to exclude IIS 7 from Win 2003, but certainly, the core Vista systems is enough to convince you that it just cannot run on an early build of Windows.

  • Thanks Scott, I'll give that a try.

  • What is the upgrade story for Vista regarding VS2003 development? I have a number of customers who won't be ready to upgrade to 2005 for most of the next 9-10 months. (I know...I know...then they'll be behind on Orcas.... They like it that way.).

    You and others have indicated that VS2003 isn't "supported" on Vista and will have some incompatibilities because there weren't enough testing resources to ensure compatibility with every product within the 10-year support window. Is there an "unofficial" setup guide for working with 2003 ASP.NET projects on Vista? Or this that just completely out of the question? I have developers who want to move to the lastest OS ("oohhh, shiiiinnnnyyy...."); but I can't move them if it means having them work in a VM all day, anyway. That just sucks resources and even with VPC2007 it limits them to a single monitor.

    I'd appreciate any tips on this. I got VS2003 installed on Vista, but have thus far been unable to actually debug an ASP.NET application because of the new security model (which I appreciate, by the way, if I can work effectively within it).


  • Scott --

    I briefly perused the .NET 3.0 stuff on Microsoft's website, but from what I could tell most of the major improvements are for developers building Windows applications for Vista. Are there any noteworthy changes or improvements that ASP.NET developers would find interesting?

    -= Tek Boy =-

  • Hi Tek,

    There aren't any changes to ASP.NET in the .NET Framework 3.0 release. There are lots of new library additions for other things, but not changes to existing libraries.

    Hope this helps,


  • Hi Jason,

    You can install VS 2003 on Vista - although not all features will work 100% (we are going to come out with a document listing those with issues shortly).

    I'd recommend using a VPC to host VS 2003 if possible - since that will maximize compatibility.

    Hope this helps,


  • Hi Barfly,

    IIS7 will no longer reject requests (unlike Windows XP). However, on home SKUs it does limit the number of concurrent requests that are processed at once (so if 20 requests come in at the same second, some of them are queued until the first ones are done).

    In reality, except for a very high-end web-site you'll never run into an issue with this. So you should be able to run all small and even medium sized sites using it.

    Hope this helps,


  • Scott,

    Got it. Thanks for the quick reply.

  • Hi Ali,

    Can you send me an email ( with more details about your configuration and the error you are seeing? I can then have someone help you with it.



  • Hi Zack,

    I just sent mail to the IIS team to have them look into this and get back to you on that thread.

    Thanks for pointing me at this,


  • Thanks Scott, I really appreciate it!

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