Jim Allchin, the chief Microsoft engineering manager behind Windows Vista, has issued a call to arms to software developers, urging them to build new applications for the desktop operating system.
In an open letter posted on Microsoft's developer portal on Friday, Allchin said that Vista offered third-party developers opportunities to build applications that are "visually stunning, connected, workflow-enabled, and secure."
Allchin, the co-president of Microsoft's Platforms and Services group,, saying that the software will be done by the end of the year and available to consumers in January, barring any bugs around "data corruption, resiliency or security."
"People will flock to software that is new, compelling, and 'cool.' You have GOT to be ready for this opportunity," Allchin wrote to developers.
Availability of third-party applications on Windows has been an important reason for Microsoft's success since the early days of its operating system. With Vista, the company has created several tools to make it easier for developers to tap into the features of Vista.
Developers can get a preview of Orcas, the upcoming edition of Visual Studio programming tool which is optimized for writing Vista applications.
Microsoft is also releasingtools aimed at and graphic artists to exploit the new user interface, animation and other graphics capabilities.
In addition, Microsoft is offering technical documentation for its application programming interfaces and ways to check compatibility of existing Windows applications with Vista.
Allchin said that both large independent software companies and smaller outfits can build innovative applications that highlight Vista features.
"People will just love these applications--from new DX10 games to coolto new rich visual enterprise applications. Some of these apps are mind-bogglingly cool," Allchin wrote.