Microsoft's plans for Vista Help

Subject: Microsoft's plans for Vista Help
From: "Hans Hatton" <hans -dot- hatton -at- pronto -dot- com -dot- au>
To: <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 19 Apr 2006 14:50:44 +1000

In an email newsletter sent out today by HyperWrite, the organizer of
the upcoming 9th Australasian Online Documentation and Content
Conference in Cairns, Australia, it is stated:

Hot topics at WritersUA were DITA, structured authoring and XML. A good
percentage of delegates were looking for ways to move to a structured
authoring workflow, and many were keen to learn more about Microsoft's
Vista Help. It was therefore a shock to find out that Microsoft's plans
for Vista Help have now changed - the technology will only be used for
Microsoft's own Help... and not for third party Help systems. So HTML
Help is still the way forward for those creating Help for Windows
applications. As a consequence of Microsoft's decision, a consortium is
being formed to develop a new XML specifically for user assistance.

The recent post-conference commentary on this list has focussed on the
announced deprecation of WinHelp and the future of RoboHelp, but I don't
recall anyone mentioning the above "shock development" that Microsoft is
planning to withhold Vista Help from the help authoring community. How
and when was this raised/announced at the conference?

Given the increasing number of hurdles being put in the way of
hassle-free deployment/use of CHMs, would list members really concur
that "HTML Help is still the way forward for those creating Help for
Windows applications."?

WebWorks ePublisher Pro for Word features support for every major Help
format plus PDF, HTML and more. Flexible, precise, and efficient content
delivery. Try it today!.

Doc-To-Help includes a one-click RoboHelp project converter. It's that easy. Watch the demo at

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