From ReliCodia

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The standard set of functionality available for Windows programmers is defined in several header files called the "Platform SDK". Typically, if you have installed a compiler such as Visual Studio or MinGW, these files were included. However, the SDK can be downloaded from Microsoft at

Most of the fundamental Windows APIs are published with a C interface (with a few modern exceptions). Programming to them is carefully explored in books like Charles Petzold's well-known Programming Windows. The C API leaves a lot of room for programmers to make very simple and unfortunate errors. Thus, many C "wrappers" have arisen which abstract programmers from the raw Windows API.

Authors of these wrapper layers often take the opportunity to not only insulate from the common usage errors of C, but to abstract programmers from the notion that they are programming on Microsoft's platform. Developers who target these middleware layers have the exciting possibility of compiling their programs to work on Macintosh, Linux, or other operating systems. Unfortunately, once a programmer has bought into a cross-platform toolkit, then they can no longer make calls to the Win32 C API if they would like to