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ALERT: Windows 8.1 and 10 January 2018 Security Updates
UPDATE: New tool available for changing security

On Windows 8 and 10, the January 2018 Cumulative Security Rollup KB4056898 (W8.1) and KB4056892 (W10 1709) have caused connectivity issues between ASCOM components. Inbound connections to EXE drivers or API interfaces are affected. DLL based drivers are not affected. This was caused by a change in security that affected an obscure feature that was introduced for an astronomy product many years ago. You can find more information and instructions on how to use the ASCOM-provided tool to make the adjustments needed to restore connectivity published by one of our members.

We are aware that the security change affects some of the ASCOM Platform simulator components, as well as requiring changes in the tools for new driver developers. At present we are not recommending driver developers make this change to their existing drivers. It is unclear whether Microsoft will reverse this change or not. The release notes do say it is a "known issue" and that it will be addressed in a future release.

We plan to wait for Microsoft's next move, which should be soon as there are other critical issues with this update which will likely cause another one to come out soon. If it turns out that this security change is permanent, we will make the adjustments needed to the Platform and the Developer Tools.

Welcome to the ASCOM Initiative

This is the home of the ASCOM Initiative, a loosely-knit group of astronomy software developers and astronomy device manufacturers devoted to vendor-independent plug-and-play control. ASCOM is a many-to-many and language-independent architecture, supported by most astronomy devices which connect to Windows computers. The diagram below shows how ASCOM differs from traditional astronomy instrument control architectures.


I would like to say a huge Thank You to the ASCOM team for making it so easy for manufacturers to support their hardware with ASCOM compliant drivers. The documentation, templates, and timely and accurate answers to questions on this forum have made my latest driver development an enjoyable and relatively simple process -
Doug Anderson, Shoestring Astronomy

I've just been able to fix a rather obscure problem with my ASCOM drivers thanks to the wealth of information available, including the great VS templates. Once again, I should say, the samples etc. have also been of great help in the past. As a manufacturer/developer, and of course as an astronomer, I find ASCOM to be one of the best things to have happened to the community, and it's getting better with every new version. So just wanted to say - Thank you guys!
Jaime Alemany - Lunático Astronomía S. L.

ASCOM Platform 6.3 is Current

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For more information on the ASCOM Initiative, see the About ASCOM section.

ASCOM Platform 6.3

Download Platform

Platform 6.3 Help (online)

Required for all drivers (see notes for Windows 7 and Windows XP!). This will install the Platform on a new PC, and it will also upgrade earlier installations of Platform versions 4, 5, and 6.

Drivers & Plug-ins

Download Drivers

Download and install the driver(s) for your astronomy instruments and devices. You'll also find plug-ins for TheSky and other useful tools and components here for download.