The current generation of the ASCOM Platform provides compatibility with Windows 7/8/10 enhanced security and 64-bit systems, greatly expanded support for .NET languages, the new SafetyMonitor and ObservingConditions interfaces, and even more support for both drivers and astronomy applications. It contains new simulators, updated Visual Studio driver templates, and much more. This huge Platform 6 project was first released in June 2011, and is now the standard for general use. Updates are provided as needed.
Most of you don't need to know what's going on inside the Platform. All you need to know is that it is a set of components that are used by ASCOM drivers and programs that work with ASCOM drivers. If you are a developer, see the Developer Resources section of this site.
The installer for Platform 6.3 has been designed to upgrade previous Platform installations (back through 4.1, and including earlier Platform 6 versions) without your needing to uninstall. Just download the Platform 6.3 installer via the link below, then run it.
The developer components and help have been placed into a separate installer to create a cleaner Platform install and to allow them to be updated whenever required. There is no need to install these tools if you do not develop your own ASCOM client applications or drivers.
If you have a problem after upgrading from an older Platform or with a new installation, first post to the ASCOM Talk Forum and ask for help. Try to supply enough info so that others can understand your problem (e.g., "ASCOM is broken" is insufficient). Have a look at How to Get Support for details on reporting problems. The Platform does not replace or modify any Windows components nor does it change settings for any program. It is strictly a support package for ASCOM drivers and programs which use ASCOM drivers.
If you are reasonably certain that you have found a bug, you can report it. Have a look at The ASCOM Initiative Community to see how the developer community operates.
See the ObservingConditions Downloads section for available drivers.
See the SafetyMonitor Downloads section for available drivers.
This project adds the new ASCOM Standard Switch interface which provides standard calls for activating a variety of on-off and adjustable switches. The interface has been accepted and is defined the ASCOM Platform 6.1. In June 2014, the first Switch driver was released. It supports controlling the power outlets of a Digital Loggers Web Power Switch. It is available in the new Switch download section here.
Thanks to Software Bisque, as of September 2013 TheSky X Pro incorporates ASCOM compatibility for Mount, Dome, Focuser, Camera, FilterWheel, and Rotator as a standard feature. You do not need to install anything extra. TheSky X can use ASCOM drivers for all of the preceding classes of sevices.