Platform Support (AIX, Linux, Solaris, Windows) : Q: Why can’t I retain the old Windows (XP) look and feel on Windows 7 when I remove the <ExeFilename>.exe.manifest file?

Q: Why can’t I retain the old Windows (XP) look and feel on Windows 7 when I remove the <ExeFilename>.exe.manifest file?
Problem
Some users have experienced an inconsistent ability to retain the Windows XP look and feel of their VA Smalltalk applications on newer Windows platforms such as Widows 7+. The look and feel of the VA Smalltalk application is controlled by a manifest file that has the same file name/ext as the runtime executable, but with a .manifest suffix (<appname>.exe.manifest). VA Smalltalk ships with abt.exe.manifest which does this for the development environment. The inclusion of a manifest file defers decisions about some GUI appearance elements to Windows, so basically, if the file exists, you should get the current look of the Windows level you are running on. If not, you should get the older look and feel.
Solution
Windows caches the information related to a manifest file, and if it has done so, does not look for and read an existing manifest file again, presumably until a reboot, but that is not always the case. The work-around is to touch the .executable file (<appname>.exe) so that the modified date/time is changed. This seems to trick Windows into reading the existing manifest file again.
Here is a link to a free open source touch application that runs on Windows:
http://sourceforge.net/projects/touchforwindows/
There is a set of utilities at the following link that can help you diagnose this issue. In particular, the ManifestUtils\TraceManifestLoading.cmd app can be used to verify when a manifest file is loaded and when it is not:
http://csi-windows.com/toolkit/manifestutils