Avalon developer preview ships on MSDN

Chris Anderson, who is an architect
on the Avalon team, announced on
Friday that Avalon has shipped
a new developer
preview to MSDN subscribers
.What is really really cool is
that Avalon
is going to ship on Windows XP, Windows 2003, AND Longhorn.

From the
MSDN developer center

"Avalon" is the code name for Microsoft's unified presentation subsystem
for Windows. It consists of a display engine and a managed-code framework.
"Avalon" unifies how Windows creates, displays, and manipulates documents,
media, and user interfaces, which enables developers and designers to create
visually-stunning, differentiated user experiences that improve customer

  • The "Avalon" Engine. The "Avalon" engine unifies the way
    developers and designers experience documents, media, and UI, providing a
    single runtime for browser-based experiences, forms-based applications,
    graphics, video, audio, and documents. "Avalon" is built on top of DirectX,
    which enables it to unleash the full power of the graphics hardware present
    in modern computers, and is engineered to exploit advances in hardware
    moving forward. For example, the "Avalon" vector-based rendering engine
    enables applications to scale to take advantage of high-dpi monitors without
    requiring extra work on the part of the developer or user. Similarly, when
    "Avalon" detects a video card that supports hardware acceleration, it takes
    advantage of it.

  • The "Avalon" Framework. The "Avalon" framework delivers solutions
    for media, user interface design, and documents that go well beyond what
    developers have today. "Avalon" is designed for extensibility, enabling
    developers to create their own controls on top of the "Avalon" engine from
    scratch or by subclassing existing "Avalon" controls. Central to the
    "Avalon" framework are controls for shapes, documents, images, video,
    animation, 3D, and panels, in which to place controls and content.
    These primitives provide the building blocks for developing next
    generation user experiences.

  • XAML. "Avalon" also introduces XAML, a markup language to
    declaratively represent user interface for Windows applications, improving
    the richness of the tools with which developers and designers can compose
    and repurpose UI. For Web developers, XAML provides a familiar UI
    description paradigm. XAML also enables the separation of UI design from the
    underlying code, enabling developers and designers to work more closely

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