§ WebBrowser control – finally, a managed wrapper of the IE ActiveX control
§ Active Document Host – gives you the ability to host OLE Documents for in-place editing of Word, Excel, Visio, etc. files
§ SoundPlayer – managed and asynchronous playback of .WAV files
§ DataGridView – a replacement of the current DataGrid control that comes with many standard column types that are completely customizable
§ SplitContainer – a much easier way to implement splitters and panels
§ MaskedTextBox – allows developers to specify a mask string to indicate the shape of expected input
§ ToolStrip – an extremely flexible and powerful toolbar similar to the functionality provided in Office 2003…even supports transparency and animated GIFs
As far as the designer is concerned, the Document Outline and Snaplines are my favorites. Document Outline shows you a hierarchical view of the controls on your form. For those who can’t wait for this feature, there is a VS.NET 2003 PowerToy called Control Outline that works very well.
For runtime features, ClickOnce is definitely cool. There are fewer and fewer reasons to develop web applications because of deployment and maintenance concerns. Also, Windows XP Visual Style Support is enabled out-of-the-box. Not only do your controls assume the updated style by default, but you also get to see them in the designer! I also like the new Layout feature…especially the FlowLayoutPanel that automatically arranges controls in a flowing fashion (similar to HTML).
Overall, there’s a lot to get excited about in Windows Forms.