It's been quite a week of software releases. Instead of writing a bunch of small posts, I thought I'd wait until everything became available. That time is now.
If you haven't taken a look at Windows Vista yet, I'd highly encourage you to download and install RC1. MSDN subscribers can grab it from the subscriber download site, and if you participated in the Windows Vista Customer Preview Program for the Beta 2 release (June), you should have received an e-mail with information about the RC1 release. I've installed it as my primary OS on my home machine and both machines at the office. The only devices that it hasn't automatically installed a driver for is my Microsoft Fingerprint Reader and my Soundblaster Audigy 2 sound card. Although I haven't found a driver for the Fingerprint Reader, I did manage to get a beta 2-compatible version of the Audigy 2 driver working.
This version of Windows Vista is snappy, even more polished, and very stable. I'm quite impressed with the work that the Windows team has done. And it's a joy to use. Running Office 2007 makes the experience even better. Geez...listen to me...I guess I sound a lot like a Microsoft evangelist, don't I? Seriously...you need to try this stuff out. You can find a lot of early reviews across the 'net, but for a balanced set of articles, check out Paul Thurrott's Windows Vista Release Candidate 1 Review Part 1, Part 2, Five Great Features in Windows Vista RC1, and in the interest of full disclosure, The Dark Side of Windows Vista RC1.
But, if you're reading my blog, you probably want to get down to developing some great Windows Presentation Foundation applications...am I right? The good news is, if you install Windows Vista RC1, you automatically get the .NET Framework 3.0 RC1 installed and ready-to-go. Here are some other useful links:
- Microsoft .NET Framework 3.0 RC1 - no need to install this if you're running Windows Vista RC1, but if you're running Windows XP SP2 or Windows Server 2003, you'll need it.
- Windows SDK RC1 - to get the documentation, samples, and some tools. Or, just read the documentation online.
- Development Tools for .NET Framework 3.0 RC1 - this will add XAML Intellisense, project types, and a newer version of "Cider," the visual designer for WPF to your Visual Studio 2005 installation. Cider has added some nice features. Check out their release notes for the details.
- Expression Interactive Designer September 2006 CTP - formerly known as "Sparkle," this is a design tool to help you create WPF applications. Interestingly enough, it's a WPF application itself. This version works with all of the RC1 bits I've mentioned so far.
- Expression Graphic Designer September 2006 CTP - an illustration tool that has updated XAML preview and export features. This is a great way to create the graphics and images that you use in your WPF application.
Now that all that is out of the way, I urge you to check out Matt Griffith's HOWTO Screencast: Use IronPython and Snoop to explore the Windows Presentation Foundation. Way cool! Thanks for the heads-up, Kevin.