I have been away from work a bit for this week and the last due to presenting some plans and also this week was my birthday (well, yesterday was my birthday). Without furthyer adieu, a few updates for the centers:
- There will be some updates coming to the Facebook SDK page and a few of the older tools and resource pages that are a little confusing will be removed.
- We're currently working on a newsletter but this is at least a few weeks away. In the meantime, we recommend you subscribe to the MSDN flash newsletter to get news from MSDN delivered to your email
- We're working on creating a better community for Facebook outside the Windows Developers Facebook page
Use this not that
When targetting Windows Vista and later, use Direct2D instead of GDI. This is a tough one because GDI has been around and has been supported for a long time and is unsupported in older Windows versions such as Windows XP (don't quote me on that ^_^). Many developers have GDI in the core of their applications and have opted to use it over newer technology such as GDI+ due to complexities with more modern APIs. GDI also has great interoperability across Windows versions and SKUs. That said, we have made a significant investment in making Direct 2D easy to integrate into applications and it has significant advantages over GDI. For example, Direct 2D enables you to take advantage of hardware accelleration and other compositing features that will make your app shine. Also, Direct 2D is a great migration path from GDI because of its great interoperability features. From MSDN: Integrating Direct2D-based rendering is made easier for developers through surface-level interoperability with GDI and Direct3D. Applications that render content primarily with GDI, GDI+, or Direct3D, can begin by using Direct2D to render specific areas of their application, and over time move to a model where rendering is performed primarily via Direct2D, using GDI primarily for plug-ins or legacy extensibility. You can use D2D in a portion of your app and slowly migrate more of your app into it as you have resources to do it.
In short, going with Direct2D instead of GDI will make your app look better and perform better. If you are looking to just target Windows Vista and later, D2D will really make your app stand out. If I've convinced you, you're probably wondering where to get started with D2D. I like to start with samples, so I'll recommend the Direct 2D samples. There are a number of excellent samples there like Multi-Sample Anti-Aliasing in Direct2D:
Compares Multi-Sample Anti-Aliasing (MSAA) and Per-Primitive Anti-Aliasing (PPAA) techniques in different scenarios and demonstrates which technique is suited for which scenario.
Also, there are some great articles on getting started with Direct2D but the Direct2D developer quickstart is the most concise documentation that I have seen for getting you going.