One of the great joys of my role at Microsoft is that I get to work with some really cool partners who are building next-generation applications on our platform. Right now there are perhaps eight companies that I'm working with intensively on launch showcase applications that are built using Windows Presentation Foundation. Having customers who get our bits early and start building on them long before we release is critical, naturally, because it means we get good feedback on whether we're building an attractive platform and where we have rough edges (bad) or hitherto underexploited sweet spots (good!). As Nick Kramer notes, bugs that are reported by you get greater weight since we know they're issues that are hit in the real world.
I'm therefore delighted to link to one of my showcase customers, iBloks, who as I write this are in the middle of demonstrating their product in public for the first time, as part of our mix06 conference. This small start-up has come out of nowhere with a fantastic mash-up application that takes full advantage of WPF. Their application allows you to create custom iBlok modules containing photos and videos and set to music that you can mix yourself. It's a great example of how WPF blends 2D and 3D graphics, animation and media together - they themselves claim that our technology has halved their time-to-market. Here's a screenshot to whet your appetite:
But a screenshot really doesn't do full justice - take a couple of minutes out and see a full demonstration of this product, shown by Julia Miller, their CEO.
The first release of iBloks will be available broadly this summer - in the meantime, check out their website where you can sign up to be notified when it's available.