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With the announcement of the release today of beta 1 for Windows Vista (formally codenamed "Longhorn"), Microsoft also announced the official names for Avalon and Indigo.
Avalon was the code name for what is now officially called Windows Presentation Foundation. WPF is often referred to as the graphical subsystem of Windows Vista. More correctly stated, it is the way in which Windows Vista will create, display, and manipulate documents, media, and user interfaces. This system is expected to use vector graphics, allow for better transparency, and more.
Indigo was the code name for what is now officially called Windows Communication Foundation. WCF is the communications portion of Windows Vista that is built around Web services. This communications technology focuses on providing spanning transports, security, messaging patterns, encoding, networking and hosting, and more. Ultimately, this WCF will deliver a consistent experience — bringing together technologies ranging from Web Services to .NET Remoting to Windows Services — for building connected systems.
It is worth noting that Microsoft had originally announced the beta for August 3rd and many people within Microsoft were holding to this date as late as this morning. This release of the Windows Vista beta a week early should be a welcome surprise to many of the developers and technical IT Pros. This beta is considered a technical beta aimed at developers and techies, primarily those in the MSDN and TechNet programs.
The Windows Vista beta is built on WinFX. The WinFX managed programming model builds on the .NET Framework by adding APIs that target eight core areas. The focus of these APIs is relatively obvious: security, reliability, connectivity, search, data, mobility, user experience, and deployment. For more on Windows Vista, you can go to http://msdn.microsoft.com/windowsvista/.
Note: At the time this was written, the Windows Vista beta was not yet available on the MSDN download site for MSDN subscribers even though Microsoft said it should be.
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