WinFX has been a topic of discussion for quite a while. Originally it was tied to the next release of Microsoft Windows (Vista, “Longhorn”). It was then ripped out of Vista and given the room to stand on its own. While it still is not a fully completed product, it has reached a milestone.
WinFX stands for the Windows Framework Extension. It is a programming model being developed by Microsoft that is a superset of the .NET Framework 2.0. Within WinFX are many technologies and features that will hopefully make life easier for the average developer. Whether this be a result of its supplanting the 13 year old Win32 API, or a result of the consolidation of many other technologies into an easier-to-use single solution.
A part of WinFX includes the Windows Communication Foundation (WCF) (previously called “Indigo”) and the Windows Workflow Foundation (WF). Microsoft has now released early downloads of both of these called WCF Go Live Release and WF Go Live Release. More importantly, Microsoft is allowing applications to be deployed based on this latest code. In other words, these downloads can be used in production environments today.
The January Community Technical Preview (CTP) of WinFX is also being made available on MSDN for download. WinFX will help you to build applications that take advantage of new user experiences by using technologies such as XAML. While WinFX was originally targeted at Vista, it has since been decoupled form that operating system. If your solutions focus on Microsoft Windows XP SP2 or Microsoft Windows Server 2003, then you may want to check out WinFX to see if it might simplify your development.
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