Want a taste of the next-generation Windows presentation technology?
"Avalon" is the code name for Microsoft's unified presentation subsystem for Windows. It consists of a display engine and a managed-code framework. "Avalon" unifies how Windows creates, displays, and manipulates documents, media, and user interface. This enables developers and designers to create visually-stunning, differentiated user experiences that improve customer connection. When it ships, scheduled for 2006, "Avalon" will be available on Windows XP, Windows Server 2003 and all future releases of the Windows operating system. When delivered, "Avalon" will become Microsoft's strategic user interface (UI) technology.
A preview is now available for you to download. If I see feedback on the technology posted on this thread, I will get someone from that product team to read your postings. Please feel free to post this on your community site.
Bear in mind that this is a set of APIs for developers...not to be confused with Aero.
Basically, this will allow you to write your own applications using Avalon. You will need a copy of the Whidbey (VS .NET 2005) beta if you're a MSDN subscriber. If not, there is a set of free "Express" IDE's available for various languages (C++, C#, VB.NET etc).
I actually do have it installed and tried some of the code samples available online. It's fun.
Dan Lehenbauer (the first blog) is the person from the Channel9 video who works on the 3D aspect of Avalon. Chris Anderson (second blog) is also on the Avalon team. Both blogs are great sources of info, and you can find links to some code samples that you can download, compile and run.
I did interview with the Avalon team in Redmond two weeks ago =)
Yeah, it did cause some amount of confusion around the web.
It might still be worthwhile downloading the Avalon CTP, even if you aren't interested in development. It does allow you to run Avalon applications created by other people.