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Microsoft Input Devices

MS Vista Look and Feel To Go Cross-Platform 365

Posted by Zonk
from the everything's-coming-up-milhouse dept.
Robert writes "As part of the announcement of the next generation look and feel for Windows Vista, Microsoft said that it will make a subset of the new presentation layer available for other platforms. 'Windows Presentation Foundation', the look and feel which provides the rich front end for Vista, will also eventually be available in compact form for other platforms such as the Apple Macintosh, older versions of Windows, and smart devices such as phones or PDAs."
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MS Vista Look and Feel To Go Cross-Platform

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  • Nonsense.... (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday September 17, 2005 @08:32AM (#13583907)
    Don't they have anything better to do, like finishing (Hasta La) Vista? ActiveX is the biggest problem on windows. And now they think they can make it cross plattform by using an ActiveX component for a browser plugin?

    If it was the first of April it would be interesting...

    ActiveX on Mac IE? Has never worked. How about on Linux? Nobody wants that. Why are people using Firefox, well for one it doesn't have ActiveX support! (Okay there is an addon, but almost nobody is using it...)

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday September 17, 2005 @08:42AM (#13583930)
    I saw the announcement and a demo on the PDC (well, live through the internet that is). Anyway, the idea of WPF/E (Windows Presentation Foundation/Everywhere) is to be able to deliver apps using the WPF (codenamed "Avalon") API using JavaScript. So any OS capable running JS will be able to run those apps... whether it's a smartphone, MAC OS X or Linux...
  • More info: (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday September 17, 2005 @08:54AM (#13583966)
  • It's vaporware (Score:5, Informative)

    by FishandChips (695645) on Saturday September 17, 2005 @08:59AM (#13583985) Journal
    The article makes clear that this is vaporware. Microsoft haven't got further than "scoping this out" and in any case it won't be part of the first Vista release. Besides, it could be a few years before someone works out how to stuff a 6800GT into a Nokia cellphone.

    Unless ... the borg is stirring ... the mere threat of Vistarizing your watch, phone, toaster, camera, alarm clock, yay, the great globe itself, with dinky beeping sounds, natty symbols and rich interactive content from doubleclick.net ... I surrender, master.
  • by Saven Marek (739395) on Saturday September 17, 2005 @09:13AM (#13584032)
    MS tried this before on the mac.

    It was a dismal failure

    MS Word 6.x on the Macintosh worked, but was heavily bloated, slow, and did not at all fit in with the way the mac worked.

    Why? It used a subset of the Windows GUI. It didn't use Macintosh gui calls and was not only weighed down by using an untested (compared to windows gui elements on windows, which has the benefit of being used by hundreds of apps and debugged over time) gui, but worked opposite to how good macintosh apps should work.

    It was regarded as a failure even at the time and many people stuck with Word 5.1
  • by Jugalator (259273) on Saturday September 17, 2005 @09:22AM (#13584071) Journal
    It's easy to believe it's just about the UI, since that's the most apparent change so far from screenshots alone.

    Here's a guide to some currently planned features:
    http://www.winsupersite.com/showcase/winvista_prev iew_2005.asp [winsupersite.com]

    Here's a list of differences between the Vista editions:
    http://www.winsupersite.com/showcase/winvista_edit ions.asp [winsupersite.com]
  • Re:Why contaminate? (Score:5, Informative)

    by hattig (47930) on Saturday September 17, 2005 @09:54AM (#13584216) Journal
    Maybe I misunderstand all of this, but isn't there already a cross platform XML + ECMAScript layout language, that many of us use daily, that has been around for a few years now, and which many applications use already for the interface?

    Yes, I'm talking about the interface stuff from Mozilla. XUL [mozilla.org].

    XUL (pronounced "zool") is Mozilla's XML-based User interface Language that lets you build feature-rich cross platform applications that can run connected or disconnected from the Internet. These applications are easily customized with alternative text, graphics and layout so they can be readily branded or localized for various markets. Web developers already familiar with Dynamic HTML (DHTML) will learn XUL quickly and can start building applications right away.


    XUL is an XML language based on W3C standard XML 1.0. Applications written in XUL are based on additional W3C standard technologies featuring HTML 4.0; Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) 1 and 2; Document Object Model (DOM) Levels 1 and 2; JavaScript 1.5, including ECMA-262 Edition 3 (ECMAscript); XML 1.0.


    mozilla.org is going a step further by seeking W3C standardization for the eXtensible Binding Language (XBL) (see "Supporting Technologies", below).


    If you want to write an application that runs on Windows, Linux, *BSD and Mac OS X, that utilises a common interface across all these platforms, and if you want to write it today, then use XUL.

    We should all bow down to Microsoft's reinvention of the wheel.
  • by LordKronos (470910) on Saturday September 17, 2005 @09:59AM (#13584241) Homepage
    Why can't I add anotherpanel, along the left side of my screen. With the number of quicklaunch and tray Icon's it would be nice to have those easily accesible, without being crowded and small at the bottom, half of them hidden becuase they don't have the room.

    1) Load up your quick launch toolbar with shortcuts
    2) Right click on the taskbar and make sure "Lock the Taskbar" is turned off
    3) Click on the quick launch toolbar's handle, drag it to the side of the screen you prefer, and release.
    4) Stare in amazement at a feature you didn't know about but has been present since Windows 98

    Also, once it's docked, you can also set it to autohide on the right click menu
  • Marketingese (Score:3, Informative)

    by ThreeDayMonk (673466) on Saturday September 17, 2005 @10:03AM (#13584264) Homepage
    Spot on. Rich is a Marketingese word that covers a number of concepts which, in English, can variously be expressed using words like shiny, gaudy, flashy, non-standard, confusing, and, depressingly often, unreliable.
  • by RetiredMidn (441788) * on Saturday September 17, 2005 @10:07AM (#13584284) Homepage
    ...and I use it to shine shoes.

    Microsoft "targeted" Mac OS before. Sometime in the mid-90's you could use Microsoft's development tools to build cross-platform (Win/MacOS) applications. In theory.

    The reality was that the barrier to entry was very high (IIRC, you needed a specially-configured version of NT to host the tools), and you could use only a subset of the Windows APIs (sound familiar?). AFAIK, Microsoft didn't even use them to build anything significant; my recollection is that the then-current version of Office was not built with them.

    So what was the point? To the extent that anybody thought about doing cross-platform development, they could be answered with the line that "if we use Microsoft's tools, we'll be able to cross-develop if and when we want to." One more reason to consider using not getting locked into Microsoft's tooling was apparently answered.

    Also, the "subset" qualification meant that you could make a choice: be cross-platform, or exploit every platform feature to build the best possible application. As soon as you were sucked into the latter alternative, you were locked out of the other platform(s). (This is the approach Microsoft took with their flavor of Java.)

    Finally, the non-Windows implementations of these cross-platform application were marginal at best in terms of platform guidelines on the Mac. So, if you were to go ahead and deliver on the cross-platform tools, you were guaranteed a luke-warm reception at best from the Mac community, which in turn would probably make you think twice about developing for the platform again.

    That attempt to go "cross-platform" by Microsoft was so choked with booby traps that it never got off the ground. I expect the same result here, even allowing for adaptations to lessons learned.

  • by empaler (130732) on Saturday September 17, 2005 @10:28AM (#13584401) Journal
    1. Create folder
    2. Stuff links into folder
    3. Right click start bar, left click "Tool bars", "New tool bar"
    4. Right click start bar and make sure "Lock tool bar" is not checked
    5. Left click and drag new toolbar from Start menu to the left hand side of the screen. You could even float it if you like.
    HTH.
  • Multiple desktops (Score:2, Informative)

    by gallondr00nk (868673) on Saturday September 17, 2005 @10:32AM (#13584424)
    Windows XP supports multiple desktops, all you need is the powertoys collection (which is free).

    NT4 and 2000 also supported multiple desktops through the resource kit.
  • by conigs (866121) on Saturday September 17, 2005 @10:35AM (#13584430) Homepage

    your present monitor will NOT work with Vista.

    I haven't been following Vista too closely, but I don't recall anything about monitors not working with Vista. Are you referring to the same thing that this ars technica article (new window) [arstechnica.com] is discussing? In that case it's not that the monitors won't work with Vista at all, it's that they can't display legally obtained HD content in full HD on present displays. However, if I'm understanding this right, it looks like it will only to be crippled over a digital pipeline like DVI. But that's beside the point.

    Unless I'm mistaken (and feel free to show me evidence that I am) your present display will work with Vista... but just might not show HD content in full HD.

  • by hkb (777908) on Saturday September 17, 2005 @12:59PM (#13585308)
    You don't want this, you think it's ugly. But the other 99.9% of the people in the world want it.

    Me, I'm satisfied with the Windows 2000 look and feel -- it's boring and simple.

    But you should probably go out into the world and you'll actually "see" the rest of the world liking it.

    The look and feel of Vista has been based on massive amounts of user input, and they continue to gather that input, so what you see today, won't be what you see tomorrow.
  • by SPY_jmr1 (768281) on Saturday September 17, 2005 @01:39PM (#13585536)
    Actually, and I just tried this myself, you CAN do exactly what the GP said.

    He gave the instructions for moving the QUICK LAUNCH to another panel, and moving it around.

    Try it, it works. It takes a little bit of fidgeting to get it to move, but it does. First it changes to a window, but it's dockable to the sides.

    He never said the taskbar moves, but you can move the quicklaunch.
  • Re:No market there (Score:3, Informative)

    by edwdig (47888) on Saturday September 17, 2005 @03:16PM (#13586017)
    It is like when Windows98 allowed multiple audio streams to be processed and play simultaneously. Not a single review even noticed this, but yet it was a big step ahead in consumer OSes. LDDM is basically doing this with GPUs and video - and on a much grander scale.

    Win98 didn't support multiple sound streams simultaneously. If you had that functionality, it's because you had a sound card such as the SoundBlaster Live that had hardware support for it.

    Win2k, otoh, could do it in software.
  • Re:No market there (Score:3, Informative)

    by NatteringNabob (829042) on Saturday September 17, 2005 @03:33PM (#13586090)
    [ a document format based around it, and printer output that is an exact correlation. (A system years ahead of what even OSX and Abode.) (And don't even try to compare PDF/Postscript or tell me that Apple had color matching years ago.]

    I won't tell you that Adobe and Apple did it years ago, but Sun did with their NeWS window system back in, lets see, ... 1987? almost 20 years ago. It bombed, but not for technical reasons (other than the performance of hardware at the time). It is nice to see the idea is coming back, but it is hardly an innovation. And Sun's version ran over the network too.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday September 17, 2005 @10:30PM (#13587720)
    WPF, a.k.a. "Avalon", is managed code. There's no managed code allowed in Vista, which is why it was delayed for an extra year while they ripped out all the managed code. WPF is not used to render any part of Vista - the Vista UI is generated with the same unmanaged Win32 APIs (both public and private) that have been in use forever and ever.
    WPF is for people who want to play with managed code to make UI that looks like whatever they want it to. It's not about making apps that look like Vista at all.

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