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MS Vista Look and Feel To Go Cross-Platform 365

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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  • Linux (Score:5, Funny)

    by LamboAlpha ( 840950 ) on Saturday September 17, 2005 @08:26AM (#13583885)
    No linux?
  • by biryokumaru ( 822262 ) * <> on Saturday September 17, 2005 @08:28AM (#13583891)
    Are you saying I can have the security [] of ActiveX and the beauty [] of a WinXP skin with liberal use of transparency? I'm there!

    D'oh! I'm on Linux... *snaps* dang.

  • by imboboage0 ( 876812 ) <> on Saturday September 17, 2005 @08:29AM (#13583893) Homepage
    When WPF/E becomes available, it will be in the form of an Active X control that can be embedded in applications or as browser plug-in.

    Yep. Because we all know and love the concept of ActiveX.
    • I'm wondering what this means, too.

      As far as I know, ActiveX is not supported by the Macintosh at all, even in Internet Explorer.

      I thought IE was essentially dead for the Mac.

      Does this mean Microsoft will develop a new IE for the Mac that supports this version of ActiveX?

      • At some point, the Office versions for Mac relied quite heavily on their own ActiveX/COM/OLE framework. (The moment you realise that ActiveX is just OLE and that OLE(2) was just the first use of COM with IDispatch, you realize that to support VBA for Mac, the most immediate solution was to port COM in some way.)
  • by Jackie_Chan_Fan ( 730745 ) on Saturday September 17, 2005 @08:32AM (#13583903)
    What features are in Vista that would inspire me to upgrade besides the UI? Frankly the UI looks big and clunky like XP and flat out ugly... but what is the benefit of Vista?

    Why have Vista?

    • Probably for the same reason WindowBlinds [] exists. Some people like flashy desktops with fancy borders and other cool (if not 'functional') enhancements.

      It's the old argument of style over function, I personally liked WindowBlinds but not enough to take the preformance hit and some of the hastles of configuring it. Perhaps Vista, being created by microsoft, won't be quite as subject to those limitations. If it's free (or 'free-able') I'll certanly take a gander at it.

      But only if I can uninstall it!!
    • "Why have Vista?"

      So hardware vendors can push new machines with twice the memory, twice the CPU, twice the graphics so when you click on something it sparkles or something before opening.

      So Microsoft can push upgrades to improve their revenue stream and make non-MS OS's less compatible again.

      So software vendors can push upgrades to improve THEIR revenue stream.

      Nothing new to see here....
      • Actually, I'm rather looking forward to Vista. Microsoft will put pressure on hardware vendors to come out with these outrageous machines at consumer prices, mainly just the effect of greater demand for such monsters. I find it hard to immagine how nicely Linux is going to run on a 4 Ghz dual core box with 2 Gb ram. Thanks to Microsoft's bloatware, I won't have to immagine though - I will be able to afford it!
      • by DoraLives ( 622001 ) on Saturday September 17, 2005 @09:53AM (#13584214)
        So hardware vendors can push new machines with twice the memory, twice the CPU, twice the graphics so when you click on something it sparkles or something before opening.

        I can't wait till Visa comes out.

        I deal in free computers, and even wrote a book [] on the subject, and let me tell you, once Vista hits the streets, the whole world is going to be awash with perfectly good machines that I can load Linux on and then give away.

        The part that's really making my mouth water is the fact that your present monitor will NOT work with Vista. This is too good to be true. At present, Big Bomb CRT monitors are just laying around like shells on the beach, free for the picking. Vista will then cause the exact same thing to happen with flat panels.

        Machines with 60 gig hard drives, 2 gig CPU's, and half a gig of memory are going to become free for the taking. Load Linux on one and you've got yourself a damn fine machine, no matter how many bells, whistles, foxtails, and reflectors your next door neighbor might have on his machine.

        I can't wait!!!

        • 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) [] 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.

          • 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.

            You are absolutely correct. My statement was over generalized. That said, the bottom line remains the same: People will be ditching their present generation of flat panel monitors in order to avail themselves of the new "legally obtained HD content in full HD"

            Net result: A wave of free flat panel monitors that will work just ticky-boo for all the humdr

    • What features are in Vista that would inspire me to upgrade besides the UI? Frankly the UI looks big and clunky like XP and flat out ugly...

      The same "features" that XP has: enormous numbers of bugs, enormous numbers of security holes, vendor lock-in, lack of package management, etcetera. All that Vista adds is DRM and expensive hardware requirements. In short, if this list hasn't made you upgrade from XP to Linux yet, then you will probably buy Vista and continue to use it as well.

    • 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: iew_2005.asp []

      Here's a list of differences between the Vista editions: ions.asp []
    • Honest question.

      Why have XP? I'm still using 2000. Is there honestly any reason to upgrade besides the UI (which I'm not overly fond of anyways). I can't think of a single reason I want XP, let alone Vista on my computer.
      • XP's had some updates to make it go faster, and a few other things.

        The differences are pretty marginal though — if you're happy to stay with 2k, there's probably little reason to upgrade. There's one or two compatibility issues (very few) and 2k goes out of "official support" earlier than XP, but other than that, nothing serious springs to mind. I personally upgraded my last computer for ClearType, since I got a TFT monitor — however, was I in a situation where I would have to pay for the soft

        • 3-D games got higher framerates. I don't know if this is universal to all graphics hardware, but it was definitely the case for Radeon 9600s.
        • ClearType. I use an LCD monitor, so this was a nice improvement.

        Of course, I use Ubuntu now and my roommate has a PlayStation2, so these have become irrelevant to me.

    • by Lispy ( 136512 ) on Saturday September 17, 2005 @10:15AM (#13584326) Homepage
      Digital rights management.
  • Nonsense.... (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward
    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...)

    • Re:Nonsense.... (Score:3, Interesting)

      by cnettel ( 836611 )
      Please. ActiveX as a way to embed a control in some host is perfectly fine. It's better than the Netscape plugin interface, or the level of it when MS started touting OLE controls for Internet use (along with creating the new name "ActiveX" for them). Keyboard focus, accessibility, possibly non-rectangular shapes are some examples, while the latter is quite complicated.

      The problem is the idea that you ever wanted to install them automatically over the net. Ever. The idea was that you would trust some signe

  • by amcdiarmid ( 856796 ) <amcdiarm AT gmail DOT com> on Saturday September 17, 2005 @08:34AM (#13583910) Journal
    Just like Windows NT. You could run it on PPC/Alpha (with no available programs) for a little-while. Then there was one.

    What are they going to do, other than try to bring their DRM to Apple?
  • I don't get it (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Nevtje(hr ( 869571 ) on Saturday September 17, 2005 @08:35AM (#13583912)
    iirc Vista is said to take quite a chunk of hardware to run. from the article:

    "However, 3D and hardware accelerators will probably not be part of the package."

    how, then, will it be possible to put this stuff on even older comps? is this really thought through, or am i missing some obvious point?
    • how, then, will it be possible to put this stuff on even older comps? is this really thought through, or am i missing some obvious point?

      Isn't the obvious point you put the new gui on a machine to slow to run it which convinces the user to buy a new computer which means they buy a copy of Vista bundled?
  • This is just what windows2000 needs is another windowsblinds only done by Microsft to make it complete.
    The only funy thing about this comment is that I think I might be deadly serious.
    I havent decided yet.
    Will it be sold as XP Plus? This may sway my seriousness.
  • by blakespot ( 213991 ) on Saturday September 17, 2005 @08:41AM (#13583926) Homepage
    Today's Top Headlines: "Microsoft passes around the ugly stick!"


  • 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...
    • Google (Score:3, Interesting)

      Google's most exciting technologies are built on AJAX, for cross-platform, web-based, highly responsive user interfaces. This sounds like a bid to beat them at their own game, or force them into irrelivence by making their own technology dominant.

      Of course, I wouldn't really believe that they were willing to deliver cross-platform apps. Steve Ballmer just wants to murder Google, and once that's done, they'll abandon the technology.

      • Re:Google (Score:3, Insightful)

        by putko ( 753330 )
        One "problem" that M$ has is that Windows is now used on embedded devices, and that's likely where the revenue growth will come from. The desktop market has been played out. So they've got to make their crap work on the desktop and embedded devices if they want to get more money for their IP.

        If Excel relies on fancy "OS features" like the "presentation layer", they've got to make that work on phones and Macs if they want Office to run on those platforms.

        I suspect thing about cross-platform, old-hardware sup
      • Re:Google (Score:2, Interesting)

        by *SECADM ( 223955 )
        You do realize that "AJAX" (which slashdotters are so fond of nowadays) is really a set of microsoft web technology? XMLHttpRequest was a pure MS invention by the Outlook web access team, ECMAscript was pushed by both Netscape and MS (some would argue it was because of IE's implementation that pushed the standard to come in the first place), and the DOM standard we use now is much more heavily based on the IE version than the original crappy Netscape version.

        Not being a MS fanboy or anything... I just fi

  • It won't be part of the Vista release, set for the second half of next year.
  • by daveed ( 545432 ) on Saturday September 17, 2005 @08:52AM (#13583961)
    What I want to know is when they'll separate the virus, bug and backdoor bits of windows into layers, so I can use them on other platforms.
  • Other interfaces? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by saintlupus ( 227599 )
    The question, for me anyway, would be whether or not this will allow users to use a different interface than the Microsoft-standard one.

    The main reason I don't use Windows is that the GUI for it is incredibly annoying and unintuitive to me. If I could run something like Windowmaker on top of the Vista kernel, that would get me to buy my first Windows machine in years.

    (Not that anyone gives a shit what I think, but hell, I just woke up and I'm feeling chatty.)

    • You can already do this, windows lets you change the window manager already..
      However, since 99% of users don`t a lot of apps won`t play well with other managers, unlike on unix where it`s pretty much essential to make your app aware of different window managers..
  • Why PDAs? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by RubberDogBone ( 851604 ) on Saturday September 17, 2005 @08:56AM (#13583974)
    Come on, my PDA is already a pain to use because it's the OS is trying to be desktop Windows on a tiny machine with a bad screen and no keyboard.

    Hey MS, If you're gonna make the PDA entirely unusable, why not go all-out and make it run DOS or *shudder* CP/M or something even more arcane and unsuited for a PDA touch screen. Gary Killdall, where are you!?!?! There is work left to do!

    Yes, I know there are DOS prompt apps for PocketPC. No, I don't want to carefully peck in letters with a stylus. Thanks anyway.

    My PDA currently has a flaky touch screen that has already been replaced once. When it finally dies, I'm going to get an iPod and get smug. I hear that comes packed in those Apple factory boxes. :)
  • by jpellino ( 202698 ) on Saturday September 17, 2005 @08:58AM (#13583984)
    So now Mac users can look forward to combo boxes, tab sets that flip around as you click them, and a start menu that eats half the screen just to choose a program...
  • 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 ... I surrender, master.
  • Vista improvements (Score:3, Interesting)

    by CastrTroy ( 595695 ) on Saturday September 17, 2005 @08:59AM (#13583987) Homepage
    The problem is, is that microsoft still doesn't look like they've added any real functionality. 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. Still just one start menu, with all your programs stuck under 1 menu. Where you either have everything in 1 folder, and it's impossible to find anything, or you have organzied everything, and have to click through 4 levels just to get to the program you want. Also, when are they going to have multiple desktops. Like they've had in linux/unix forever. The most powerful interface is one that can be highly customized, so it can work the way I want it to. Windows just doesn't seem to realize this at all.
    • by LordKronos ( 470910 ) on Saturday September 17, 2005 @09:59AM (#13584241)
      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
    • by empaler ( 130732 )
      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.
    • Multiple desktops (Score:2, Informative)

      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.
  • Look and feel (Score:2, Insightful)

    by liangzai ( 837960 )
    Microsoft doesn't know shyte about UI design.

    I hope they stay the fuck away from the Mac, and if they still want to do stuff on the platform, they'd better comply 100% to the native UI, using native widgets and native APIs (Cocoa, or go to hell).

    Contrary to popular belief, there is not one single MS app that is crucial for the Mac.
    • Re:Look and feel (Score:5, Insightful)

      by FoboldFKY ( 785255 ) on Saturday September 17, 2005 @09:41AM (#13584147)

      Yeah, because we all know how well Apple stuck to Windows look and feel when they ported Quicktime ov... oh yeah. Well, um, at least iTunes is... notwait, scratch that...

      But at least they're consistent on their OWN platform! It's not like they would [] ever [] make an app that doesn't fit with all the others!

      Granted, Microsoft wouldn't know good UI design if it came along and beat them over the head with a stick, but Apple are just as guilty of "screw you, we'll make our apps look however we want--to hell with native widgets!" syndrome as MS.

  • by DogDude ( 805747 ) on Saturday September 17, 2005 @09:06AM (#13584006)
    Reading the posts in this article make me realize that the community of Slashdot is very rapidly deteriorating. I've been reading and posting to Slashdot for many years (under another much older ID).

    It seems that very recently, a lot of the good, throughtful regular posters are gone, and now we're left with nothing but "M$ sucks, so I don't care." trolls and Linux fanboys.

    Now I know that Slashdot has always been a haven for Linux zealots and anti-MS zealots, but that's always been tempered with thoughtful posts, too, that weren't so A. Rabid and B. Clueless.

    What I'm wondering is if anybody else has noticed, or if I'm just imagining things. Now, I know a lot of people were talking about giving up on Slashdot in the past few months because the editors have been doing such a terrible job (really bad articles, multiple, multiple dupes, not even correct spelling)... so I'm wondering if a lot of those people really *have* given up and left Slashdot. I'm starting to realize that I'm less inclined to hang out here now, and I've been coming here since... oh, about 1998. If so, where's the next real place for geeks to hang out, as opposed to *just* the anti-MS kids, although I know there will be *some* of that in any geek community?

    Or is this all just in my head?
  • At least Zonk is honest [] when he has to run Slashvertisements.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Believe it or not, my guess is that ms is getting the grip of multiplatform computing being the future. Their vision is growing beyond multiple versions of windows for different hardware platforms. The os market is getting more diverse every day, and ms will focus application development in the future.

    Let a few years go by and you will see ms targeting all major os platforms with most of their product line, which will include linux next to apple...

    By the way, most ActiveX comments are superfluos, as any for
  • by Speare ( 84249 ) on Saturday September 17, 2005 @09:13AM (#13584028) Homepage Journal
    This is the kind of garbage which the $100 million in marketing is going to buy. It's amazing that ringtones, skins and wallpapers can be a successful part of a marketing strategy which will further entrench monopoly and strip computer owners of autonomy with their own data and hardware.
  • I really hate the use of the word 'rich' in "...which provides the rich front end for Vista." Completely meaningless term that is the kind of 'ad-speak' used by marketing people. The only thing rich about Vista are its creators.
  • Must...have...primary...colors!
  • When WPF/E becomes available, it will be in the form of an Active X control that can be embedded in applications or as browser plug-in.

    *pictures Bill Gates screaming "lalalala!" when presented with report like these []*
  • Microsoft stand to loose less business even if some of its customers migrate to Mac OS X, because the vast majority of Mac users have bought and use Microsoft Office:mac or even Microsoft Virtual PC. Targeting Mac OS X may therefore be a smart move on Microsoft.

    As a matter of fact, the Microsoft Mac Business Unit is highly profitable and will bring in even more revenue as the Macintosh again is gaining market share. Because MBU has done a good job with Office on the Mac often introducing new functionality

    • 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.

  • The portability is possible because the underlying technologies of Expression...

    When they say "Expression" in the article, are they referring to the (formerly Creature House) program Expression []? And if so, is this implying that the Avalon presentation layer is essentially a chunk of that code grafted onto Windows? I admit that I haven't read up much on Vista (or Avalon), but it seems that this is a very poor way of creating an advanced windowing system...
    • That's what it's like on a XP machine or Vista without the desktop engine or whatever they call it now. If you have the complete compositing engine, it's all rendered by an Avalon-like system. There are still some mappings to good old HWNDs and other things to keep traditional applications happy, but it's not much of a hindrance.
  • They will certainly start offering versions of office for mac which look and act identically to the windows version. It will pollute the mac interface...
  • Yeah but... does it run on linux?
  • by theolein ( 316044 ) on Saturday September 17, 2005 @11:34AM (#13584805) Journal
    I took a look at the channel9 video of the Sparkle demo [] and was quite bowled over. The technology allows designers and developers to draw working interfaces using 2D, 3D and video as easily as one would draw some graphic objects in Illustrator or Flash today, except that the UI elements you draw are the immediately live interface elements. Not even Flash can really compare with this and OSX Cocoa's InterfaceBuilder is not anywhere near as flexible when it comes to custom elements.

    Once an element is drawn, it immediately exists as XML (XAML) and can be modified by a coder with C# data bindings. It's like InterfaceBuilder combined with Illustrator.

    These animations/UI control sets can then easily either be combined with a real client application or be part of Explorer. It's very radical, with one big Caveat:

    Microsoft, for all their failures learned a big lesson with ActiveX and propierty technologies: If they don't run on other platforms, as do Flash and Javascript, almost no web developers will use them as they have to cater to more than just Microsoft's platform. This is the very reason Microsoft made C# and the CLR an ECMA standard. It was an attempt to get their technology accepted as a standard that would be implemented on other platforms.

    Of course Microsoft wouldn't be Microsoft if they didn't try and poison the pill by not opening their .Net frameworks, thereby crippling any other implementation of .Net (Yes, Mono, I'm referring to you) and thereby getting technology chiefs to rather go with a Microsoft platform where the technology is complete and more or less guaranteed to work.

    And XAML and this WPF/E is exactly the same thing. Note that only a SUBSET of WPF will be ported to Mac and Linux. The Sparkle/Expresion/XAML technology has the ability to absolutely kill Flash as it is easier to develop for, much more extensible, and includes 3D, which doesn't exist on Flash. But Microsoft, being Microsoft, wants you to use their OS and their browser (and preferably all of their technology if they can get away with it.) The subset of WPF will only be bait to get people to move to Vista and IE where the implementation is complete.

    What is even worse is that Microsoft wants XAML to kill html, since a XAML document will run as is in IE. Cringely was right when he said Microsoft wants to kill the web. Microsoft does not give a damn about html standards and XAML is the reason. They want EVERYBODY to use ONLY XAML. That way they would theoretically have absolute control over the internet and the web.

    It would scare me silly, but I'm pretty sure that it will only be a partial success, as web developers will carry on using technologies that are cross platform (surprise, that is what the web is for!) such as Flash and html, and client developers are hardly going to use a technology that is only a subset of what is available on Windows.
  • by Daytona955i ( 448665 ) <flynnguy24@yahoo. c o m> on Saturday September 17, 2005 @11:44AM (#13584870)
    From the screen shots that I've seen, I think windows is taking a step backwards in it's UI design. I mean, I want a toolbar that takes up less space, not more. I really can't see anyone wanting to emulate this on any platform. I know I for one wouldn't "upgrade" my version of windows 2000 to this look and feel.
    • by hkb ( 777908 )
      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 Larthallor ( 623891 ) on Saturday September 17, 2005 @11:57AM (#13584961)
    This isn't about porting the Windows look and feel to other platforms at all. It's about Microsoft trying to replace HTML for the UI of Web-based apps with something they can control.

    Those of you who grew up taking the web for granted may not realize this, but HTML and the Web were designed to create hyper-text documents, not apps. Thus, the "HT" beginning to HTML. Making applications in pure HTML was a lot like those old Create Your Own Adventure books where you choose your way through the adventure by turning to page X to do one thing and page Y to do another.

    Since the whole web architecture was designed for reading linked documents, it has had to be mutilated with all sorts of add-on technologies (many of them proprietary) in order to make web applications feasible. And still, the UI and the method for creating that UI are inferior to native apps. But, since the benefits of web app deployment are just too appealing to give up, we just keep mutating and evolving a web document system.

    And that's where XAML and this announcement come in. Microsoft knows there is a huge demand for a richer web application UI (Flash, I'm looking at you!) and has decided that now is it's opportunity to take over from HTML.

    However, the only way it can take over the API for the web is to make sure it is cross-platform enough for web app developers to adopt it. In other words, this is about getting web developers to choose their API (and therefore often their tools) for web development.
  • by rdwald ( 831442 ) on Saturday September 17, 2005 @01:16PM (#13585391)
    You can already have the Windows Vista interface on OS X. It's called Aqua.

I use technology in order to hate it more properly. -- Nam June Paik