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Microsoft Input Devices

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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  • 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?

  • by amcdiarmid ( 856796 ) <{amcdiarm} {at} {}> 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?
  • Google (Score:3, Interesting)

    by happyemoticon ( 543015 ) on Saturday September 17, 2005 @08:49AM (#13583949) Homepage

    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.

  • Other interfaces? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by saintlupus ( 227599 ) on Saturday September 17, 2005 @08:54AM (#13583965) Homepage
    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.)

  • 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. :)
  • 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 eyebits ( 649032 ) on Saturday September 17, 2005 @09:14AM (#13584037)
    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.
  • 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 zootm ( 850416 ) on Saturday September 17, 2005 @10:47AM (#13584509)

    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 software, I'm not sure if that'd have been ample reason.

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

    by cnettel ( 836611 ) on Saturday September 17, 2005 @11:35AM (#13584813)
    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 signed things, but it made it all too easy to fool the users or the framework into getting code that wasn't properly signed or signed by another entity than you first expected.

    Firefox extensions, Netscape plugins and normal binary executables share the same problems, IF they are allowed in an unauthorized manner. The difference might seem fine, but it is quite important.

    Show me how you install, for example, a Flash player in an existing system in a manner that doesn't share the same basic problems, i.e, you gotta trust the code. Java or some other system (.NET) based on code permissions solve it, but implementing Avalon on Java to achieve cross-platformness would be too much of a surprise, don't you think?

  • Re:Google (Score:2, Interesting)

    by *SECADM ( 223955 ) on Saturday September 17, 2005 @11:39AM (#13584837)
    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 find it funny when people make it out like MS is late in the game in terms of the new web-based app craze. MS practically invented most of the technology google use on the client side.

  • Re:Why contaminate? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by vcv ( 526771 ) on Saturday September 17, 2005 @01:37PM (#13585521)
    Can XUL map a video onto a 3d surface and play it in real-time while rotating that 3d surface? Can it do that with 10 videos/3d surface all at the same time, rotating around each other? Can it do that with maybe 50 lines of code or less?

    Does it have a grid layout system?
  • Re:No market there (Score:3, Interesting)

    by tomhudson ( 43916 ) <> on Saturday September 17, 2005 @02:41PM (#13585833) Journal
    What with your infatuation with XML? Oh, right, buzzward compliance.

    As I said, KDE has had translucent menus, menu shadows, and translucent windows for years, something you STILL don't have, and won't have with Vista unless you get a top-of-the-line machine. Otherwise, you still end up with "Vista Craptic", oh, sorry, "Vista Classic".

    And you are going to pay HOW MUCH for this "privilege" of being the last kid on the block to be able to do this stuff?

    Your knee-jerk reaction about what Windows will have in the future compared to what we've had for years shows just how far Redmond has to go to play catch-up. And even when they include their own subscription anti-virus "solution" in Vista, it'll still be encumbered by all sorts of licensing issues. Like if your mb goes, you won't be able to recover all your data on your main partition if you were suckered into "trusted computing". And you'll have to buy another copy of the OS, since it was keyed to the hardware. Windows User == Sucker. That hasn't changed in a decade.

  • No mouse needed (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Thu25245 ( 801369 ) on Saturday September 17, 2005 @04:27PM (#13586353)
    You press return to select the default (Save).
    Command-D selects Don't Save.
    Command-. (period) selects cancel. (The origins for which are shrouded in antiquity.)

    Compared with Windows, where (depending on the whims of the developer) you might get either

    Do you want to save this document before closing?
    [YES] [NO] [CANCEL]

    Are you sure you want to close this document without saving?
    [YES] [NO] [CANCEL]
  • Re:No market there (Score:3, Interesting)

    by namekuseijin ( 604504 ) on Saturday September 17, 2005 @07:35PM (#13587175)
    afaik, the X Windows System is not frozen in time as you seem to think. Far from it, cool and exciting modular technologies either building up on it or adding value are coming. Check it out: [] [] [] []

    Cairo, a 2D vector-based GUI backend. GTK2.8 is already built on cairo. BTW, GTK ( along with Mozilla's XUL ) also pionneered the on-the-fly translation of an xml-based document describing a GUI into a running GUI, via libglade.

    I don't think the next generation of either KDE or GNOME will be taking a beating from either M$ or Apple.

    As for graphics acceleration, that's outside the reach of most open-source projects, since the main hardware manufacturers do not undisclose the specifications and only provide proprietary closed-source drivers... the usual solution is to use OpenGL.
  • Quartz. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by David Rolfe ( 38 ) on Saturday September 17, 2005 @08:17PM (#13587329) Homepage Journal
    (I know this whole thread is kinda trollish, so don't take this comment too personally.)

    You could do this with Quartz Composer writing no lines of code. :-)

    Create the eyecandy swirling cubes with whatever resources you want (let's say quicktime movies mapped to the surfaces of the buttons). We'll add in keyboard and mouse hooks. We'll save the composition, launch Interface Builder. Put the composition on a window and save the nib. We'll open Xcode, start a new project, load up the resources. Save it. and then build it. We've written no code. To further the exercise -- we'll start writing code on the mouse and keyboard events from the .qtz. Yay.

    QC doesn't use a grid, it uses a coordinate space. Interface Builder can (of course) use a grid.

    I don't know if I want spinning-movie-buttons, but if you did, you could have had them the day Tiger came out.

    Finally, I know you were talking about (trashing) XUL, so this is mostly off-topic. I think it concievable to bind Quartz with XUL/chrome, but no one is doing it because it won't be ... you guessed it ... cross-platform. Just like Avalon will be marginally cross-platform or cross-platform in name only.

    Full disclosure: I am largely platform agnostic. I use Windows and Debian frequently and OS X regularly. I don't like a lot of things Microsoft do. I have never bought a Wintel from a single source vendor. I donate to the EFF. You may see contradictions here. Cheers.

"Never face facts; if you do, you'll never get up in the morning." -- Marlo Thomas