There are still developers protesting Microsoft’s renaming of WinFX as .NET 3.0, but it is proceeding in step with Windows Vista and Release Candidate 1 was released last week and can be downloaded here:
The Microsoft .NET Framework 3.0 (formerly known as WinFX), is the new managed code programming model for Windows. It combines the power of the .NET Framework 2.0 with new technologies for building applications that have visually compelling user experiences, seamless communication across technology boundaries, and the ability to support a wide range of business processes. These new technologies are Windows Presentation Foundation, Windows Communication Foundation, Windows Workflow Foundation, and Windows CardSpace (formerly code named “Infocard”). Microsoft plans to ship .NET Framework 3.0 as part of the Windows Vista operating system. In addition, Microsoft is making these technologies available on Windows XP and Windows Server 2003. The following Community Technology Preview of .NET Framework 3.0 enables you to continue experimenting with early builds of these technologies, get acquainted with the development experience, and provide feedback to Microsoft.
Please note that the License Agreement in this pre-release version of the .NET Framework v3.0 does not allow usage in a live operating environment. Information about Go-Live possibilities can be found here.
This release supports Visual Studio 2005 RTM and is compatible with 2007 Microsoft Office system Beta 2 Technical Refresh.
I suppose I should update my categories – I’m still calling them Avalon, Indigo, and Infocard. Also to get up to speed, there’s David Chappell’s new MSDN paper, Introducing the .NET Framework 3.0.
Paul Krill at InfoWorld:
Microsoft has re-branded its WinFX technologies as .Net Framework 3.0 to clarify the naming convention for its developer framework, company representatives said on Friday.
.Net Framework 3.0 is planned for inclusion in Windows Vista, due out in early 2007. The framework features the Windows Communication Foundation Web services platform; the Windows Presentation Foundation presentation layer technology; Windows Workflow, for workflow; and the newly renamed Windows CardSpace, for identity management. CardSpace had been code-named InfoCard. Current .Net Framework 2.0 technologies, such as the CLR (Common Language Runtime), also are part of .Net Framework 3.0
“The .Net Framework has always been at the core of WinFX, but the WinFX brand didn’t convey this,” said S. “Soma” Somasegar, corporate vice president of Microsoft’s Developer Division, in his blog.
The Somasegar post is here and makes it clear that it is a name change only for all the .NET Framework 2.0 pieces. There are more details by following both the links, but there’s nothing that gets techies crankier than nomenclature so I expect there will be some complaints, particularly as this is a just a mash-up under a new name of technologies that previously had a separate life of their own. In any case, as expected (per Somasegar):
The .NET Framework 3.0 will still ship with Windows Vista, and will be available down-level for Windows XP and Windows Server 2003 as planned. This change doesn’t affect in any way the ship schedules of either Windows Vista or the .NET Framework 3.0 itself.
Update 6/21: Roy Osherove provides more information and a table that’s very helpful in puzzling out the .NET Framework versioning and future plans.
At the U Connect Conference for supply-chain management, Microsoft Corp. today announced deeper investments in business process management by disclosing plans to ship Microsoft® BizTalk® Server 2006 R2. The capabilities in the new release of BizTalk Server will enable customers to extend the reach of their business processes. Scheduled to be available to customers in the first half of 2007, BizTalk Server 2006 R2 will add native support for electronic data interchange (EDI) and AS2, as well as a new set of services for developing and managing radio frequency identification (RFID) solutions. Early previews of the technology will be made available to customers and partners that can participate in the BizTalk Server 2006 R2 technology adoption program (TAP) at http://connect.microsoft.com.
BizTalk Server 2006 R2 will broaden its support for platform technologies such as the 2007 Microsoft Office system and Windows Vista™, including core WinFX® technologies such as Windows® Workflow Foundation and Windows Communication Foundation. Furthermore, BizTalk Server 2006 R2 will provide an adapter framework on top of Windows Communication Foundation to help customers build customized adapters to better support interoperability between applications. Together, these new capabilities will enable customers to increase the reach of their existing business processes to address a host of current and emerging business problems, particularly in the area of end-to-end supply chain and retail operations.
Renai LeMay at ZDNet Australia:
Microsoft has temporarily halted development work on some aspects of its upcoming professional graphics application as it tries to bring companion tools and its next-generation Windows Vista operating system to market.
The application — called Expression Graphic Designer — was first released in test form in June last year, and is based on Expression, the tool Microsoft acquired with its 2003 purchase of Hong Kong company Creature House. But despite being widely seen as a rival for Adobe’s Photoshop and Illustrator products, Microsoft does not see the product as a stand-alone offering.
“At the moment, there’s no great reason for us to release it as a stand-alone product,” the company’s senior product manager for the for the Europe, Middle East and African professional designer markets, Wayne Smith, said last week during a trip down under.
In an interview with ZDNet Australia, Smith explained that Microsoft was taking so long to bring Graphic Designer to market because the company had put “a lot” of the development work for the application “on pause”, until sibling products and Vista could be finalised.
There are more details by following the link, but apparently the Microsoft view is that Graphic Designer is merely an accompaniment to Expression Web Designer (“Quartz”) and Interactive Designer(“Sparkle”) (so much for the “Photoshop Killer” description) and since they are all based on the WinFX technologies coming with Vista, there was no reason to keep pushing since Acrylic was so far ahead.
Frankly, I find this rather odd. All of these products are supposed to ship in some proximity to the Vista launch at the end of the year and the idea that any of the product teams has time to spare is certainly a novelty. Finally, while the March Community Technology Previews of Acrylic and Sparkle were just released, there has never been a CTP for Expression Web Designer (“Quartz”) which is supposed to be one of the replacements for FrontPage with Office 2007. Maybe the Acrylic team is over there helping out?