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Microsoft brings apps and web designers closer together

Antony Savvas

Microsoft is promoting the use of the XAML (Extensible Application Mark-up Language) to bridge the gap between application and web designers.

The XML-based language will be used in two forthcoming Microsoft technologies. These are Windows Presentation Foundation Everywhere (WPF/E) and Microsoft Expression Interactive Designer.

WPF/E allows graphics created for new Windows Vista applications to run on other operating systems as well as on the web.

WPF/E is a runtime solution for re-using rich graphic elements built specifically for a Windows Vista application. WPF/E can be used in two ways.

Developers can use the solution to embed XAML code for graphics in an application so it can run on another platform, such as the Apple Macintosh.

There are also WPF/E plug-ins for browsers, which can be downloaded when a WPF/E-enabled applications appears on the Web. Such plug-ins allow XAML-based graphics to be rendered in various browsers.

Microsoft is planning to release a Community Technology Preview (CTP) of WPF/E in the third quarter.

It also plans to launch the Expression Interactive Designer XAML design tool.

This tool is part of a new graphics suite Microsoft is already testing. The entire Expression suite will be available by early 2007.

Designers can use Interactive Designer to create the graphics for an application and save it as XAML, which other developers can then easy manipulate.


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