Tim Sneath announced today that Microsoft is releasing the Syndicated Client Experiences Start Kit (and they were doing so well with names like Silverlight!) which is based on the SDK that the teams used to create the New York Times Reader, one of my favorite WPF applications and rich Internet applications in general. One angle is that this will let you create your own reader applications. You have access to the code so you can customize and brand to your hearts content. But Tim points out the real value:
This reflects its potential to go beyond a news reading scenario and handle other kinds of data synchronization and display needs. For example, you could use this as the basis of a client for financial data analysis, where the application downloaded stock prices and other financial information and presented it in a rich client experience.
Part of the beauty of the New York Times reader was it's ability to sync up data, grab the newest headlines and then give you access to them offline. All of this was wrapped in a very rich experience which I thought captured the beauty of reading the newspaper. WPF is a powerful platform and by releasing the SDK, as Tim notes, they make it easy to create data driven applications with the functionality of the New York Times Reader. That means you can concentrate on the interface, the experience and the fun parts of the application. Maybe not revolutionary but anything that makes the "boring" stuff easy is good for RIAs.