Where's Microsoft's 'Flash killer'?

What's up with Microsoft's Windows Presentation Foundation Everywhere (WPF/e) technology, Redmond's supposed "Flash killer"? Given that WPF/e is a subset of WPF, which last week went gold, as part of the .Net Framework 3.0 release, isn't it high time for a WPF/e update?

Anyone out there still remember Windows Presentation Foundation Everywhere (WPF/e), Microsoft's so-called Flash killer?

Last time Microsoft discussed the WPF/e technology publicly was in March, at the Mix '06 conference. (I hear there was a demo of WPF/e as part of the MSN Soapbox demo at the recent Streaming Media West confab, but have seen few details on how Microsoft's Flash killer will fit in with Microsoft's YouTube killer.)

Given that WPF/e is a subset of WPF, which last week went gold, as part of the .Net Framework 3.0 release, isn't it high time for a WPF/e update? In fact, it sounds like a Community Technology Preview (CTP) test release of WPF/e is right around the corner, based on a November 12 post by Microsoft blogger Joe Stegman, the lead program manager for WPF/e.

"(W)hy the long silence? There were several little and big reasons around messaging, product alignment and feature set with the end result being some internal shuffling but no real change to the external product," Stegman blogged. "And although we've been silent, we have been working non-stop since I presented at Mix 06 last year. We've released several Microsoft internal versions of WPF/E and will be releasing an external Customer Technology Preview (CTP) soon."

WPF/e is a mobile version of WPF that will include hardware acceleration, XML Paper Specification (XPS) and vector-based drawing support. Microsoft officials also said to expect the company's "Atlas" Ajax tools to target WPF/e. ("Atlas" last week hit the Beta 2 milestone.)

When Microsoft first showed WPF/e at the Professional Developer Conference in the fall of 2005, company officials said WPF/e to work with not only Internet Explorer, but also Firefox, Safari and other browsers. One component of WPF/e, the Mini Common Language Runtime (CLR), is designed to run on a variety of operating systems, browsers and form factors.

In March, Microsoft's timetable for WPF/e looked like this:

* First public CTP: Summer 2006

* Release 1.0: First half of 2007

* First version designed to run on mobile devices: Second half of 2007

Given the first CTP won't hit until late 2006 (and there've been the reorg/messaging changes to which Stegman alluded), I'd guess a Version 1.0 of WPF/e is more likely a mid- to late-2007 deliverable at this point.

I asked recently for a WPF/e update; Microsoft officials were not willing to comment.


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