Alex Wright


October 28, 2003

In other Longhorn news, I came across several tidbits about Avalon, Microsoft's new XML-based UI framework that looks to be the long-rumored Flash-killer.

I'm still getting up to speed, but here a few things I've picked up so far: simple XML markup for implementing UI elements, 2- and 3D vector graphics, even animation routines; and a new framework for "context-aware" application development (whatever that means).

Not surprisingly, the developers are way out in front of the UE community on this one. A few posts of note:

Philip Brittan does a nice job of summing up the dilemma for Macromedia:

Even though Longhorn isnít due out until 2005, the mere fact that Microsoft will be baking into Windows the same kind of real-time 2D and 3D vector graphics capabilities that Flash promises, nicely integrated into same API layers as standard GUI widgets, could create enough FUD to slow down companies considering Flash MX. The fact that Flash is a client-side UI execution engine, just like Microsoft technology, means that it doesnít have a strong differentiation over a Microsoft offering. Strategically, Microsoft can potentially always turn off its bundling deals with Macromedia, leaving them high and dry.

It may all be 2 years away, but if I were Macromedia I wouldn't wait to start getting worried.

And, this has got to be the scariest-looking smiley I have ever seen:

Microsoft Smiley

File under: User Experience

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