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Microsoft Ships New WinFX Preview – Issues 'Go Live' Licenses

Microsoft on Wednesday released to developers a previously promised community technology preview – or CTP – for a set of key technologies coming in Windows Vista.

WinFX is the moniker for what Ari Bixhorn, Microsoft director of Web services strategy, described in a statement as “an evolution of the .NET framework.” It includes the Windows Communication Foundation, a programming model for building connected systems, as well as the Windows Presentation Foundation, a model for building user interfaces in Vista. It also includes Microsoft’s Windows Workflow Foundation (WF).

Much of the code has been available in various builds for more than a year. The WCF was formerly codenamed “Indigo” while WPF was known as “Avalon.” Microsoft released the first beta of WinFX last spring. Prior to that, Microsoft had also released earlier CTPs and technical previews of some of the technologies.

WCP is Microsoft’s unified programming model for building connected systems. It provides APIs to the .NET Framework 2.0 for building secure, reliable, transacted Web services, and Indigo is supposed to cut development time.

Meanwhile, WPF provides a unified presentation subsystem, consisting of a display engine and a managed-code framework. It is intended to standardize how Windows creates, displays and manipulates documents, media and user interface.

Microsoft said that the code is nearly ready for final release and has issued so-called “Go Live” licenses for the components.

Additionally, Vista will not be the only beneficiary of WinFX. The technologies will also be provided for Windows XP and Windows Server 2003. “Customers frequently tell us they want to run their applications in more environments, and making WinFX the programming model for all platforms – Windows Vista, Windows XP and Windows Server 2003 – helps us meet this request,” Bixhorn’s statement said.

Microsoft is certain enough about the state of the code that it has issued what it calls “Go Live” licenses for the WCP and WF components – meaning that “the terms will permit limited deployment of these technologies in live operating environments,” according to a statement on the Microsoft Developer Network site. However, Microsoft will not provide developer support for those who deploy software using Go Live Licenses.

The technologies were released as part of Microsoft’s January CTP for Vista, which can be found here.

About the Author

Stuart J. Johnston has covered technology, especially Microsoft, since February 1988 for InfoWorld, Computerworld, Information Week, and PC World, as well as for Enterprise Developer, XML & Web Services, and .NET magazines.

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