I just received a PDF with some info from ATI regarding their Catalyst drivers status and development. Most stuff we already know but a few items caught my attention. Let's sum up a couple though:
Desktop & Notebook drivers will be merged. unified drivers, gotta love that.
Full 64-bit support, which we already see.
Steady monthly Catalyst releases.
new Linux installer, more simple and user friendly.
Faster loading and responding Catalyst Control Center
DVI based support for HDTV (yay!).
Better Media Center Support yet content protection will be enabled (CGMS, HDCP, Macrovision).
Better and easier to use HDTV resolution adjustments.
Crossfire will support: AA 8x, 10x,12x and 14x
And now the sad news, the old control panel as we know it will cease to exist after the August 8.16 release. The CCC version will be the only driver user interface available to ATI products.
So again, the 8.16 driver is the last one with the old control panel. Starting at 8.17 (released in September) only the CCC version will be released. And thus all next generation products will need to be configured through the CCC version.