What is Avalon?

Avalon is the next-generation platform for Windows client applications. It combines the best features of the Web such as ease of deployment and rich mix of application and content with the power of the Win32 development platform to enable developers to build a new breed of applications that are robust and take real advantage of the connectivity, storage, and graphical capabilities of the modern PC. Avalon is not just about User Interface and Rich Graphics, although that is an important part, the overarching goal of Avalon is that it offer a common managed code exposure to all the capabilities of the Personal Computer including storage, communications, documents, multimedia etc.

Will Avalon applications work much like Win32 applications?

They could, but Avalon will offer a number of features that will make them work much better. Avalon applications take advantage of a variety of services, including an efficient storage mechanism for application code and documents, and automatic persistence of the application state.

What will Avalon offer that we can’t get from .NET?

Avalon should be viewed as a powerful set of client side technologies that enable .NET to truly exploit the power of the smart client. It provides services ranging from local storage, to graphics and multimedia, to connectivity, in order to enrich the user experience and provide interactive, media rich applications.

What will the Avalon presentation layer look like?

In terms of our current OS, Avalon will provide a replacement for the presentation layer that is currently provided by Internet Explorer/Trident, User, GDI+, and Cicero. Avalon will also be closely integrated with parts of the Shell for Longhorn and even more so for versions of Windows after that.

What kind of graphics support will Avalon provide?

It will take advantage of the merged graphics functionality of GDI+ and DirectX, as well as the Media Framework from the Digital Media Division as well as providing a rich vector based format with support for SVG markup language.

How will Avalon handle networking support?

Avalon will provide all the support needed to create a fully connected client application. In the short-term, WinHTTP will replace WinInet. In the long-term, Avalon will provide support for a variety of networking services, including peer-to-peer networking, consumption of Web Services, and Hailstorm/Rainstorm.

What will Avalon provide for data services?

Avalon will expose the new Windows storage functionality available in Longhorn. Built on SQL technology this will allow us to provide online and offline storage, a powerful data binding model and a collection of data oriented controls.

Avalon is the platform for the next-generation of Microsoft® Windows® client applications. It will create a new presentation platform by combining the best features of the Dynamic HTML (DHTML) and Win32 development platforms. Avalon will support the transition from stand-alone client applications to connected Microsoft® .NET applications.

Avalon intends to re-energize Windows as a platform for developing client applications. Currently, .NET is heavily server-oriented with the client-side user interface largely limited to HTML 3.2. Avalon extends the Microsoft .NET strategy to include the client and differentiate Windows. Avalon will enable developers to combine the rich end-user experience of a Win32 application with the power of server-based .NET services.

What is Aero?

Aero is the new Windows user experience. Aero consists of guidelines, recommendations, and user experience values that help developers applications get the most out of the Microsoft® Windows® Code Name "Longhorn" pillars: rich presentation (Code Name "Avalon"), data (Code Name "WinFS"), and communication (Code Name "Indigo").