Microsoft Starts On Successor To Windows Presentation Foundation - InformationWeek

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Microsoft Starts On Successor To Windows Presentation Foundation

Microsoft is looking to hire people to work on a graphical framework for future Windows user interfaces.

The version of the .Net Framework that ships with Windows Vista, .Net 3.0, is only now starting to really catch on among developers. But Microsoft's already looking to the future. The company is developing "a new Framework that will enable new UI experiences in future versions of Windows," according to a job posting on Microsoft's careers Web site.

Windows Presentation Foundation, the graphical subsystem in .Net 3.0 and the more recently released .Net 3.5, serves as the backbone to Microsoft's Expression tools for designers and an integral part of Microsoft's flagship development framework. Part of it is also the foundation for the company's Silverlight browser plug-in.

The posting, which appeared on on Tuesday, says that Microsoft is just beginning to start up this new project, which will be a first-version graphical framework for future Windows user interfaces. With such an investment in WPF, there's been little hint out of Microsoft that it could be replaced anytime soon, and no news that it might not factor into plans for forthcoming Windows 7.

There are plenty of job postings at Microsoft's careers Web site that point to Windows beyond Vista -- 49 at last count include the words "next version of Windows" -- but few of them offer any concrete product details.

Among those that do is a listing for a software development engineer in Windows Mobile. That listing gives a good overview of Microsoft's views on the three- to five-year future of mobility, without giving away too many real product details on future versions of Windows Mobile.

In the Windows Mobile listing, Microsoft predicts that a typical Windows Mobile device will within a few years have cellular, Wi-Fi, WiMax, Bluetooth, and GPS radios, data speeds near 10 Mbps, VoIP-based calling, real-time handover of calls among different wireless systems, and ubiquitous location-based services.

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