Extensible Application Markup Language

Last week I

attended two Microsoft presentations here in Louisville. The MSDN presentation

for developers in the afternoon was very interesting. William Steele, who works

the Midwest (many of you have probably seen him), showed a very interesting


He created

a simple real estate app in C# (would have worked in VB too) that showed the

address and pictures of properties, with the data coming from a SQL Server

Express database. While that may not be seem too fancy, the demo was showing off

the power of XAML, which stands for Extensible Application Markup Language.

With just a little bit of code, he was able to make what essentially became a

flash-like animation that flipped the images into a larger view upon each


Again, that

may not seem impressive, but he then converted that C# app into a Web-app that

a browser could display. At that point it became obvious to me and most of the

room that this was going to be positioned as a challenge to Macromedia and its

Flash products. I won't guess how successful it will be, but the demo did make

it clear that just about anybody could make a Flash-like animation with XAML

and some free tools Microsoft has available.


what the Vista interface is based on, which also struck me as an indication of

Vistas versatility in terms of UI. I wonder, if someone was so inclined, you

could put a different interface on Vista then one that will come out of the

box? Could you shrink the interface down to a minimal set of buttons, essentially

hiding features you don't want users to interact with? Could you create a Vista

client on an Apple computer sporting Intel chips, only using a facsimile of the

Mac OS X? Not sure why you'd want to, but is it possible?

It might be something to keep your eyes on as Vista eventually gets closer to reality.

About Mark Kaelin

Mark W. Kaelin has been writing and editing stories about the IT industry, gadgets, finance, accounting, and tech-life for more than 25 years. Most recently, he has been a regular contributor to,, and TechRepublic.

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