Session D305 - Aero
Probably the buggiest session of the day…
No luck for the speaker who made this presentation. Accumulating beta versions of software is definitely not a good idea and this talk was a perfect illustration of this.
After a few Office 12 PowerPoint slides under Windows Vista, PowerPoint hang and it was not possible to continue the presentation in any way. Hopefully, the timekeeper had a laptop with the same configuration allowing the speaker to re-start after about 20 minutes of "break".
What I have learned from this session is the meaning of Aero. This nice acronym means Authentic, Energetic, Reflective and Open. I do not know what the marketing guys were smoking, but it was really, really efficient…
The user interface of Vista is unbelievable, but now, I know why it needs such a powerful machine. What a lot of graphical effects, shadows, glass, 3Ds and so on. As an example, when the cursor is passing over one of the minimize/maximize/close button, a halo is drawn around it. Switching of active application is incredible. When you do an alt-tab, all windows are stacked and viewed by the side allowing you to see the contents of all running applications like videos and other animations.
New controls have been added and will be available to the developer. But only few of them will be available in .NET natively. For example, the new progress bar or the new button styles will be there right out-of-the-box. On the other side, to use the new IOpenFileDialog window (a brand new control to browse for a file to open) will only be available through P/Invoke calls, unfortunately. It is a pity, and if you do not want to use P/Invoke, it is still possible to write your code in C++.