And yet again we've saved the best for last. This article takes everything we've missed over the past week and rolls it together in to one giant Microsoft fest. We've got the expo floor, more Longhorn goodness, and some interesting tidbits about the next version of DirectX and why current hardware may not be able to provide "Gold" level Logo compatibility.

Here's a look at a pretty cool Avalon demo we caught at the show:

Click to enlarge

For the quick summary, Avalon will be the new programming interface for desktop graphics and will allow easy hooks into 3D hardware. This will likely be similar to the way OS X uses OpenGL to accelerate their desktop. We'll get into a bit more detail in a moment.

Beyond Avalon and graphics, there is plenty of information left to cover. We hope that you enjoy our final report on WinHEC 2005.

Media Center Edition PCs


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  • JarredWalton - Wednesday, May 18, 2005 - link

    JimmyTalbot, the Avalon cylinder demo was done on a laptop for us but one of the developers. It was basically meant as a "proof of concept". She said it took about one or two days to create - i.e. it was much easier than current Windows APIs. As far as I know, it's not available to the public or anyone outside of MS. Sorry. Reply
  • JimmyTalbot - Monday, May 16, 2005 - link

    I should have specified: I got the WinFX (Avalon) Beta SDK hoping to find the sample in there, but it's not included. Reply
  • JimmyTalbot - Monday, May 16, 2005 - link

    Does anybody know if/where I can get the "3D Picture Viewer" demo shown on page 1 of the article? Reply
  • Doormat - Monday, May 2, 2005 - link

    I think the idea of browsing in the BIOS is fascinating. Even with WinXP its still 1-3 minutes or so to get to a usable browser or mail program. If all you needed to do is check your mail real quick, why not just go into the BIOS and forget about booting all the way into windows, and then shutting down. Reply
  • Fricardo - Monday, May 2, 2005 - link

    "The other interesting comment from Barry was that he stated AMD will be using DDR2 in a future processor. We had asked if they might simply skip DDR2 altogether and head straight to DDR3, and he said they would not be doing so."

    Now that is interesting. I've been wanting to know that for months. Strange how the most useful part of the article was a talk with an AMD employee. Thanks guys.
  • Tujan - Sunday, May 1, 2005 - link

    The funny thing about Windows is that the development areas seem oblivious to fact that testing of succesful programs are done on high-end systems wich then we see with the OEMs giving underperforming system to the masses.

    The graphics ideas are great,sure,but on 'when''the default graphics will be able to take and PASS the test the big boys are working with.

    Windows interface for Longhorn,sure looks like the same barnyard.So we will have to rely on other vendors, and programs such as WindowsBlinds to add deriviative to such things as different colored buttons in a dialog box.

    Again why so,a system font size cascades 'all windows.Nothwithstanding,getting pass security to customize your own computer now. Why does the interface remain nothing more than a very expensive colored lightbulb,and a glorified printer.

    Hello,'integrate the icons into the 'program ? Sure we see the 'how-it-works. But why does it have to work at all.Is this going to keep us from creating our own icons for our own 'visual aids.Wich most all of retails off-the-shelf instructions for 'Long Horn,will invariably be in print.Now just imagine the trees for example.

    So why dont you integrate the add/remove programs to the 'File Associations.? Isn't this explicit enough to keep from having those undocked windows fish flying from one pond to another.

    Get rid of DOS.Think the learning expression traveling this train is simply to head for the caboos,and jump off.You would certainly be at the conductors point of reference then right ?

    Im ready for a Virtual windows machine running technology all the way to the 60s.But we in the real computer world only imagine.Imagine that syntax doesn't come with noun,verb,subject and predicate. Much less have a reference that tells you so. Rather than giving somebody the rug by saying lets do the media,then I told you so.

    Good luck.And wheres the beef ?
  • DerekWilson - Sunday, May 1, 2005 - link

    In hind sight, Anand is probably right about Longhorn being more advanced than Tiger ... But the direction and (lacking) demos we saw didn't give us the warm fuzzy feeling we would expect.

    Of course, the ammount of cash Microsoft has laying around to make something happen if they need to would make anything possible ... My real question is: do they think they need to?

    Give both Apple and MS a year and a half, and we could have an interesting feature battle on our hands depending on how much Apple can push themselves and how much MS cares :-)
  • Icehawk - Saturday, April 30, 2005 - link

    I'm very curious as to how the UEFI Bios works, very intriguing to me.


    I think it is interesting that in Anand's Tiger article he says that Longhorn should be more advanced but this articles suggests it will be at on par, at best. I wonder which it will be?


    3D on servers? Now that is a waste of resources and money. If a particular app uses it, OK then I'll budget the resources. But why should I need 3D to run IIS/FTP/etc?!

    Well software wouldn't be anywhere without hardware, would it?

    The market is pretty stagnant right now so I guess pushing 3D onto all desktops and making a gpu/cpu intensive OS should ensure some huge rounds of upgrades. Server-side almost none of them have 3d cards, or if they do very weak built-ins for the most part. On the desktop a P3 1ghz with 512mb of RAM is still *passable* on XP, that is a 5 year old machine. Something even slightly more robust like a 1.4ghz K7 with 1gb of RAM still runs everything but games without too many issues.

    Guess they need to do something to make me want to upgrade again - I just went from that 1.4 K7/GF4 to a 3.2 P4/6600GT and don't see any offerings on the 1-2yr horizon causing me to upgrade otherwise. DC would be nice with my usage but raw processing power...? Only in games. That was the only reason I upgraded at all now, I would have waited if I could have otherwise as my old machine ran everything up until D3/HL2 fairly well.
  • stephenbrooks - Saturday, April 30, 2005 - link

    ...or post comments while you're in your BIOS. Reply
  • xtknight - Saturday, April 30, 2005 - link

    awesome...I can't wait to get ahold of a WGF2.0 card and Longhorn. sounds like that will provide for some awesome effects I could put in my programs. UEFI looks kinda interesting as well. web browser in a BIOS is going too far IMO, though. they need to keep in mind this is just for diagnosing your pc. on the other hand you could download drivers or search for troubleshooting information from anandtech forums, while you're in your BIOS :) Reply

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