From the developer's perspective, WPF offers an all-in-one alternative to (but does not completely supplant) Windows Forms, GDI+, Windows Media Player, Direct 3D and PDF. However, WPF/E does not deliver WPF's full feature set. In particular, 3D graphics are not supported.
WPF also makes it easier for designers to create user interfaces. Expression Blend (formerly Expression Interactive Designer) will provide designers with a reasonably familiar environment for creating UIs for export to Visual Studio.
The preview releases expire on 18 February 2007, by which time new - though not necessarily final - versions should be available.
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Stephen Withers is one of Australia¹s most experienced IT journalists, having begun his career in the days of 8-bit 'microcomputers'. He covers the gamut from gadgets to enterprise systems. In previous lives he has been an academic, a systems programmer, an IT support manager, and an online services manager. Stephen holds an honours degree in Management Sciences, a PhD in Industrial and Business Studies, and is a senior member of the Australian Computer Society.