Microsoft is planning to introduce a servicing update to the presentation system in Windows Vista Service Pack 1. Windows Presentation Foundation is set up as the presentation system for creating Windows client programs with unique visuals designs. So far, WPF has delivered both standalone and browser-hosted applications, such as Yahoo Messenger for Windows Vista and the New York Times Reader. Following the delivery of Vista SP1, the Redmond company will work to evolve WPF's text, graphics, media and data stack via a servicing update featuring performance optimizations.
Scott Guthrie, Corporate Vice President of the .Net Developer Platform, enumerated some of the enhancements that will be introduced into WPF starting with "moving the DropShadow and Blur bitmap effects, which are currently software rendered, to be hardware accelerated (making them many times faster). The APIs for these effects will stay the same as they are today (which means you do not need to change any code nor recompile your apps to take advantage of these improvements). Text scenarios, especially when used in Visual and DrawingBrush scenarios, will be substantially faster. The APIs for these scenarios also stay the same (which means you do not need to change any code nor recompile to take advantage of the performance improvements)," Guthrie stated.
The modifications heading for Windows Presentation Foundations are a direct result of the feedback received by Microsoft, and will streamline the process of building desktop applications. All the improvements will be integrated into Visual Studio 2008 and .NET Framework 3.5. According to Guthrie, even the vast majority of existent programs will be able to enjoy the added performance benefits without requiring code changes.
"Media and video performance scenarios will also be much faster (also no need to change any code nor recompile to take advantage of the improvements)," Guthrie added. "We’ll be including a new WriteableBitmap API that enables real-time bitmap updates from a software surface. We’ll also be adding support for a powerful new effects API that enables you to build richer graphics scenarios. We’ll also be including new data scalability improvements that can be leveraged for data editing scenarios. These include container recycling and data virtualization support that make it easier to build richer data visualization controls."
Microsoft, Windows Vista, Vista SP1, WPF, Presentation System, Visual Studio 2008, .NET Framework, VS2008