LOS ANGELES—Microsoft Corp. on Thursday took another poke at graphics powerhouse Adobe Systems Inc. At its developer confab here, the Windows company announced that its latest front-end tools will let programmers and content producers create applications and other rich-media content that can run on operating systems other than Windows Vista.
The company demonstrated Windows Presentation Foundation Everywhere (WPF/E), a subset of its Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF), previously known as Avalon. WPF/E provides tools that developers can use to build applications using Microsofts XAML page layout language.
According to Microsoft, WPF provides a common runtime engine for this XAML content, including graphics, video, audio, forms and documents, as well as support for browsers. The architecture comprises two parts: the engine that presents the rich content and experience, and a programming framework for developers.
Microsoft said WPF/E will support Apple Computer Inc.s Mac OS X, as well as older versions of Windows and Microsoft Smartphones.
This move places Microsoft in more direct competition with established multi-modal presentation technologies, analysts said.
"While it makes sense that Microsoft should offer something like Windows Presentation Foundation or extend it to other devices, I see potentially huge implications for Macromedia Flash," JupiterResearch analyst Joe Wilcox observed.
Microsoft Senior Vice President Jim Allchin presented the technology on Tuesday during his keynote address here at the Microsoft Professional Developers Conference. He demonstrated a version of WPF running in Apples Safari browser on a Mac. He then ran his presentation in Windows Internet Explorer 7, followed by a mobile phone.