Microsoft Makes Avalon Available

Those of you that regularly follow this blog know that every so often I get absolutely giddy when talking about RIA (Rich Internet Applications). I think (and hope) that it’s the wavy the world is headed on the web.
Microsoft today announced that they’re releasing Avalon, their Longhorn graphical user interface layer, as an installable module for existing operating systems. Avalon handles the rendering of XAML markup.
This may be partly a response to Macromedia’s Flex presentation server. Flex renders MXML (Macromedia’s own XML GUI language) into Flash applications that are sent over the Internet. Flex is actually starting to show some traction (at least according to the blokes at Macromedia).
You have to wonder how Microsoft can compete with Flash as an application delivery platform. Say what you will about Flash, it is ridiculously thin and truly adheres to the zero-install promise of RIA’s.
Any way you flip it, competition in this space is only going to heat up. A good thing for everyone.

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