The blog of Eric Sibly; focusing on mountain biking, .NET development for the Desktop, Smartphone and PocketPC.

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Microsoft kill off PowerPoint...

Well the title might be a little misleading, I don’t think Microsoft are about to kill off PowerPoint! But I wonder whether its days are numbered in its current incarnation. Let’s see, it is great for presentations; you can add text - rotate it - color it – shade it, add shapes and do the same, add pictures or vector images - and if you are really feeling that way inclined some basic animation can also be added. This is all done using Win32 and GDI, not with Direct X, and your GPU is left largely idle (correct me if I am wrong). What a waste, what a shame!

Now, with the introduction of Avalon – the new presentation layer for Windows – it can do all of this natively, and more, all utilizing the GPU and supposedly glitch free – nice! So if PowerPoint is a primarily a presentation tool then wouldn’t it make sense for this product to also utilize this platform versus providing similar functionality as it does now – and doing it in a less impressive and performant manner. So will the new PowerPoint files just become a refactored version of XAML (Avalon markup) as this is what is used to describe the elements and how they are to be displayed and animated – then the Avalon presentation engine can simply be used to perform the rendering?

If this is so, then PowerPoint will just become a nice front end to XAML, like a bunch of other designer type tools – except, it will hide some of the XAML features that would be typically associated with an application, for example user input. It would then also provide the ability to play out the presentation and add additional other features, such as note taking, etc.

When you think of it, a whole chunk of PowerPoint will now be made redundant and become part of the Windows platform for everyone and every application to utilise – that is awesome!


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