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Indigo, Avalon Community Technology Previews Released

Microsoft on Wednesday released its first Community Technology Preview (CTP) of "Indigo," the code-name for the company's new communications subsystem for Windows, and a second CTP of "Avalon," a new Windows presentation subsystem.

Indigo and Avalon were originally slated to be two of the four pillars of the Windows "Longhorn" operating system release. In August Microsoft decided to make both available for Windows XP and Windows Server 2003 as well.

Also on Wednesday, Microsoft released a new version of the .NET Framework and an SDK for WinFX, a next-generation programming model for Windows. The releases are available to MSDN subscribers.

The Indigo CTP is not the technology's debut; it was included in the first technical preview of the Longhorn operating system, called "PDC Longhorn," at the Professional Developers Conference in October 2003.

The CTP is the first publicly distributed update to Indigo since the PDC more than a year ago. Although Microsoft released another technical preview of Longhorn at its May 2004 WinHEC show, that version included updates to Avalon but did not change Indigo. Avalon received yet another public refresh in November with the release of the first Avalon CTP.

Microsoft defines Indigo as a new breed of communications infrastructure built around the Web services architecture. "Advanced Web services support in Indigo provides secure, reliable, and transacted messaging along with interoperability. Indigo's service-oriented programming model is built on the .NET Framework and simplifies development of connected systems," according to a company FAQ on Longhorn.

About the Author

Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.