Tim posted a great document that describes the major additions to Avalon you'll see in the Beta 1 RC bits.  I like the promise of being able to recompile your source code on "final Beta 1" with no changes! :)

Here's a quick summary of what's new:

  • "Express" applications (hosted in a browser and run in a security-constrained sandbox)
  • "Metro" document and print infrastructure (announced at WinHEC)
  • Audio and video support (.WMA and .WMV)
  • Speech recognition and synthesis, which use SRGS and SSML (W3C standard formats)
  • New controls: Expander (so you no longer have to roll your own) and StatusBar
  • Improved Controls: More powerful ToolBar and Menus
  • Support for Adobe CFF (typography stuff) and support for those non-blue XP themes

Next time, I'll point out a few of the breaking changes since March (the ones that affected me when creating the playing cards sample)...