We released the "Avalon" and "Indigo" Beta 1 RC to the general public earlier today (release notes). The great news is that this release supports Visual Studio 2005 Beta 2 (and there was much rejoicing). There are also associated downloads of the WinFX SDK (bootstrapped EXE and ISO versions), which include documentation, samples, and tools. In addition to Avalon video support via the MediaElement tag, Robert Brown points out the new managed Speech API that enables new classes of both speech recognition and synthesis. The API uses the W3C standard formats for recognition grammars (SRGS) and synthesis (SSML). And, in the interest of completeness, there are some platform hot fixes that you'll need to install in order to enable some of the new Indigo features. Whew!