Over at The Windows Blog, they’ve announced project Hilo. Hilo focuses on using Visual Studio 2010 and C++ to build extremely powerful Windows 7 applications. Check out the post and the links below:

Introducing Project HILO

Today, we are announcing project “Hilo”

It’s important for an application to be functional and provide unique services for customers. However, mere functionality is not enough in a competitive market. To stand head and shoulders above the vast pool of apps, an application has  to offer a compelling user experience, which is where the features of Windows 7 become very important.

“Hilo” is a series of articles and sample applications that show how you can leverage the power of Windows 7, Visual Studio 2010, and Visual C++ to build high performing, responsive and rich applications.

The first of these sample applications is the Hilo Browser that implements a touch-enabled user interface for browsing and selecting photos and images by taking full advantage of unique Windows 7 features. The main technologies used in the Hilo Browser: Direct2D, Windows Animation Manager, Windows Touch, Libraries and the Shell API.

  • Direct2D: For high performance and high-quality rendering of graphics.
  • Windows Animation Manager: To give the application a unique personality and to improve the user experience.
  • Windows Touch: To provide a more natural user interface through which the user can just “point” and “do”.
  • Libraries: To enable the application to provide users with a single, coherent view of their files.
  • Shell API: To navigate the images, to optimize by using the pre-built thumbnail cache and also to provide icons from actual content.

Over the coming weeks, we’ll be publishing a series of articles on MSDN that will walk you through the process of creating this app. The articles will cover key Windows 7 technologies, describe how they are used together to create a compelling user experience, and will detail the design and implementation of the different features of the app itself. You can read the first of the articles here.

You can download the source code for this application here.