I've been really amused by how excited people are by the enhanced console support in Whidbey. At our developer conference, there was a smattering of applause when Kieran demonstrated a text-mode version of Space Invaders written entirely in managed code (and that's saying something - whilst US audiences are generous with their applause during sessions, we're a cynical lot over this side of the pond :-)

Space Invaders image 

Whidbey introduces to the Console class the ability to change colour, reset the cursor position, clear the screen, and even play sounds (any sound you like, so long as it's "beep"). I find it rather ironic that it's taken nine versions of Visual Basic to get to this high level of advancement (although there was of course the aberration that was Visual Basic for DOS).

If you want this functionality right now, I created a little sample for GotDotNet that uses .NET interop to call the underlying Windows API to achieve similar effects. The library is called ConsoleEx, and it supports .NET Framework 1.0 and 1.1. It's a good example of how to call into C APIs as well as hopefully being useful in its own right. Since I've written it, it probably doesn't scale well and is without doubt a poorer class design than the Whidbey one - the usual disclaimers about lack of warranty apply here more than ever.

(Incidentally, if you're a registered Whidbey beta site, you can download the Space Invaders sample from BetaPlace.)