It's not only a Smart Client...it's purdy too!
I’m sitting through an Office 12 demo running on Windows Vista at the moment; and I can’t believe how insane the visualization capabilities have become. The UI is not only aesthetically compelling (which I think is important when you consider the relationship between presentation and application usability) but is also capably of visually representing information aggregated from various, heterogeneous data sources in a way I have never experienced before.
When I think about the challenges us developers have faced when trying to meet end-user requirements around data visualization; we just never had the OS support through the Win32 API that was capable of exploiting the hardware capabilities of current graphics cards. With the power of the new Windows Presentation Foundation, we can now present data in ways that were impossible before, and can engage users in a way that they have never felt before.
And with these new UI capabilities being built into Office 12, developing connected apps that are capable of leveraging the new power of the Windows Presentation Foundation quickly is going to be criminally simple.
In the wise words of Big Kev…I’m excited!