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Microsoft Corp. Wednesday announced the release of the first beta release of its Windows Vista client operating system, and with it the company also announced official names for the operating system’s presentation and communication subsystems, formerly known by the code names “Avalon” and “Indigo,” respectively.

According to sources, Microsoft will officially name Avalon the Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF) and Indigo the Windows Communication Foundation (WCF).

Microsoft officials said Windows Vista, formerly known as Longhorn, offers substantial benefits to developers, particularly around WinFX, the managed code programming model that builds on the .Net Framework.

Click here to view a slideshow of Windows Vista Beta 1.

Windows Presentation Foundation handles the way developers build documents and other media and deliver the look and feel of applications. Windows Communication Foundation is the subsystem that enables developers to better build connected systems.

Microsoft officials have said the WCF infrastructure simplifies development through a service-oriented programming model where programs are composed using asynchronous message passing. To enable this programming model, WCF provides a set of technologies for creating, consuming, processing and transmitting messages.

WCF represents a unified programming model for building applications that support the broad array of Web services standards, which Microsoft refers to as the WS-* specifications. WCF combines features of ASMX (ASP.Net Web Services), .Net Remoting, .Net Enterprise Services, WSE (Web Services Enhancements) and System.Messaging, the company said.

Meanwhile, WPF features XAML (Extensible Application Markup Language), an XML-based language developed by Microsoft for building presentation-layer and user-interface technology.

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