Yesterday Microsoft released "Atlas" or what has become ASP.NET Ajax 1.0. Scott Guthrie has the big news and Mary Jo Foley here on ZDNet has some good information as always. You can go grab the framework on the ASP.NET AJAS website.
So we're finally seeing a release version of Microsoft's commitment to the standards-based web and by most accounts, they've done a good job. Scott has an example of the ASP.NET AJAX Control Toolkit running inside of Opera so I think they want to make clear that Microsoft is targeting developers rather than trying to lock in consumers. This has implications for how WPF/E fits into the strategy, so I think this release is a good sign for all of us hoping to see Microsoft go more cross-platform.
The other thing to mention is that Scott talked briefly about "Orcas" the next iteration of Visual Studio:
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