With all the posting about DWF support in Microsoft Windows Vista - I feel like I have to jump in and attempt clarification (because so many blogs and news reports STILL have it wrong, I think).
Here's my take on it.
- Microsoft developed the XPS specification as a PDF-killer... a digital paper spec
- Microsoft is providing an XPS viewer built-into Vista, and will provide it as a download in Windows XP, as part of .NET 3.0 runtime, etc
- Autodesk, through their partnership with Microsoft, has re-engineered the DWF format specification somewhat in order to make it compatible with the XPS spec - ultimately, DWF implementing XPS. This format is known either as "DWF 7.0" (its version) or as "DWFX" (its new file extension).
- I presume (I have no knowledge of this) that the next version of Autodesk products will support the creation of this new format.
- Autodesk is also updating the free DWF toolkit to allow other applications which read/write DWF to take advantage of this.
There - was that so hard? (Scott S, please jump in here if I've STILL gotten something wrong here).
Yes, it is somewhat of a big deal. No, it will probably not be a really big deal for another year or two when the number of people who have deployed Autodesk 2008 products and either Vista or the XPS viewer is substantial - the traditional network effect wherein the value is based on the number of people who can EASILY interact.