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WPF is an incredibly rich platform and building on top of it allows for many more possibilities than its predecessor did. Nobody knows WPF better than the people who spend most of their time building controls for it; people like us. For the first time, there is a platform-integrated method of allowing our customers to completely change the look and feel of our controls using nothing but markup, and our customers love this. In our SandDock product we ship the source code for example "skins" that completely change the appearance of the product to match that of well-known applications such as Microsoft Expression Blend and Adobe Acrobat.
Because of the way the WPF designer is architected, we need to provide the designer functionality for our controls in a separate assembly, which helps our customers because the product redistributable is even smaller. We make a point of only shipping one small, lightweight redistributable with each of our products: you won't have to ship a cumbersome assembly containing other controls, or multiple assemblies containing features that help only the vendor.
A significant change in the WPF world is that the designer functionality is provided by a separate framework. The new designer for windows presentation foundation, codenamed "Cider", is still quite young in its first release but we have extended it in many ways to bring our customers unparalleled designer support. We are working closely with Microsoft to ensure that the next version of Cider brings even more platform features that we can pass on to our customers in the form of great productivity gains.