A while back I posted about how I was disappointed with web development of late, and that I thought WinFX was going to be the way to go for applications from here on out. I heard about this "Atlas" stuff, and I was like "Whatever, AJAX is just a fad."
I still think the thick client is going to make a huge comback in the next 18-24 months, but I've spent the last few days really tearing through Atlas, and.... wow. This blows all the other AJAX stuff right out of the water. Ajax.NET, ComponentArt's Callback control... there's absolutely no comparison. Make no mistake... this isn't just XMLHTTP... Microsoft has invented a declarative, cross browser compatible, client side scripting framework. Think .NET Framework on the client-side without the huge download.
Tie this together with all the other Windows Foundations - Workflow (formerly WinOE), Communication, and Presentation, as well as IIS7... and you have what will be one of the most comprehensive application platforms available.
I'll be discussing this more in depth over on LonghornBlogs.com very soon. In the meantime, expect more Atlas hacks from this blog in the next few days.