I was watching a video conversation with CIDER team, they were previewing CIDER test using Visual Studio 2005. Visual Designer codename "CIDER" give the designers the opportunity to design forms separated from the workshop of the behind codes. So the visual team foundation gives you the ability to develop now synchronize with your designers and all their work will be reflected into your behind code as a developer. No need for the designers to learn Any NET Language anymore to create an amazing form presentation, in my point of view i advise designers to star learning and trying Avalon not only cause it's amazing and pretty cool but also cause it will be the next generation of Windows Presentation Foundation which make look and feel more productive and attractive.
Interesting that the XAML editor within the Visual Designer (Cider) is keep your editing formatting as it's so seems even if you change the value of some attributes it still keeping your formatting which means that it obviously deals with xml structure based and it just search for the smart tags and elements and then change its attribute value without effecting the formatting of the file i mean it doesn't reorder the lines as Visual Studio (Web Windows) editor does. I heard them call it GUNKS but not sure about the word but certainly it's a genius editing methodology.
The XAML includes new Panels included as components for your Windows Forms, when you will develop the WPF (Avalon) you will notice that you are allowed to add complex panels i meant Grid Panel inside Right-Dock Panel and so on, some panels are:
The controls are located in (x,y) grid.
The control is docking into (Top,left,righ,bottom,center) docking.
-Within Cider when you are trying to drop a control into a docking panel you will notice highlight signs show you available positions.
Flow Layout Panel
within the flow layout panel controls are ordered into sequential order, one after another from left to right. When you resize the form you will notice that controls within the FLP will reorder it self to be convenient with the resize event.
It's looks like as the FLP above but what's different is the ability to change the controls flowing method between rtl,ltr,utd or dtu.
I like the new Color System within WPF which allows you to fill the component with two colors fade into each other from the angel you determine.
Cider is giving the designer the ability to modify the presentation without affecting the code behind. You can create templates forms or skins also cause you can add more than XAML file within your project and switch between them even in the runtime which is really cool. You will figure that you can play with the UI of controls easier now using Visual Designer which produces in the end an XAML file.
Cider Team didn't give a specific date for the release of CIDER BETA 1 or any CIDER CTP yet but they confirmed that CIDER will be shipped as a part of next Visual Studio in 2007 codename "Orcas". WinFx release will be shipped as a part of Windows Vista which expected to be released in the next November if am not wrong.