Here's a sneak peek at the picture frame application. More photos can be found on the
Junktop Revival Wiki.
This all started when the Windows Device Experience Team wanted to build a demo for WinHEC that would
show off their new API’s
and an implementation of the WS-Discovery spec.
Since PC hardware is readily available but “device” hardware is harder to come by they came up with the idea of building Windows XP SP2 app that would emulate a device on standard PC hardware.
Even though the goal was to get people to support this on laser printers, MP3 players, and other more resource-constrained devices with this approach they could get started right away. The question was, what should the ‘device’ PC do?
After some thinking about smart alarm clocks and digital guitars they decided that a Digital Picture Frame was the best bet. To understand why they made this choice, you have to dig into what they wanted to show.
First off, they were about to ship prerelease version of their Network-Connected Device Development Kit (DDK) at WinHEC (early May 2004).
Their main goal was to show how you can use these tools to make the networked device install process simple. What they do is use the WSDAPI to listen for WS-Discovery messages.
When they are detected the PnP-X code kicks off and the user is asked to go through a ‘device association’ step (to make sure you are installing the device you think you are) and then it fires up the plug and play system. From there, the user sees the exact
same “Found New Hardware” wizard that they are accustom to.
Why is this cool?
I have two portable music players in my office. Both have USB ports and you get a great experience when you connect them that way. But, one has an Ethernet port and the other has a built in WiFI card. Installing them on a network is not nearly as easy.
This DDK included three APIs: WSDAPI to support WS-Discovery, PnP-X to bridge the plug and play system to network connected devices, and function discovery which makes it easier for Windows developers to find and work with devices (regardless of whether they
are bus or network connected).
With these bits install and a device that speaks WS-Discovery the user does not need to care about how the devices is connected (USB, WiFI, BlueTooth, FireWire, etc.), they just plug it in and get the same experience every time.