I'm currently a technical product planner in the Windows Digital Documents team. Working in the Windows division since 1997, I've enjoyed driving technology support in the OS such as digital cameras, digital video, flash memory and now XPS printing.
Reinvention for the sake of reinvention is fundamentally a bad idea. Re-engineering the print path was a long-overdue effort, where we revisited a lot of current components to see how we can wring out known problems and insert significant improvements. Using
a subset of WPF in the spool file format was key to improving fidelity and enabling advanced graphic features such as transparencies and gradients. Resource reuse and ZIP were key to reducing spool file sizes. Taking into account the limitations with embedding
the format in a device enabled us to also create a device consumable PDL. So, yes, many components were "reinvented". WPF was a reinvention of GDI and XPS was a reinvention of the EMF spool file format and a PDL (PDLs exist such as PCL and Postscript).
The XPSDrv filter pipeline was a reinvention of the GDI print driver model. Reinvention is progress. The key point here is that the customer will realize value through the effort.
"It's interesting. The thing that surprises me is that there's no XPS logo program."
Glad to hear you like it enough to make a purchasing decision based on it! While there is no specific XPS logo program, we have incorporated XPS and some related technologies like PrintTickets into the Designed for Windows logo program. We also intend to
provide a conformance suite so that purchasers can determine whether the printer implementation is correct.
Hardware manufacturers can make the determination as to how much marketing they want to put around the XPS features. The output quality is clear to the untrained eye, so overt advertising of the capabilities might be a natural path for the IHV.