The Null Device
Translucency in Longhorn
Screenshots of the latest Windows Longhorn beta
. It looks like Microsoft have one interesting eye-candy feature that Apple currently don't: the ability to do translucent elements, i.e., ones in which the pixel value can be a function of not only the background pixel but its neighbours (which allows Gaussian blurring and such). I wonder how computationally expensive this is compared to Apple's straightforward transparency; it certainly looks pretty, though.
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