Microsoft has posted the second pre-release version of Acrylic, the powerful but difficult-to-use vector/raster drawing application that is the successor to Creature House Expression.
In addition to significant performance improvements and a few new features such as XAML export (XAML is Microsoft’s new language for describing user interfaces that includes support for vector graphics), Microsoft has done some work on the user interface in an effort to improve usability. After playing with this update for a few minutes, however, I’d have to say the UI remains this product’s single biggest weakness.
Ars Technica has reported that the XAML export feature signals a retargeting of the software for use in Windows Vista UI development, and has been renamed with this release to Windows Presentation Foundation User Experience Design Tool, but I’ve been unable to find anything to corroborate this seemingly improbable claim. As far as I can see, the codename Acrylic is still the only official name for the product, and it continues to be pitched as an application for combined vector/raster illustration.