There are few new features and tools such as better tools and documentation for animations, and new Visual studio 2008 templates. However the big news to my opinion is that SDK 5.3 made XBAP hosting deprecated. I tried to find why? And what does it mean?
In the documentations, they delete anything regarding WPF (for example they now compare only two technology choices - HTML & MCML). In the template, there is no XBAP template. I wonder if old XBAP application still gets compiled with the new SDK.
There are only speculations about why they did that, such as they may want to put their effort in MCML, or they may work on hosting Silverlight, but nothing official.
Dropping support in XBAP is something really nasty to do to those companies that have developed their Media Center applications with WPF. For example the Yes MCE application is based on XBAP (Developed by Goome).
I hope that the current SDK at least support XBAP for backward compatibility, if you can call a less the one year old technology, a legacy!
To save space in the backup database on your home server, recorded TV shows on Windows Media Center are not backed up from a home computer to your home server. If you want to have a backup copy of your recorded TV shows, you should synchronize the Recorded TV folder from your computer running Windows Media Center to a shared folder on your home server. Be aware that if you do backup your media center machines; you will probably need lots of disk space in the server, since the server keeps old backups and recorded TV probably holds new content every day.
Finally, the presentation and demos from "Dev424 - Windows Server 2008 – Deep Dive" are ready to download. You can also download the presentation and demos of " DEV323 - Windows Server 2008 - Your Next Software Application Server" from here.
Feel free to download and play with it. All you need is Visual Studio 2008 (the current solutions are for VS 2008. But they were upgraded from VS 2005). Visual Studio 2008 comes with the Windows SDK 6.0a files that are needed for the compilation of the new mechanisms demos. You can use VS 2005 if you also download and install the Windows SDK 6.0 and for part of the demos you also need .NET 3.0 SDK.
I am also wanted to remind you that we (Sela) have a full three days course of developing for Vista & Server 2008 that delivered by Sasha or me.