If ever there was a session that you felt like your head was going to explode, this one would do it. Tim Heuer proceeded to try to fit as many of the changes and additions to XAML as he could in one hour.
There were a number of improvements that struck me. The first was the fact that we no longer need to put stack panels in the AppBar in order to add buttons. This has been changed to a CommandBar which at the very least makes the markup read more cleanly. Now if they would just bring this same improvement to Windows Phone we would be set.
There was a lot of cheering at the beginning of his talk when he showed that there are now date time pickers. I understand that it makes life easier, but I just couldn’t get that excited. The couple of features that did grab my attention being able to select a group of tags and then add an encapsulating tag such as a StackPanel around them and the fact that they have optimized XAML so that now runs on average 25% faster.
I’d go crazy trying to list off all the improvements and new features so be sure to go and review the recording of the session.