News.com had the story Monday night, and by 11:30 Tuesday morning, Scott Guthrie had a great article describing in much more detail what they're building.
I've been a little down on AJAX, but I'm starting to come around. One of the downsides I posted about AJAX was cross browser support, but I also said a framework development company, such as Microsoft, could alleviate that problem.
The other reasons still stand - back and forward buttons, bookmarks, etc., but those are mostly related to how you use the technology. Every technology can be abused if it's not used right, so you just have to know the appropriate ways to use AJAX.
Regardless of what I think of the technology, it's coming, and I know I'll be using it in the near future. From Scott's post, the functionality promised is awesome. You'll have access to a lot of the new functionality in ASP.NET 2.0, such as the personalization engine, profiles, authentication, and roles. But you'll get more than just the ASP.NET 2.0 features. They are going to build ways for you an API to access client services, such browser cache and integration with other client scripts. There will also be a set of Atlas server controls that you'll be able to data-bind to.
If you’re interested in AJAX style development, this is huge news, and a great step forward for the technology. It almost makes it worth going to PDC just to get the bits!