Here’s the deal; Component Factory just released a free — even for commercial use! — set of controls for Visual Studio 2005 and the .NET 2.0 Framework called Krypton Toolkit.
The toolkit includes several controls which when combined let you sculpt an Office 2003 styled application without doing lots of your own drawing work. Some of the controls are a SplitContainer similar to what you see in Outlook with the splitter portion colored so it doesn’t stand out like a sore thumb. Another favorite is the Header and HeaderGroup controls, which mimic the “Mail”, “Inbox”, “Calendar” headers found in Outlook.
I really recommend that you download the toolkit and give it a look through; the sample included with it is quite interesting to look at and certainly opens up some wide doors for UI development. Now to build some software around it! 😀
And to add more to the toolkit, Crownwood Software and Component Factory are giving away a free 12-month subscription to DotNetMagic (minus e-mail support) to bloggers who spread the word about the Krypton Toolkit. If you’ve had a .NET blog started before November 1st, you can take part in this offer too.
After seeing these components I have to wonder what their Krypton Navigator component is going to be.