Desktop Composition Engine

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A demonstration of the Desktop Composition Engine shown during the Windows Hardware Engineering Conference of 2003.

The Desktop Composition Engine was the desktop compositor in builds 3683-4029 of Windows "Longhorn". It provided numerous visual effects, such as twirling windows while they were minimized. The compositor is present in Milestone 3 builds: 3683, 3706, 3713, 3718 and 4001. It was also present in later builds in 4011 and 4015. In build 4008 it is corrupt.

One of the most well known visual effects of the DCE is present in certain 4015 and 4018 builds (Lab06). It every build that has it, it makes even the menus transparent, and even the screensaver.

After development reset it had been renamed to its well-known name Desktop Window Manager. However, starting with Longhorn M7 development, many DCE references, such as DceStartup, were being changed to reference DWM.