The focus seems to be on UI features, including Vista themes, Office 2007 Ribbon-alike, new dialogs, task panes, docking, tabbing, and so on.
How big an update is this? Here’s what Sutter says:
This update nearly doubles the size of MFC. Now, “nearly doubles the size of X” can be a bad thing. In this case, though, it’s a Good Thing… in my opinion, at least.
MFC was originally designed as a thin C++ wrapper for the Windows API, which accounts for its ugliness when considered purely as an application framework. I don’t know if the update fixes any of those underlying issues, but it will be handy for developers who need a quick route to an up-to-date Windows UI.
I interpret this as Microsoft acknowledging the continuing importance of native code versus .NET programming, though personally I would still rather use CodeGear’s Delphi.