Here at MIX 07, Microsoft’s Web 2.0 conference, just waiting for the festivities to begin. I’m hoping to do a little live blogging from the keynote, the connection is great but no power! So we’ll see how long this lasts.
9:30 – The lights are starting to dim, but no one yet. The musical entertainment is an interesting choice, an accordian trio. Very The Decemberists-ish. They’re displaying entries from the Mixtify contest on the big screen…and here we go! Starting with the usual stylish video intro, very cool. And here’s Ray!
9:37 – Ray mentioned this is the first time he’s talked to a large developer group since joining MS. Going through the history of the app lifecycle, saying that over the years the pendulum has swung between browser and desktop, and now we’re swinging back towards the middle. A cross between web and desktop, rich internet applications connected via web services.
9:42 – Talking about Software as a Service as the first wave of these apps, and now the second wave is Software + Services. It’s an emerging pattern that brings together the best of the desktop, best of the web, all using the service as a hub. This programming model requires collaboration between designers and developers.
9:47 – Now on to the annoucements. Talking a little about Silverlight, but not rehashing details. Today he wants to announce that they are bringing .NET technology to Silverlight, a new choice to leverage existing skills and tools to enable rich web experience programming. Now jumping to a video highlighting of existing WPF apps. Very cool stuff, and of course, set to a loud techno beat. Crack open those glowsticks if you’ve got ’em.
9:53 – Ray’s back, annoucing Expressions is shipping, we’re all getting commemorative copies. Woot. Now he’s talking through the fundamental shift Microsoft is undergoing to embrace the Software + Services (S+S) paradigm. Things like XBox Live compatibility with Live Messenger. Showing a demo of the Photosynth zoom technology embedded in the Silverlight platform. For anyone who’s seen that Photosynth demo, this is great news, good to see that wasn’t just a cool demo. Another annoucement, Silverlight Streaming. Service allows you to store Silverlight content in the cloud on MS servers. Sounds cool, but didn’t give much detail there. Now it looks like we’re gonna get to the good stuff – demos!
10:00 – Ray’s handing it off to Scott Guthrie, he’s wearing a bright red shirt…good thing this isn’t an episode of Lost… :) Going through some details of Silverlight, including a new cross-platform version of .NET framework. Preview version on the web available as of 20 minutes ago (didn’t say where!).
10:04 – Going through some details on Silverlight, such as HD video quality, ability to integrate with existing AJAX apps, standards-based codecs, streaming solution. Introducing two guys from Netflix for a Silverlight demo. Says that Netflix is about connecting people with movies they love and in January they released their streaming video service with over 2 million views (I’ve used it myself, it’s surprisingly good). Enough talk, let’s get to the demo! :)
10:09 – Now they’re showing off the Netflix Silverlight video player. One click and the movie started instantly, now he’s walking through some inlaid controls on the video window. Besides the usual play, pause, FF buttons, you can get data from the Netflix sites like ratings, descriptions, and similar movies. Very slick, and built the demo in only three weeks. Wow. Ha, and now he’s doing a demo on a Mac running FireFox! Awesome. Showing a feature that allows you to invite a friend to watch a movie along with you. It synchs the movie and you can chat back and forth while watching. Three weeks? Crazy.
10:15 – Almost out of power! Scott’s back, talking about the collaboration between designers and developers. Showing Expression Studio, a set of tools that works with Visual Studio to enable workflow between designers and devs. On to another demo…
10:19 – A designer from MS is onstage (didn’t catch his name). Showing a demo of Expression Media Encoder…oh no, a crash! Came back quickly, and we’re off. There’s a cool feature that allows you to preview what a the video looks like before encoding and after encoding, with a vertical slider bar to create a split screen. Works on frames, and also while playing the video. I haven’t done a ton of video encoding so I have no idea about this stuff, but looks pretty cool. Now he’s got the video up and running, and wants to put a wrapper around it. Switched over to Expression Design, took some artwork and exported to XAML in Silverlight format. Now going to Blend to merge the video with the artwork. Simply pasted several layers of artwork on the video layer. This is way cool, can’t wait to start playing with this!
Battery is dead, I’m gonna go try to find some juice and will hopefully be back this afternoon!