Mix08 – Keynote 1 – Ray Ozzie, Scott Guthrie, and More

Ray Ozzie

Ray Ozzie kicked off the Mix08 conference with launch announcements.  New Beta1 versions have been released of Internet Explorer 8, Silverlight 2.0, IIS 7, Windows Office Live, SQL Server Data Services, and a New Expression site (expression.microsoft.com), just to name a few.  Ray focused on the impact of Content, Commerce & Community on Microsoft’s strategy.  He discussed the shift to Utility Computing – the iea of Business services to have servers in the Internet Clout that host Exchange, SharePoint, Office Suite, etc. instead of in the data center.  There will be a new focus on software’s impact on advertising, which is very exciting.  Another idea that Ray Ozzie discussed was the Web as a hub.  People will move away from the idea of “My Computer”, and towards a collection of devices that are connected and aware of each other via the web.  Software and services will be more loosely joined, to add reusability.   He discussed 5 different areas of focus – connected devices, connected entertainment, connected productivity, connected business, and connected development. 

Scott Guthrie

Scott Guthrie covered the more technical side of the keynote.  He outlined the topics he would be covering – Standards based web development, and 3 Silverlight topics – UI, TCO, and Monetization.  He also announced a bit of a roadmap for ASP.Net.  New components to come are ASP.Net MVC, ASP.Net AJAX, ASP.Net Dynamic Data.  He also announced a new beta release of Microsoft Expression would be available right after the keynote. 

Internet Explorer 8

Dean Hachamovitch gave a demonstration of the new beta version of IE8.  He had a list of 8 things to share about the new IE8:

  1. CSS 2.1 – biggest impact from W3C
  2. CSS Certification – 702 test cases submitted to the W3C to verify CSS 2.1 for any browser, Microsoft has made these available under the BSD License
  3. Performance – more in line with Firefox and Safari – a huge improvement from IE7
  4. HTML 5 support – better AJAX support, connection events for page scripting, and DOM storage
  5. New Developer Tools – built in script debugging, style tracing, and much more
  6. Activities – new extendable in-browser services, using their new OpenService Specification.  Some examples of activities include eBay, StumbleUpon, Google Maps, etc. Just highlight the text, and activate!
  7. WebSlices – based on the new WebSlices Specification, users can subscribe to parts of web pages like an Atom feed, and track and preview right in the Favorites bar.
  8. Beta 1 available right after keynote – http://www.microsoft.com/ie/ie8

Silverlight 2

Silverlight 2 is a huge improvement from both 1.0 and 1.1.  Here are the comments I furiously recorded during the keynote:

  • Silverlight is downloaded 1.5 million times per day
  • Silverlight 2 Beta 1 is available for download !!
  • Partnership between Microsoft and Move Networks to implement Adaptive streaming – determine appropriate bit rate to use based on bandwidth and CPU usage, can switch between bit rates on the fly
  • Recently launched Windows Media Services 2008 – available free, will run on Windows Server 2008
  • IIS 7 Media Pack – ability to set a bit rate throttle per media type
  • Multi-language support – JS, VB, C#, Iron Python, Iron Ruby
  • Data Mining Support, LINK, data caching
  • Rich skinning and styling
  • Robust networking support – REST, RSS, Web Services, socket support
  • Small Download, Fast Install, 4.3 MB download, 10 seconds to install. 
  • Available on Windows, Mac, and Linux, and you don’t need the .Net Framework
  • New higher level controls are available  – sliders, calendar, Data Grid, etc. – open source for you to download (and modify if you want)
  • Unit tests for UI and Non-UI functionality in an open source license
  • SharePoint extensions to build Silverlight WebParts

Other Demos

Scott Guthrie took the opportunity to bring up a slew of Microsoft partners to give demos of some of the work they were doing:

John Harris – Silverlight Rich Advertising Scenarios

  • Added a Silverlight Ad template in Visual Studio
  • Video.show – a blueprint on CodePlex for implementing a video content site
  • Integration with Microsoft’s Atlas Solutions Atlas AdManager
  • Overlay advertising easily on to videos with lots of functionality

Ari Paparo – VP Advertiser Products, DoubleClick

  • Integrate DoubleClick’s Instream product with Silverlight
  • Define events in advertising to track user experiences and possibly deliver new content for each of them

Perkins Miller – Sr. VP Digital Media, NBC Sports & Olympics

  • Committed to putting 2200 hours of Olympics video online, across 34 sports, for 17 days
  • NBCOlympics.com
  • Combination of the data and the video
  • Ability to do Picture in Picture, Send to a Friend, 4 streams simultaneously when live video
  • Commercials are integrated right into the video

Roy Ben-Yoseph and Eric Hoffman from AOL

  • Rebuilding their online mail client in Silverlight
  • Focus on performance – just make it faster
  • Close to 50 million email users
  • Functionality is more like a desktop application than a web application
  • Demonstrated the plain black & white standard skin and easily change to the Halo 3 video based skin

Sean Dee – VP Chief Marketing Officer – Hard Rock, Scott Stanfield – CEO – Vertigo

  • Seadragon Deep Zoom Technology
  • Hard Rock is taking their collection to the web – Memorabilia 2.0
  • One image is 2 Billion Pixels !!
  • Now available on hardrock.com

Marek Reichman – Director of Design – Aston Martin

  • Control 3 aspects of the Aston Martin experience – Online, in the Dealership, and Ownership
  • Deep Zoom for interior details
  • Integration of Web, PC, UMPC, Mobile, and In-Car Computer for an immersive experience

Krista Monson – Head of Casting – Cirque de Soleil

  • 6 Resident shows, 9 touring shows, over 3000 employees
  • Line of Business HR application – Interviewing prospective performers
  • Offline functionality and synchronization
  • Review interviews and videos back at the office
  • Scott Guthrie doesn’t have a chance as a juggler in Cirque de Soleil

Scott Guthrie – WPF Demo

  • Implementation of a Physics Engine
  • Complex dynamic changes to images and videos with filters – CPU usage never above 15 to 20%
  • Demonstrates the push of work down to the Hardware (i.e. Video Card) instead of CPU usage

Silverlight for Mobile

  • Implementation of the same code, assets, skills, and tools for desktop, the Web, and Mobile platforms
  • These kind of rich experiences will be everywhere

Darren David – CEO – Stimulant

  • Silverlight application called Mixer – Where is the party at?
  • Social application for Venues, Friends, and Mood
  • Windows Mobile 6 deployed, but written on the desktop

Lee Williams – Senior VP, Nokia

  • Nokia will be delivering Silverlight on their phones

Tamir Melamed – VP of Engineering – WeatherBug

  • Leading provider of live local weather information – updated locally every 2 secodns
  • API available – API.weatherbug.com
  • same app on the phone is on the web – silverlight.weatherbug.com
  • View the radar, have it animated, hourly forecasts, daily forecasts, alerts
  • Add snow to the graphics
  • Couldn’t do any of this with Flash Light and have it perform


This was a jam-packed Keynote, with lots of exciting announcements, great demos, and lots of things to come.  I hope the rest of the conference is this great!.

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