Mix Day 1

The keynote is over for day 1, and it’s been fantastic so far. You may well have seen the various announcements elsewhere (or maybe even watched them via www.visitmix.com), but I thought it worth providing a summary of my take on what we’ve announced today.

A couple of weeks ago we announced Microsoft Silverlight to the world: a cross-platform, cross-browser XML-based presentation technology that’s built for today’s web. We have now unveiled the full Silverlight story along with other significant announcements:

· First off, it’s worth mentioning that we have now released a beta of Silverlight 1.0 along with a go-live licence, with a full 1.0 release in the summer.

· Big news is Silverlight 1.1 alpha with support for .NET (ie you can use C# or VB.NET) as well as support for Ruby, Python and Managed Jscript. This is fantastic news – it means that people like me, whose JavaScript skills aren’t up to much, can use C# to build really rich and dynamic content for the web. Or use the power and beauty of Ruby or Python. This is truly excellent news on so many levels – the support for multiple platforms and browsers, the rich media capabilities, and of course the support for such a good range of languages to develop rich web media: killer!

· What about some tools announcements? Expression Studio has RTMd. What does that mean? It means the Expression products are now being released properly – this includes all of the four Expression products, with Blend being my personal favourite. Oh but there’s more: we’ve also announced Expression Blend 2.0 May Preview with support for Silverlight, and Expression Media Encoder Preview with support for Silverlight too. And to round off this plethora of tools announcement, Orcas Beta 1 gets Silverlight support too with Silverlight Tools Alpha for Orcas Beta 1.

· And finally, but really significantly, we’re announcing Silverlight Streaming from Windows Live. This is a an amazing service and it’s fantastic to be able to talk about it at last: 4GB of storage for every Live ID...which is good in its own right: But you can stream video at 700 KB/s delivered around the world via our content delivery network (CDN), which really racks up the quality level compared to other services out there. And there’s more! There are no ads and no branding either. So you can stream content to your website at amazing quality with zero branding from us or ads from us. It’s hard to see any downsides from this. But even with all of this goodness I’m selling it short because Silverlight Streaming will allow you to upload your entire Silverlight app and stream that too. Silverlight Streaming is a pretty mind-blowing service when you get your head around it, and you the best thing is you can try it out right now: visit http://silverlight.live.com/ for more details.

There is a lot of good stuff here, so what is my favourite announcement? Joint tie for me:

· Support for managed languages in Silverlight, and not just C# or VB. For example, to get a python script into your Silverlight app include a line such as ‘<x:Code Source="MyFabScript.py" Type="text/python" />’ in your XAML, supplying a code-behind file for your python script. This is huge – as I said previously it opens up Silverlight to a whole host of existing developers.

· Silverlight streaming: An amazing deal that’s all upside for web developers.

And that’s just day 1. There were a couple of hints of some interesting stuff coming up relating to Windows Live APIs and licensing terms, so stay tuned for more from day 2.