Today was an exciting day during what many have dubbed "the real" MIX 2011 keynote. There were announcements about Windows Phone 7, Silverlight, and Kinect. So what were my thoughts sitting in the audience?
The awesome community created Windows Phone 7 video was incredible and I appreciate the recognition they gave the author. Please share that with as many people as you can to help turn it into a bona fide commercial for the phone. Joe Belfiore started with an apology for the update fiasco ... followed by what wasn't necesarily an apology but definitley was a targeted appearance for Qt developers from Nokia. Then the "Mango" goodness began.
There's almost too much to list but needless to say, the pace of the phone perhaps exceeds what Microsoft managed to pull off with the earlier versions of Silverlight. We've got IE9 with HTML5 support (same core engine as the desktop version), reach to more countries for customers and developers, more language support, faster rendering, sockets support (as evidenced by an IRC demo), built-in SQL (don't worry, I'll share what that means for my Sterling Database in future posts), ringtones, motion sensor support and more. Add to that developer tools with accelerometer simulation and location simulation, an amazing built-in performance analyzer, shared XNA and Silverlight, direct camera support and more, and I'd have to say that was one heck of a wallop.
Then came Silverlight 5. Honestly, I have to admit disappointment here. There wasn't much new for them to mention other than the fact that the beta can now be downloaded as most information was shared during the December firestarter earlier in the year. My disappointment came from the demos and message that came across. To me Silverlight is a serious enterprise line of business platform and Microsoft has had a strong message supporting its use in LOB apps. The representation at MIX was more about web sites and media experiences. 3D is cool, but it's not really line of business except for some specialized application. I would have loved to see more emphasis on the new power for building Line of Business, which is what my upcoming talks at CodeStock and DevLink will focus on.
Finally, the Kinect was announced with some cool SDKs and APIs. The crowd roared when it was announced that attendees would receive a free sensor. Now that's exciting! I believe this keynote packed the punch it needed to. While there wasn't as much play there for Silverlight 5, it knocked a home run for the Windows Phone 7 and really shows Microsoft's commitment to making the phone a true contender in the smart phone space.
Now onto the sessions!