Sneak Peek of MIX07

An early glimpse of MIX07 shows focus on commercial Web technologies, new AJAX capabilities in ASP.NET.

Tim O'Brien is director of Microsoft's platform strategy group and one of the people behind MIX07, the second installment of Redmond's show for developers and designers. The show is scheduled for April 30 to May 2 in Las Vegas.

The blogosphere has been awash with speculation about what new technologies and initiatives Microsoft will unleash at MIX: A Windows Presentation Foundation/Everywhere beta? A cross-platform version of the .NET runtime? Or perhaps something to do with the cryptically named "Technology X"?

We spoke with O'Brien and tried to pry a few answers out of him ahead of the show. Here's a sampling of our conversation. For a longer version, in which O'Brien discusses how MIX07 will address Windows Live development and other areas, go to

What's the 'Technology X' being referenced on the MIX07 homepage?
You have to come to MIX ... We're going to spend a lot of time at MIX talking about some of the investments in our Web and client platforms, and beyond that we're going to show you the roadmap, what that looks like going forward. It's going to be a pretty interesting set of disclosures through attendees. We're going to get some bits to play with, and we're pretty jazzed about it.

Microsoft already has the Professional Developers Conference. What does MIX07 offer for corporate developers?
Tim O'Brien, Director, Microsoft Platform Strategy GroupThe reason corporate software developers should be there is because more and more enterprises are coming to the realization that the experience you deliver matters. It matters a whole lot. If you look at where corporations have spent money on applications over the years, a lot of it's in the back-end. It's been on the infrastructure, it's been on the integration, master data management -- a lot of things the end user doesn't necessarily see.

At the end of the day, a lot of the application functionality is served up in a pretty weak user experience in a portal with pretty limited capability. So as the user experience becomes more and more tightly correlated with productivity, corporate developers start to get more interested in Web technologies. That having been said, the focus for MIX is on the commercial Web.

How will the show address specific topics, such as AJAX?
The interest there is what we've done with ASP.NET since the last MIX, making the tools easier to use and making the libraries easier to access ... We want to make people understand what [they] can build and how [they] can build it, and [where] the tipping point is ... We're going to share some of those tips and tricks to help people make AJAX easier to use.

About the Author

Chris Kanaracus is the news editor for Redmond Developer News.

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