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MIXing Bowl

Microsoft's MIX07, the touted 72-hour conversation with Web developers and designers, is drawing to a close as you receive this. The Las Vegas-hosted conference was first launched last year, but quickly rose close to the top of the Microsoft road tour stack, thanks in part to Redmond's frantic Web development tools efforts. From ASP.NET AJAX to Expression Studio to Silverlight, Microsoft has been working in overdrive the past year-and-a-half.

The MIX07 event certainly reflected that. While an awful lot of news has trickled out over the past six months, Ray Ozzie and crew were able to hit a few long balls. Among them: news that the next version of Silverlight (formerly code-named "WPF/E") will support the Common Language Runtime (CLR) of .NET, as well as dynamic languages like Ruby.

What's clear is that Silverlight is not simply a media play. Instead, Microsoft is aiming to take its managed code environment to the broader Internet. With Silverlight as a target, .NET developers can use the same skills (and much of the same code) that they employ to build Windows applications to build rich Internet applications.

Also announced was the Microsoft Silverlight Streaming service, a free online hosting service that will allow developers to serve their Silverlight content off Microsoft servers at no charge. Obviously, the service is an effort to nudge Silverlight out of its cage and get it into the wild.

Executive Web Editor Michael Domingo was at the show and managed to track down several key Microsoft representatives. You can find out more about his reporting and that of our news editor Chris Kanaracus in the special MIX07 coverage, in the May 15 issue of Redmond Developer News magazine.

What are your impressions of Microsoft's MIX07 activities? Has Redmond hit critical mass with its Silverlight effort? Write me at [email protected].

Posted by Michael Desmond on 05/02/2007

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