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Microsoft MIXing It Up

RDN Senior Editor Kathleen Richards is out in Las Vegas, attending the Microsoft MIX08 conference. The confab, now in its third year, focuses on Web development and design, and has emerged as a launching pad for key Microsoft products like Silverlight, the Microsoft Expression suite and Internet Explorer 8.

As Kathleen reports, MIX08 has produced a flurry of important developer-related releases, including the first public downloads of beta versions of Silverlight 2 and Internet Explorer 8. There's also a preview of Visual Studio tooling for Silverlight 2, an Expression Blend 2 beta and an ASP.NET Model View Controller (MVC) preview.

In his keynote address to the more than 2,500 attendees, Microsoft Chief Software Architect Ray Ozzie offered his view of how the Web is shaping Microsoft's vision and what developers might expect going forward. He described the Web as a hub for devices, social experiences and applications with linking, tagging and ranking becoming as common as file and edit in toolbars.

The IE 8 beta, released at the show, seems to offer an early glimpse of this vision. In addition to welcome interoperability tools and dev-oriented features, IE 8 includes an Activities menu that lets users highlight text on a page and then choose an activity -- for example, an address and Live Maps, or the word "camera" and eBay. The Web Slices feature lets users subscribe to parts of a Web page.

Also of note at the conference are some eye-catching demos of Silverlight 2 applications, including a preview of's Olympics site and Hard Rock's "Memorabilia" project.

Did you attend the MIX08 conference? What are your impressions of Microsoft's latest wares? E-mail me at

Posted by Michael Desmond on 03/06/2008 at 1:15 PM

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