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A couple of weeks ago, I wrote a post about the new Windows Phone 7 Series after our announcement at the Mobile World Conference. Although the phones are not out on the market yet, it is very exciting news about this new, and very “different” phone platform. It is NOT a new version of Windows Mobile v.next. It is a new phone platform, with not only a new innovative user experience, but a new developer platform as well.
Next week at MIX10 many will have a great opportunity to learn more and dive deep into Windows Phone 7 Series and it’s new developer platform for Windows Phone. Additionally, Charlie Kindel has a terrific blog post on what is different about the Windows Phone 7 Series developer experience.
As Charlie points out in his post, different is sometimes a good thing, and with Windows Phone, it is a very good thing! Read his post!!
I want my Windows Phone 7 Series…
FINALLY! Is what I have to say. Its about time..well, actually, we have to wait before we can get our hands on this beauty (look for it in the fall 2010). We finally announced Windows Phone 7 Series at the Mobile World Conference last week. And some good impressions were made – here are a few quotes/links:
Gizmodo, Feb. 15, 2010: Windows Phone 7 Interface: Microsoft Has Out-Appled Apple
“I’m sorry, Cupertino, but Microsoft has nailed it. Windows Phone 7 feels like an iPhone from the future.”
Wired, Feb. 15, 2010: Hands-On With Windows Phone 7 Series
“What surprised me most was that I was expecting yet another iPhone clone. And while the Windows 7 Phone isn’t the huge game changer that the iPhone was upon its debut, it is different enough to embarrass pretty much everyone else except Apple.”
PCWorld, Feb. 15, 2010: Windows Phone 7 Series: First Impressions
“Microsoft has finally caught up with the competition by delivering a clean, socially-connected interface and implementing features like multitouch and the beautiful Zune media player. Paired with excellent hardware partners like HTC and Samsung, I think Windows 7 phones have some great potential-if the software behaves.”
Some of the new features you will experience with Windows Phone 7 Series include:
Windows Phone 7 Series home screen comes to life with “Live Tiles”. The simple yet interactive, multi-touch user interface provides users easy access to the latest information from the device, be it phone calls, contacts and friends, calendar appointments, photos, songs and videos, or XBOX Live feeds.
Windows Phone 7 Series introduce six “hubs,” — people, pictures, games, music and video, an application marketplace, and one that integrates with Microsoft Office mobile applications and email.
Windows Phone 7 Series support Microsoft Office mobile applications including email.
Microsoft will unveil more detail on development capabilities of Windows Phone 7 Series at MIX10 in March.Windows Phone 7 Series will provide developers with a new mobile platform to support innovative and interactive Software plus Service based solutions. For more information visit the MIX10 web site.
With regard to applications for this new mobile platform, Mix10 can’t come fast enough. Windows Mobile, and now Windows Phone has some catching up to do. Here is a slide from Distimo’s presentation here on Mobile Application Stores:
Find out more here:
Here is a video highlighting some of the exciting features:
This week, at least for Microsoft, what happens in Vegas does will not hopefully stay in Vegas. Yesterday at Mix09, the following were announced:
- Support for Higher Quality Video & Audio. With support for native H.264/Advanced Audio Coding (AAC) Audio, live and on-demand IIS7 Smooth Streaming, full HD (720p+) playback, and an extensible decoder pipeline, Silverlight 3 brings rich, full-screen, stutter-free media experiences to the desktop.
- Silverlight 3 contains new 3D graphics, animation features, hardware accelerated effects and text improvements that enable designers and developers to create next generation Web visuals.
- Improved RIA Productivity. New features include:
- Silverlight 3 is packed with over 60 high-quality, fully skinnable and customizable out-of-the-box controls
- Deep Linking. Silverlight 3 includes support for deep linking, which enables bookmarking a page within a RIA.
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
- Enhanced Data Support: Element to Element binding, Data Forms, New features for data validation, Support for business objects
- Improved performance through Application library caching, Enhanced Deep Zoom, Binary XML, Local Connection.
- Out of Browser Capabilities. The new out of browser experience in Silverlight 3 enables users to place their favorite Silverlight applications directly onto their PC and Mac, with links on the desktop and start menu—all without the need to download an additional runtime or browser plug-in. Also, the new offline features enables Silverlight applications to work whether the computer is connected to the Internet or not.
Announcing the Microsoft Web Platform: Web Platform Installer 2.0 Beta and Windows Web Application Gallery!
The Microsoft Web Platform has a goal to deliver the best platform to developers for building their Web applications. Microsoft is delivering the platform, tools, and applications that development organizations, communities, and developers need. The Microsoft Web Platform offers a complete ecosystem for building and hosting web sites, services, and applications. It is designed to interoperate with both ASP.NET and PHP, and integrate easily with community applications and products in the market today.
The Microsoft Web Platform Installer 2.0 (Web PI) is a free tool that makes it simple to download, install and keep up-to-date with the latest components of the Microsoft Web Platform, including Internet Information Services (IIS), SQL Server Express, .NET Framework and Visual Web Developer. In addition, install popular open source ASP.NET and PHP web apps with the Web PI.
Windows Web App Gallery is a community hub of free and popular .NET and PHP applications for you to use as building blocks for creating dynamic web solutions.
With Mix09 next week, we should hear some exciting news about the next version of Silverlight. One of the new areas of innovation in the next version of Silverlight is line-of-business applications. Here is a video on Channel 9 with Robert Hess and Brad Abrams where Brad shows a sneak preview of some feature enhancements in Silverlight 3 that he will be covering in more detail at Mix09.
Additionally, I have been recently working with a partner that is doing some real exciting work in this area – IdeaBlade. Ward Bell of IdeaBlade recently demoed this to me and I was very impressed. IdeaBlade is releasing DevForce for Silverlight, enabling rapid business application development with data in Silverlight.
See my colleague Tim Heuer’s blog post and video with IdeaBlade’s Ward Bell demoing DevForce for Silverlight.
You can also see it on Channel 9 here.
Last week, Microsoft announced the availability of Silverlight 2 Beta 2 for public release. Silverlight 2 Beta 1 was a developer release and it was announced at Mix08. There are some great sessions that you can view (via a Silverlight viewer) at the VisitMix site
In case you are new to Silverlight – it is a cross-browser, cross-platform, and cross-device plug-in for delivering the next generation of .NET based media experiences and rich interactive applications for the Web.
To learn more detail about the Beta 2 release, see ScottGu’s Blog. One of my colleagues, David Chou has a great post listing resources and links to great sample Silverlight apps. Additionally, my colleague Sam Chenaur also provides a good blog post / resource for learning about Silverlight.
As David points out in his post, people tend to position Silverlight as catching up to Flash (in its “infancy” is how David described it). However, I think that is fair only as it relates to Silverlight 1. Silverlight 2 is a much more complete platform with significant value and flexibility as a platform enabling many implementation choices. It delivers on some of the great .Net capabilities, enabling the developer to create a much wider range of applications for the browser or device, and across platforms.
In addition to some of the samples David lists in his blog post, you can also find more at the Silverlight Showcase.
In my post from Mix08 a couple of weeks ago, one of the exciting announcements I mentioned was Internet Explorer 8 Beta 1.
There were a number of great sessions at Mix08 on IE8 and you can find and view these at Visitmix.com (search for “Internet Explorer”).
This is only Beta 1 and there are some very exciting technologies that were introduced, providing significant value and innovative implementations.
Some of the features in Beta 1 include:
WebSlices - WebSlices enable users to subscribe to content directly within a webpage. WebSlices behave just like feeds in that users can subscribe to them and receive update notifications when the content changes.
Activities – Activities are contextual services that provide quick access to external services from any webpage. For a list of IE8 Activities Providers go here.
Look for more innovation in future Beta releases and the final version!
You can also find an IE8 Beta 1 Whitepaper for Developers here.
It was back in December when I wrote about Cloud Services. My post was triggered by an article in a Business Week article about Google’s Cloud Computing strategy. I also introduced you to our Cloud Infrastructure Services, and today I wanted to follow that with some exciting news around our data services, specifically SQL Server Data Services (SSDS).
We announced this at MIX08 a couple of weeks ago, but it sort of got second billing to our news around Silverlight 2, Silverlight for Mobile, and IE8 (more on that on a future post)! It is super exciting and only the beginning of foundational / infrastructure services to be introduced as part of our cloud computing strategy. Additional services that are in pre-beta from Biztalk Labs are Biztalk Services that include Identity, Connectivity, and an Internet Services Bus.
Don’t think of SSDS as SQL Server in the sky. Think of it as a true on-demand, scalable data service in the cloud, that enables web developers to leverage open, web service based standards, like SOAP, REST, and ATOM pub to connect to SSDS. Developers do not need to know traditional SQL! Of course, it will not provide all the functionality of a complete SQL Server Database, or a hosted version of it. Rather, a very scalable on-demand data service that can be leveraged in your “next web” solution using today’s web standards!
To view a session given by Nigel Ellis, Lead Architect on the project, introducing SSDS at MIX08, go here.
I am at Mix08 in Las Vegas, and today was day one of the conference. With that, came a number of really exciting announcements.
The keynote session that kicked off the conference started with Chief Architect Ray Ozzie sharing his vision on how we can deliver seamless connected experiences across the continuum of web applications, rich clients, and mobile devices.
Joining Ray was Scott Guthrie, Vice President of the .NET Developer Platform. Together, they highlighted our newest Web tools and technologies, including the release of Internet Explorer 8 Beta 1, Silverlight 2 Beta, Expression Studio 2 Betaand a preview of SQL Server Data Services (SSDS).
Additionally, demonstrating their support for Silverlight, customers and partners also took part in the keynote, including AOL, Aston Martin, Cirque du Soleil, DoubleClick, Hard Rock, Move Networks and NBCOlympics.com on MSN.
AOL showed off a fast webmail client based on Silverlight 2. You can sign up to get access and test this new webmail client by visiting http://ria.mail.aol.com.
Also demonstrated was Hard Rock’s new Memorabilia site built on Silverlight 2 by Vertigo. You can learn about the site and work behind the Vertigo project here. You can also visit the actual site (Silverlight 2 download required) at http://memorabilia.hardrock.com/.
Microsoft’s MIX conference is returning to the Venetian hotel in Las Vegas on March 5-7, 2008.
MIX08 is an intimate opportunity for cutting-edge technical, creative and business strategists to engage Microsoft in a conversation about the future of the web. Explore the latest wave of opportunities and help redefine the boundaries between content and commerce, PC and TV, Windows and the Web.
Register at http://visitmix.com/2008 by January 15, 2008 and save $200.00 off the regular price of $1295.00 USD. MIX sold out well in advance last year, sign up early to make sure you aren’t left out!