Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Cool Stuff from Mix09

Mix09 is happening this week.  This is one of Microsoft's larger developers conferences and sure to drop a few new tools, features, and plans.  Below are some cool new technologies I'm watching.  This post will be updated as I hear about interesting news, so check back from time to time.

  • Of course, as already mentioned, MVC v1 is now live!
  • Expression Web SuperPreview - effortlessly test browser compatibility in Expression Web.  I hope we get this for Visual Studio soon!
  • Silverlight 3 Beta 1 - Hardware GPU acceleration. New codecs, including AAC. Write your own codecs. IIS Media Services - static and LIVE streaming video support easily installed from Web Platform Installer (see below).  3D perspective support for any control.  Improved fonts.  Multitouch support. Support for running outside-of-browser on Windows and Mac in secure sandbox, with offline-awareness and automatic updates.  New Eclipse IDE tools for developing on Mac.  The download size - including all these new features - is actually smaller than Silverlight 2 (4.4M)!  Beta today, shipping RTM later this year.
  • Expression Blend 3 - design Silverlight 3 UIs.  Supports the new features, and has "SketchFlow" for sketching prototype page flows, transitions, and layouts, then generating documentation and actual Silverlight code.  Very cool, and also something VS needs!
  • Web Platform Installer and Web App Gallery - Make it easier to install framework and related MS features, plus popular applications that run in IIS.  They just called it "an App Store for the Web Server". Some apps included: DotNetNuke, Umbraco.
  • Azure commercial release this year.  Update this week supports PHP & CGI, has ADO.NET support that works with ADO EF, NHibernate, etc. similar to your traditional MS SQL apps.   It also supports geo-locating your applications and storage to enable edge content delivery, geo-load balancing, and other scenarios.  No pricing released yet. New SDK and Visual Studio Tools CTP available.
  • New Virtual Earth Silverlight SDK.

Session videos are now trickling out, but the mix site is not very user-friendly in helping you find the content.  Nigel has a pretty good list of the available videos.

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