I have left Microsoft and this blog is no longer under my control. All of the content should remain for some time however and any new updates can be found at http://davedev.net.
-Dave, September 2013
You may have already heard the announcement that the presidential inauguration committee has chosen to use Silverlight to stream the historical event today.
But you may not have heard everything and I wanted to clarify a few things. I have been seeing posts on the internet of people saying that HD is available only on windows or that only windows machines can view the event. This is entirely false. All Silverlight 2 compatible machines can view this event and that includes Windows and intel based Macs. Secondly the team worked very hard last night to get up a version running on Silverlight 1.0 that would allow both Linux and PPC based macs to view the event as well! Miguel de Icaza has all the details on his blog here. Awesome work guys this is great to see!
It’s always neat to find out how the streaming stuff works behind the scenes. Events like the NBC Olympics and even the open source Podcasting Kit for SharePoint have shared details of their streaming. There is also an Expression Encoder SDK you can utilize to do your own via .NET.
The team behind today’s streaming event is sharing some of those juicy technical details. Check it out…
“Tech Specs And as I promised earlier, I got the tech details on how the streams are encoded. Note there is manual stream selection in the lower right corner; Hardware There are quite a few encoders to handle the different streams, data rates, and to provide failover backups. All systems are quad-core, and use hardware preprocessing. Onsite configuration: Dell Precision workstations with Osprey 230 capture cards Offsite configuration: Dell 2950 with Digital Rapids capture cards. Software The encoders are running Windows XP and use Windows Media Encoder, with my recommended tweaks and registry key settings applied. Codecs Video: Window Media Video 9 Advanced Profile (aka VC-1 Advanced Profile) Audio: Windows Media Audio 9.2 The audio was originally going to be WMA 10 Pro for improved efficiency, but we fell back to WMA 9.2 in order to have Silverlight 1.0 compatibility. Fortunately the audio feeds are either mono or might as well be, so we can win some efficiency back by encoding in mono. 300 Kbps streams Video: 480x360, 29.97 fps, 259 Kbps Audio: 44.1 KHz mono, 32 Kbps 500 Kbps streams Video: 480x360, 29.97 fps, 442 Kbps Audio: 44.1 KHz mono, 48 Kbps “
And as I promised earlier, I got the tech details on how the streams are encoded. Note there is manual stream selection in the lower right corner;
There are quite a few encoders to handle the different streams, data rates, and to provide failover backups. All systems are quad-core, and use hardware preprocessing.
The encoders are running Windows XP and use Windows Media Encoder, with my recommended tweaks and registry key settings applied.
The audio was originally going to be WMA 10 Pro for improved efficiency, but we fell back to WMA 9.2 in order to have Silverlight 1.0 compatibility. Fortunately the audio feeds are either mono or might as well be, so we can win some efficiency back by encoding in mono.
You can view the live HD stream here and the Linux-compatible stream van be viewed here. Enjoy!
The MIX Day 2 Keynote included a lot of announcements for what is coming in the next big update, codenamed Mango, to Windows Phone later this year. In addition to what was shown at Mobile World Congress in February attendees were given a first hand look at the new API features and tooling that will be available to their apps.
You can check out the full blog post on the Windows Phone blog here.
We are empowering developers with new capabilities that enable new app scenarios, such as; “Multitasking” meets Integrated Experiences with Live Agents: Superior customer engagement with real time interactions via Live Tiles, Push Notifications, Deep Linking and Background Agents. Multitasking is also enhanced to allow for fast applications switching, as well as background audio and file transfer. Phone Integration has been greatly improved for developers looking to enable their applications to do more with their apps. The Live Tiles, Extras and push notifications functionality has been expanded to give developers more flexibility to engage with their customers. Developers will also have access to the Motion Sensor library and the camera, enabling amazing augmented reality experiences. The integration extends deeper into the operating system via sockets and database access now available to apps and games. Specific to the refreshed Windows Phone Developer Tools that arrive in May, we’ve also added; A new profiler and emulator for testing Support for Silverlight AND XNA in the same project Structured storage that enables access to SQL database Access to calendar and contacts through apps And much more
We are empowering developers with new capabilities that enable new app scenarios, such as;
Specific to the refreshed Windows Phone Developer Tools that arrive in May, we’ve also added;
There were 25 breakout sessions on Windows Phone at this year’s MIX! Each session is available via Silverlight streaming or downloadable formats so you can watch it on whatever device you feel like. Most of them include the PowerPoint slides as well.
Here are just some of the favorites from attendees so far. My personal favorites are Deep Dive MVVM, Windows Phone Architecture Deep Dive and Application Design for Windows Phone.
The X-Box live Windows Phone games continue to roll in! If you have checked out my Gamerscore lately on Live you will see plenty of achievements from phone games. You just can’t beat unlocking something while waiting in line at the store. I am currently working on finishing Fable Coin Golf but two of my all time favorites were just shown off at MIX.
Plants vs. Zombies will be coming very soon and the official date for Angry Birds on WP7 is now May 25th! You can check out more of the upcoming titles in the Must Have Games video.
This year’s Day 2 Mix Keynote opened with a new Windows Phone video. Everyone was blown away when it was announced right after that the video wasn’t made by Microsoft’s advertising agency. It was made by one of you, a WP7 fan, by the name of Brandon Foy. Brandon composed the music in the video himself and his video features apps that he personally uses on his own phone. Brandon is a true artists with a lot of talent. Please give the video a look!
If it gets more than 200,000 views on YouTube Microsoft will turn it into primetime TV ad (edited for length). Help support Brandon and get his video on TV.
After over six years I have decided to move on from Microsoft. I joined in May 2007 just one month before the launch of the iPhone. Our industry has changed so much during that time and I feel honored to have taken some small part in it. When I sat down to write this post there were many topics I thought about covering but in the end it was the people I met that made the journey so worthwhile. This post is for you. In no particular order...
Joe, Joe and Asli - you taught me how I can work hard and still play hard. I'll never forget MIX, Chicago and AC.
Harry - for helping me remember that little kid from Toms River I was who thought he could change the world. I had forgotten him. You taught me that true leaders stand alone.
Ian and Jit - for making me believe again that technical excellence was valued. I never enjoyed ramping up on new platforms as much as when I had you guys with me.
Jim - we've known each other for so long you already know how much I admire you. Hammock up!
Hong - for being the other half of the perfect partner team. We drove huge wins and it was so much fun together on Xbox Apps.
Dani - We have a bond that was formed in the trenches of hours on the road together and hardened with faith. I'm looking forward to many more burrito lunches.
Tara and Lindsay - My sisters in DPE! I'm constantly amazed at your understanding and ability to connect with students. Keep believing in yourself there is nothing you can't do. Andrew, Brian, Chris, Jim, Joe, Peter and Rachel - we grew up as TE's together before people even knew what Twitter was. No matter how much change came along you guys were the anchors and we always had each other’s backs. Never let the experiences and lessons we've learned fade away from the team.
Nora, Viv, Andrea, Rebecca, Niels, Erin, Susan, and Connie - we had so many great ideas, not all of them made it through, but you made the ride worthwhile! I couldn't have asked for a better marketing team.
Dan, Jim, Bill, Carlos, Bob, Scott and Mark - for creating such a fun place to work and helping me realize how much I love being a technical evangelist.
Brett - for being the best example of what a manager could be. You helped strengthen my belief in my career and to never stop growing. Even if that means taking a different path than I thought I would.
Jesse - You’re one of the brightest and charismatic people I know. You've kept me sane. It brings a smile to my face to see what a great Evangelist you have turned into.
Bill and Rob - I've learned a ton about community from you guys. Thank you for always being there and supporting me.
Fellow TE's - I was involved in so many of you coming to Microsoft and know how amazing you all are. Never underestimate the impact of what you do. You make a difference every day in the lives of developers.
I've almost certainly left others out you know who you are. Please reach out to me or on my new Blog if you ever want to catch up.
As to what's next? People leave companies for a variety of reasons and my story is no different. Microsoft is an amazing company with some of the best people I've ever worked with. The direction it has set up for itself will only solidify its place in the future. For me it was time to take the next step in my career, doing the job I love, with an even bigger opportunity for impact. I want to thank the communities I’ve been a part of, the people I’ve worked side by side with, and the leadership team that’s supported me through my career. I’m not going to say goodbye because I know we will all run into each other again.
I have gotten some really good feedback from you all on the article I wrote, and wanted to say thank you. =)
What's next? Well a Video of course! This will be an ongoing series with each video running 20 minutes or less. Nice digestible nuggets for your afternoon, kicking off with my session from Remix.
And now I introduce to you, UX in the Enterprise Part 1...