We had a Microsoft Expression pod at the Microsoft booth and spent most of the time talking about Expression Encoder 2. This was the first opportunity for many people to actually see the new version of Expression Encoder and in some cases, the first time for them to see Expression Encoder at all! All the Microsoft folks who were there did a sterling job over the many hours that they were there doing demos, talking to customers, solving problems and generally spreading the word about the products.

We did end-to-end demos of Encoder - what the workflow looks like from ingesting a video to the finished result of Silverlight video uploaded to the Silverlight Live Streaming service - as well as feature deep dives. One particularly popular feature is live encoding, where you essentially have a studio switcher on your computer, enabling you to stream a programme and switch between various live and pre-recorded sources (see screen capture below).

Expression Encoder 2 Live Encoding

Personally, I find these events great for two reasons:

  1. I get to see how people respond to who we think we should be talking about the product.
  2. I gain insights from real people about how they use products in the real world. There's nothing like a customer telling you to your face that you made a dumb decision by not doing XYZ to make it real.