Wednesday March 5th, Venetian Hotel, Las Vegas. Endless crowds are trying to get into the keynote room of MiX.

The first speaker is Ray Ozzie. As chief software architect of Microsoft, he talks about the overall strategy of Microsoft, providing a platform for consumer media applications as well as business applications over a variety of devices and the web.

Then the first announcement: We will provide what is called Microsoft SQL Server Data Services. Not to be confused with ADO.NET Data Services (Project "Astoria"), the SQL Server DS is an online storage service based on REST and SOAP webservices, which can be leveraged for your own applications. If you're interested in details see the session recording at visitmix.com, available for download later this week, or see Eugenio Pace's blog on this.

After that, Scott Guthrie, VP of developer division took over and started with an outlook to the future of web development with Microsoft:

One of these is the ASP.NET MVC framework, Dynamic Data Support as well as new AJAX extensions.

The next interesting announcement: The availability of Internet Explorer 8 Beta 1. You can already download it here! More details about new features to come on my blog.

Expression Studio 2 - is available as Beta version, with e.g. a great new Expression Web and Expression Blend for Silverlight 1.

To use Blend with Silverlight 2 a new version Expression Blend 2.5 March CTP is available.

Two other interesting announcements regarding Silverlight:

We are currently building a mobile version of Silverlight for use with Windows Mobile 6 devices. The first CTP will be available in Q2 2008 and...

Together with Nokia, Microsoft will provide versions of Silverlight for the Symbian powered devices Nokia S40 and S60 (no timeframe mentioned there).

So get back for the detailed postings on Silverlight 2 and IE 8.

If you are interested in sessions from mix, go to http://sessions.visitmix.com/