No, these three items don't have anything to do with each other. And I hate to admit that I'm using a single blog post to call your attention to three distinctly different things. I feel like I'm breaking some unwritten blogger rule like: thou shalt not be lazy and roll-up multiple blog posts into one. I'm sure I'll get over it. On to the good stuff...
The first announcement is that we released a downloadable beta version of Windows Media Player 11 this morning. I really like that we've simplified the interface, and I was encouraged to try this: "...optimized to handle massive libraries of digital music—literally millions of tracks—so you can scroll, flip, and browse your way through your entire collection at high speed without skipping a beat." I've lost count, but my wife and I have built a collection of somewhere around 2,000+ CDs. Most solutions don't handle that many songs very well...especially over a network connection. Well, so far, Windows Media Player 11 has me pretty excited. I can quickly scroll through the album view, and it keeps up with me. Awesome! I also love the way the new search feature works, and it's quick. And although I haven't dug in to the audio fingerprinting feature yet, I'm pretty excited about the concept: "...now includes audio waveform matching that builds on existing media information features and precisely pinpoints the exact album information for your tracks." Check it out.
Second, we've released a beta version of our CodePlex site. Their summary describes it best: "CodePlex is an online software development environment for open and shared source developers to create, host and manage projects throughout the project lifecycle. It has been written from the ground up in C# using .NET 2.0 technology with Team Foundation Server on the back end." It's good to see the power of Team Foundation Server put to such a great use. The best part is that CodePlex is completely free. You'll also find an "Atlas" control toolkit, a command-line interface for Team Foundation Server, and IronPython. More information on Microsoft Watch.
Last, but certainly not least, you can win a real, full-size Namco Ms. Pac-Man/Galaga arcade machine! Who wouldn't want that!? Two of the best arcade games ever made, all in a single cabinet (actually, I hear that it also includes the original Pac-Man if you press up, up, up, down, down, down, left, right, left, right, left, start from the select screen). Visit http://www.upgradeyourgame.com for details. Yes, I always check the fine print. One of these days we'll forget to include the "Employees of Microsoft Corp...are not eligible to enter or win" verbiage. At least I can dream. In the meantime, I'll just keep playing with my mini Pac-Man and Galaga units. :-(
As promised, we've published all 52 MIX06 sessions online for your education and enjoyment. We'll be hosting them for free, for anyone (not just conference attendees). Here are some of the features:
Tip: to save yourself time and play back the presentations at a faster speed, right-click on the video, select Play Speed, then Fast. If you'd rather use the keyboard shortcut, make sure you click somewhere on the video frame first so that it's selected, then press Ctrl+Shift+G.
By the way, all 209 PDC05 sessions are still available online. We've extended the hosting for a little while, but we're not sure how much longer they'll be available, so check them out (or download them) while you can.
As always, we really appreciate your feedback. Bon appétit!
As of today (to coincide with WinHEC), the all-you-can-eat buffet of bits is open for business. Make sure you grab an extra large plate, because you're definitely going to need it. Don't forget to leave room for dessert!
As always, these are beta products, so you should not run them on production systems.
One last thing...now that IIS7 is available, you should check out the IIS site.
You've heard me blog about Expression Graphic Designer and Expression Interactive Designer in the past. Well, from the Mad Libs laboratory of product naming, I'm proud to announce the availability of another in the Expression ______ Designer series: Expression Web Designer. If you're a professional designer (or developer) building standards-based XHTML Web sites and applications, you should check out this tool. Expression Web Designer has strong support for CSS-based layout and formatting, ASP.NET 2.0 with server and user controls, "no code" data binding, integration with Visual Studio 2005 projects, and WYSIWYG XSLT design tools. This is not your father's FrontPage.
You can download Expression Web Designer CTP1 today (230MB).
Read more at Digital Media Designer, Computerworld, and internetnews.com.
We've extended hosting for the PDC05 post-show sessions through June 30, 2006. Hosting was originally scheduled to end on April 15, but because the information is still very relevant and useful, we've pushed everything out by two-and-a-half more months.
The PDC05 sessions represent over 250 hours of recorded video content, and I encourage you to download anything that you think might be useful. I've published a one-page list of titles to make it easy. Tell your friends and associates; I don't want them to be disappointed when July 1st rolls around.
And, if you didn't notice, we recently published videos of all 52 MIX06 sessions.