Ok, so I didn’t get to go to MIX, but we watched the keynote in the MTC boardroom this afternoon – it was almost like being there – no jet lag, no hangover, nice comfy leather seats, coffee on tap – ok, no point me trying to hide it I'm jealous of those that are in Vegas ;-)

If you haven't seen the keynote, it is well worth a watch – a 2 hour session which is packed full of announcements and new product details from Blend to Windows Azure (sorry, that was a close as A-Z as I could get). I was already aware of most of the announcements, but it is great to see how all the pieces fit together. Sessions like really allow you to take stock of where the technology is today and where it is moving to. In some respects it is kind of scary; I already feel left behind in the design space and we seem to be accelerating our level of innovation there. And we keep making it easier and easier to complex things – hard won skills become commonplace with new releases versions.

I’m sure that most Microsoft blogs will contain summaries of the session, so I’ll keep this brief.

Windows Azure: PHP, FastCGI (ok, I’m unashamedly a .Net guy, but I like the idea that more devs will be able to enjoy Azure), Full Trust for .Net and Geo Location. For more details:

  http://blogs.msdn.com/windowsazure/archive/2009/03/18/windows-azure-delivers-new-ctp-capabilities.aspx

Get details and the download link to the new SDK here:

http://blogs.msdn.com/jnak/archive/2009/03/18/now-available-march-ctp-of-the-windows-azure-tools-and-sdk.aspx

Blend 3: I was beyond Super Excited and almost reached a state of hyper-jazzed by Jon Harris’ ScetchFlow demo. A major part of what we do in the MTC is around user experience and this is really going to change the way we work.

http://channel9.msdn.com/shows/Continuum/First-Look-at-Expression-Blend-3/

Silverlight 3: Silverlight just gets cooler and cooler. The new streaming support and the free availability IIS Media Services (streaming support for IIS) are really going to lower the bar to entry to online video and raise the bar in terms for user experience. Out of browser support for Windows and Mac will add a new dimension to some POCs – guess we are going to need a Mac to demo on.

Expression Web 3: SuperPreview looks to be a very well thought out and needed feature of Expression Web.

Oh and as for DeepZoom and Playboy – well I guess it was only a matter of time.

For more details there is a write up of the keynote at:

http://visitmix.com/Opinions/MIX09-Live-Blog-2-Advancing-User-Experiences-Scott-Guthrie

But the actual video is well worth a watch.

Neil.