Wow, just wow, that's all I really need to say. MIX07 was insane, an absolute great time, and some fantastic new stuff coming out from Microsoft for the web. So what were the highlights, for me it came down to three things, first the announcements around Silverlight, second was all the great sharing we got to do about IE, and third, was meeting some fantastic people.
I didn't really get a chance to blog while I was at MIX this year, which I wish I had, but we were all so busy, attending sessions, hanging out, hearing what you had to say, eating drinking and being merry.
As Chris mentioned on the IE Blog, we didn't have anything to announce this year at MIX, we were there to listen, and provide some information. Chris's IE session was standing room only, and it went over well. He talked about some of the great features of IE7, but then moved into the things that we've learned about shipping IE, and what we need to deal with with future versions of IE.
The point Chris brought up as one of the hardest things to balance is application compatibility. Almost every time we change IE, the rendering engine or the DOM we cause an application to break. So how do we balance existing applications vs handling standards better? Chris brought up the idea that there may need to be some kind of new switch that makes IE behave in a specific way. If it's not there, you get one thing, if it is, you get something else.
Silverlight is awesome, to put it mildly. Imagine building super sweet, rich web applications using technology you already knew, like maybe C#. That's the whole idea behind Silverlight. It's a cross-browser(!), cross-platform(!) plug in for delivering the next generation of media experience and rich interactive applications. The beta that is out today doesn't have support for the C# yet, but there is an alpha out that does. The demo's that they showed just awed me.
The best place to check out is http://www.Silverlight.net. There are plenty of demos, samples and other stuff there that just kicks butt. The fact that you can get high def video streaming easily, is amazing. One of the keynote partners was Netflix, who showed their streaming video service in Silverlight. The player they use today is great, it works, but why install that when the only application that is going to use it is their player? I'd love the idea of multi-use applications, not something that is only used for one purpose. And because it's a dot net application, they were able to add a whole bunch of super cool features, like video sharing, so you can synchronize watching movies with your friends anywhere in the world.
One of the things I love most about conferences is getting the opportunity to meet developers and designers. The guys from Microsoft Canada planned a small party at Tao on Monday night, and a whole bunch of us (21 or so) ended up at Postrio for dinner. It was a fun dinner, and a good way to hear about the stuff they were working on. My friend Adam passed his camera around the table and there are a bunch of his photos are on Flickr
If you didn't make it to MIX, there are other ways you can participate! You can watch the sessions online, or if you're outside North America, there are going to be several ReMix events around the world coming up. I'll be at a few of them in June, so keep an eye here for more info!