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Surface at MIX 08

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I was lucky to be part of the team that went to the Venetian in Las Vegas to demo Surface at MIX 08.  Demoing Surface is fun, interesting, and exhausting.  There were always attendees at the booth.  Between sessions it would get pretty crowded.  Also, this wasn’t a trade show with 100’s of booths.  It was just us and Mobile Devices for the 2000+ people to interact with during breaks.  I think 90% of the people I demoed to were already aware of Surface and had seen videos.  They still enjoyed the experience when they saw it in person.


The attendees had a lot of questions around developing for Surface.  Most were satisfied when they found out you can use WPF to develop Surface apps.  I pointed many to this blog.  Welcome!  I'll do a future blog post on how WPF ended up as the primary dev platform for Surface apps.


On the WPF front, the news that WPF 3.5 SP1 will include support for custom hardware shaders really made my day!  I'm anxiously awaiting the beta to play with this.


Since I'm better at taking pictures than writing (which isn't saying much about my photography skills), the rest of this post is mostly pictures.



On the flight out, I had a great view of Mt. Rainier:



Getting setup:

(those daylight balanced fluorescents combined with the incandescent lights everywhere else ensured that the colors would never come out on my photos J)



The Ali V show:




Fellow blogger Robert Levy (who was the most energetic of the demoers):









Tasneem – future YouTube star:



Dan caught in an old fashioned digicam standoff:






Jason (sorry, my only face shot of Jason has other peoples’ body parts throwing off the composition.  What can I say, he attracts a crowd.  He will have to remain a man of mystery for now.):



Stephen – He is one of our "Table Tech" people.  You can find him swooping in to help the demoers in distress:



Show is over.  Time to pack up.  Surface units are pretty rugged but the demo units have a lot of miles on them and more to come.  They get some extra treatment before being shipped to their next destination.


Betsy doing the road warrior thing – how many pieces of tech can you count here:



MIX also had a pretty elaborate Rock Band setup.  On Thursday there was a competition with the winners getting XBOX 360s.  Wisely, they didn’t let Microsoft people play (gotta keep us from goofing off.)  However the King got to play:



Here are the winners giving their winning performance.  I don’t know if she found a wing store nearby (for all I know there could even be more than one in Vegas) or this is something she carries with her just in case.  Either way, it was a nice touch!  Congrats!


Anyway, that was MIX from the Surface demo perspective.  Pretty soon the MIX breakout sessions and keynotes will be available online (including a talk on Surface design from our own Dan Makoski.)



  • Hey, that's surely an iPhone in Betsy's right hand, isn't it?! Always nice to see Microsoft folks using Apple products. :-)



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Surface at MIX 08