Over the years, the number of people who create some form of software has continued to increase.  Along with this, our focus at Microsoft has also changed to cater to the growing needs.  Today’s generation is seeking an easier way to build, customize and share experiences with their family and friends – to express themselves in creative ways through software. Visual Studio 2005 Express Editions was the first step in this direction.  Today, I am pleased to share the next step in our evolution - Microsoft Popfly!

Popfly is a tool and social network that provides a fun and easy way to build and share mash-ups, gadgets, Silverlight experiences, and Web pages using pre-built “Blocks” that connect to online services.   Consisting of two parts:

· Popfly Creator - a set of online visual tools for building Web pages and mashups

· Popfly Space - an online community of creators where you can host, share, rate, comment and even remix creations from other Popfly users.

Popfly not only provides easy ways to build your first mash-up in minutes and a  social community to share your creations, but also supports publishing creations to Windows Live Spaces, Typepad, any blog engine that supports the MetaWeblog API, and any site that supports <iframes>.  It is an easy way to start using Silverlight in your current websites.

In this first release, we are inviting a limited number of people as alpha testers, and plan to expand this shortly as we move into beta.  However, you can learn more about Popfly, join our Popfly community and sign up for the next release at http://www.popfly.com.

Popfly is another piece in our company-wide outreach in helping non-professional developers build everything from Xbox games to Robotics to custom Web applications using Windows Home Server. I know that my daughters are eager to get started on using this to do fun and cool stuff on the web.