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The blogged wandering of Robert W. Anderson

When iPhone + Silverlight?

Onstage during his keynote at MIX08 yesterday, Scott Guthrie said they’ll be bringing Silverlight to “everything with an SDK”.  Yesterday, I suggested this was a dig at the iPhone with its lack of an SDK. 

Of course, that was yesterday and today we expected an announcement from Apple on the new SDK.  I also surmised that the SDK wouldn’t be deep enough for Silverlight, but reports are that I was wrong.

So, my guess is that Scott was hinting at Silverlight for the iPhone.


So, Scott, when we’ll we see it?

And Ray Ozzie, please get the Office Team onto .NET, specifically the Office Mobile Team onto Silverlight.

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ScottGu @ MIX08

This is the third of three posts on the MIX08 keynotes.  This is like live blogging without the live, since I’m writing this in Oakland.  You can follow my comments at

Scott Guthrie et al.image

Most of the discussion was on Silverlight 2.  This is the coolest thing Microsoft is doing in the Internet space and it is (happily) pervading a lot of their strategy. 


  • Silverlight 2, adaptive streaming very cool.
  • Advertising templates for Visual Studio.  Struck me as odd, but it looks good, and advertising is the corner stone of free.  I won’t be running out to try this one.
  • Double-click and Silverlight.  To keep “gold standard of reporting”, they support Silverlight for instream ad delivery.  Makes sense.

Silverlight 2

  • Silverlight 2 supports many languages (including JavaScript).  This is such a benefit to the .NET strategy that blows the doors off of Air and Java. 
  • Silverlight 2 built-in controls will truly accelerate Silverlight adoption.  New controls open-source with unit tests.  Very cool.

The Silverlight demos did not disappoint

  • Hard Rock International demo was really cool.  They showed deep zooming to incredible detail and zooming way out to see the entire collection, tiled.  Lots of Beatles stuff in there too.  Yay.
  • Aston Martin site cool too.  The number of options that a user can select.
  • Cirque de Soleil Human Resources system.  Custom built HR system.  This kind of application shows how IT can’t ever really be dead.  That is, one-size-fits-all HR systems don’t work where a company sees competitive advantage or reduced costs in custom systems. 

WPF Enhancements

  • Performance.
  • Better controls.
  • Write custom effect that can be pushed down to the GPU.

Silverlight Mobile

Windows Mobile and Non-Windows Mobile, but what does that mean?  Nokia Symbian, of course, but what else?  Scott says more and more devices.  In fact, he said,

Everything with an SDK. 

Is that a dig at the iPhone?  I wonder if the iPhone SDK when released will be deep enough to allow Silverlight.  My guess is no.

Anyway, good job Scott.  I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again.  The Microsoft .NET strategy really rocks.

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IE8 @ MIX08

This is the second of three posts on the MIX08 keynotes.  This is like live blogging without the live, since I’m writing this in Oakland.  You can follow my comments at

IE8, Dean Hachamovitch, GM IEimage

Focus on standards compliance.  This will be a great productivity boost for web-site developers.

1. CSS 2.1. 

  • Good. 

2. CSS cert. 

  • Funny that Microsoft is claiming that ambiguities in the specs make it hard to prove correctness.  They are correct, but it sounds a little like whining.  It also reminds me of the Server 2008 test. 
  • Test cases from Microsoft, good. 
  • IE 8 transition might be painful.  For users.

3. Performance.

  • Script performance. 

4. HTML 5.

  • Back button can work with AJAX.  This is a very big deal for improving the consistency of the browser user experience.   
  • Connection events in HTML 5 / DOM storage, re-connect, “make content available” later.  Cool.

5. new dev tools

  • Cool script debugger in IE8.  Looks like the developer toolbar has gotten much better. 

6. Activities

  • User activities added to browser by users (kind of like smart links). 
  • Activities are defined in XML.  Kind of cool, though I can see the browser becoming hard to use as a user adds a bunch of activities; however, that is up to them to manage.   
  • This format is the OpenService Format Specification.  Share/Share-alike spec.

7. WebSlices

  • Users can subscribe to parts of web-pages (driven by sites providing this as a service).  
  • This is the WebSlice Format Specification.  Public domain spec.

8. IE8, Beta 1 for developers

  • Released today.  Cool.  I will be checking this out.  At first in a VM.  I hope IE7 can live along side IE8.  Since they didn’t mention this, my guess is no.

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Ozzie @ MIX08

This is the first of three posts on the MIX08 keynotes.  This is like live blogging without the live, since I’m writing this in Oakland.image  You can follow my comments at

Ray Ozzie

Ray Ozzie opened the MIX08 conference keynotes talking about the overall Microsoft strategy.  He said all the right things about the transition to the cloud.   Talked about three principles (social device mesh, business, fabric of small pieces).  No surprises here. 

In the context of the world of connected systems, he said (paraphrased) . . .

Magic of software to bring them all together into . . .a mesh

I love the expression “the magic of software”.  Of course, we developers are not magicians, but when things are done right there is a real feeling of magic.  This is especially true when disparate systems begin working together through elegant and open standards.

He spent most of his time talking about 5 scenarios . . . here are some thoughts.

1. Connected devices

His vision of bringing your different devices together reminds me of the Blackberry Enterprise Server, but for consumer devices.

2. Connected entertainment

License media / collections (playlists) / subscriptions  once, use any device for playback.  This is kind of a holy grail, I think.  If this is managed through a SilverLight runtime we may have a hope that it is across devices.

3. Connected productivity

Office PC, Office Mobile, Office Live — seamlessly allow users to work across devices, using the right tool at the right time.  No info on licensing costs, or on the details of Office Mobile.  If the Mobile story requires Windows Mobile, then this isn’t so compelling.

4. Connected Business

Exchange in cloud.  Other services too.  Good.  Very good. 

5. Connected Development

Of course, .NET + Silverlight, Expression, . . . Good stuff.

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