Wednesday, April 13, 2011

MIX11 Day Two Keynote, Live Notes

P1000285Like yesterday, I am settled-in here at MIX11 to partake in the Day Two keynote. Unfortunately, my live note taking got cut short yesterday when my laptop decided to quit, but today I think we've got the battery to make the distance.

Yesterday was all HTML5, IE9, and re-cap of ASP.NET MVC stuff. Today, we expect Windows Phone and Silverlight. Let's see what happens…

Keynote Notes

Windows Phone

  • Joe B from the MSFT WP7 team is on stage to talk Windows Phone
    • Rough way to start. He's spending the first 10 minutes running through the excuses for why MSFT is having trouble updating WP7. We get it, you hit problems.
    • Excuses and stories finally done. Joe is now talking "Windows Phone Opportunities." Microsoft is giddy over the Gartner and IDC forecasts that pin Windows Phone as #2 in the future.
    • Now we've got the poor Head of Developer Experience from Nokia on stage to cheerlead Nokia's love of WP7. "We're totally excited about our partnerships" could not sound less sincere.
    • Back to Joe and overview of next update (codenamed Mango). "Today you can submit apps from 30 countries. This fall, there will be 36 countries." Yay…?
    • The app list on the next WP update is getting new features to help users find apps when many are installed. So…it's kinda like the Spotlight feature on iPhone…but only for your app list.
    • Adding something called "Search Extras" - essentially quick links to apps directly from search results.
    • More HTML5, now Day 2, and still no Silverlight talk. Going to show-off IE9 for Phone, which Joe claims uses the same browser engine as desktop IE9.
    • More impressive showcasing of IE9's focus on using hardware acceleration. IE9 on Phone definitely continues the theme of using hardware to give HTML5 more power. Side-by-side with today's iPhone and Android makes the benefit clear. BUT this browser is still 6 months from shipping…
    • Other cool features coming: Ring Tones, Deep Linking Live Tiles, Motion Sensor API, Multi-tasking
    • Angry Birds coming to Windows Phone on May 25. Biggest news of the day so far.
    • Introducing something called Live Agents to try to solve the problem of balancing the desire for running background code with keeping the phone fast for the user. The phone will handle scheduling of the live agent code execution to minimize impact on phone perf.
    • Tools that were demoed today (i.e. Mango) will be available next month to developers.

Joe is wrapping-up. Impressions so far: Virtually no Silverlight. No Windows Phone 8.

Development Tools for Windows Phone

  • ScottGu is on stage to talk about development tools for WP7 and experiences like games
    • Mango tools adding a new accelerometer support to the WP7 emulator. You get a 3D model of the phone you can "move" to simulate the accelerometer movement. Pretty cool.
    • Adding GPS emulation, too! The emulator can now automatically use fake GPS data with convenient tooling for specifying that data.
    • Adding Windows Phone Performance Analysis tools to Visual Studio. A tool that will essentially try to analyze your Phone apps and look for hotspot performance problems. Provides a large number of charts with captured data summaries (like framerate). Even goes as far as providing guidance for common problems. Seem like very useful tools for optimizing Phone apps.
    • Improving the Silverlight runtime in a few ways to make native perf better. Example: all user touch input now on a background thread so UI is always instantly responsive. Memory optimizations reduce memory footprints by about 30%.
    • Mango includes 1500+ new APIs and the full Silverlight 4 API feature set
    • Mango will ship with SQL CE for local database storage and LinqToSql (apparently) as an out-of-the-box ORM. The EF vs L2S debate rages forward…
    • Kik demo is painful. Sorry.
    • Mango will let you compose/combine Silverlight and XNA in the same app. No longer either or decision.
    • Best comedy moment of keynote: ScottGu's accidental super zoom on the crotch of his 3D student double. Big laughs.


  • FINALLY…ScotGu is transitioning to talk about Silverlight for the browser (cheers from the crowd for some Silverlight news). (10:26 AM for the on-demand video index.)
    • Just going over the Silverlight 5 features previously revealed at Firestarter
    • The new Blue Angels demo is not helping the Silverlight story. It's further pushing Silverlight in to the "plug-in" graphics niche and promoting HTML5 for the core experience. Cool site, though.
    • All Silverlight shown today is 3D, advanced video, media APIs - nothing LOB or "app" focused.
  • Bottom line, not a very exciting Silverlight segment. Major news will be the immediate availability of Silverlight 5 Beta.

So, no Windows Phone 8. Not much new for Silverlight 5. What did you think of today's keynote?


joelevi said...

Did you catch the "Developer's" ringtone Joe showed off? I made it! You can grab it here: