Keynotes - Major Announcements

I was busy writing up all of the announcements from the MIX keynote, but Josh Holmes has an extensive write-up on his blog that does a better job than I could have (I know because he was sitting next to me in the keynote). Some of the highlights are:

  • Expression Studio (Blend, Web, Design and Media) all are shipping

  • Silverlight 1.0 will ship this summer and includes all of the neat stuff announced at NAB

  • Silverlight 1.1 is available in Alpha form on - the major feature .NET code on the browser in all languages (see next item)

  • Welcome Ruby to the .NET Language family in the form of Iron Ruby, if you are running .NET on a Mac, that is an obvious choice.

  • Silverlight Streaming a new service “in the cloud” will allow you store store media on the Microsoft datacenters for free (in many cases). Video that will run in Silverlight will be the obvious first use.

Ray Ozzie and the Chief Architect Role

There was lots of good announcements at MIX07 and I can’t wait to dive into all of the bits and get to understand what we can do with them. But there was another theme that ran through the keynote that I would like to share with you and that was Ray Ozzie’s role as Chief Architect at Microsoft.

I was surprised when Ray mentioned that Mix07 was the first time that he had spoken before a developer audience at a Microsoft conference. Ray has held the title of Chief Software Architect for close to a year and has been very busy learning his job. He said that his focus is on Software and Services, which means a particular emphasis on the developer and designer audience. It is obvious that Ray is enjoying spending time working with the developer crowd, because he said “As you can tell, I am having a blast”.

“Of course I am living in the shadow of my predecessor” was another quote based on the question posed by Michael Arrington of Techcrunch. I appreciated the humility in his response, after all he is replacing one on the most well known people in the technology industry (my mother knows who Bill Gates is, but there are a lot of developers and architects who has never heard of Ray Ozzie). Bill Gates started a small software company and through his technology and business guidance made it one of the largest companies in the world. Those are big shoes to fill.

But Ray does not have to start a small software company and make it one of the largest companies in the world, that has been done. Ray only has to guide Microsoft through its next evolution - from a software company to a software and services company. He seems to be uniquely equipped to do that and you can see that the company is starting to re-tool and re-invent itself. Just look at the number of sessions at MIX that are focused on Windows Live.

I am sure that I will have lots more to share with you about Mix over the next couple of days. Stay tuned.