Microsoft Showcases “The Next Web Now” at MIX06 Conference

LAS VEGAS — March 20, 2006 — This week at Microsoft Corp.’s MIX06 conference, Web designers, developers and decision-makers are exploring ways to harness the latest Web technologies to deliver better customer experiences. Hosted by Microsoft, MIX06 features participants from leading Web, media and design companies including Amazon.com Inc., Avenue A/Razorfish, BBC, eBay Inc., Fluid Inc., MySpace and RezN8 Productions Inc. Monday’s opening day keynote, “The Next Web Now,” featured Microsoft Chairman and Chief Software Architect Bill Gates discussing the myriad ways companies can use software to forge distinctively new types of customer connections, highlighting new technologies along the way that will change the face of business on the Web.

“As the Internet becomes an increasingly powerful way for companies to interact with customers, software and services provide almost unlimited opportunities to extend these interactions,” Gates said. “We’re here this week to talk about how software is transforming the way companies connect with their customers as they embrace a new generation of Web technologies.”

BBC and MySpace Experience the Benefits of Microsoft Web Technologies

Also today, social networking site MySpace — the second most trafficked site on the Internet — demonstrated the benefits of migrating to the Microsoft® Web platform, including Internet Information Services (IIS), Windows Server™ 2003 x64 Edition, SQL Server™ 2005 and ASP.NET 2.0. With more than 35 million visitors last month alone to MySpace, the scalability and reliability of the Microsoft Web platform has been instrumental in helping the site keep up with its incredible growth.

MySpace CTO Aber Whitcomb joined Gates on stage to demonstrate an implementation of MySpace using the new “Atlas” framework, the code name for Microsoft’s development framework for AJAX-style development.

“Our business depends on giving each of our 65 million registered members a unique and compelling user experience,” said Whitcomb. “Not only do we have to keep up with growth, but we need to create new and exciting connections with our members that keep them coming back.”

Also joining Gates on stage was Ashley Highfield, director of new media and technology for the BBC, who discussed the opportunities and challenges for media posed by the latest digital technology. Highfield demonstrated a prototype of a future version of the BBC’s current work in progress, Integrated Media Player (iMP), using the latest Windows Media® and Windows® Presentation Foundation technologies. iMP delivers high-quality television programs to viewers’ PCs, allowing them to watch shows concurrently with their broadcast or on a catch-up basis.

“Audience needs are changing — they want to consume media on their terms, anytime, anyplace, anyhow. If we want to stay relevant in the digital age, the BBC must respond to this challenge by some seriously good technological innovation, resulting in products like iMP, through partnerships such as this one with Microsoft,” said Highfield.

Web Developers Test Drive the Latest Microsoft Web Technologies

At MIX06, Microsoft will release the latest technology builds for key Web technologies, from “Atlas” to Internet Explorer 7. For example, Dean Hachamovitch, general manager of Internet Explorer at Microsoft, will demonstrate in his Monday keynote address the way in which new RSS functionality supported in Internet Explorer 7 called Simple List Extensions (SLE) can enrich customer experiences. Leading Web sites such as Amazon.com and eBay are creating SLE-enabled RSS feeds that will allow customers to manipulate and interact with RSS feeds of data in a much more interactive and seamless way. Other technologies showcased include the following:

  • Go-live license for “Atlas.” “Atlas” makes AJAX-style development easier and more accessible to a broader range of developers, while enabling developers to enrich existing ASP.NET 2.0 applications. The new go-live license gives developers the opportunity to take their “Atlas” applications into production.

  • Refresh of Internet Explorer 7 Beta 2 Preview. The latest in a series of Internet Explorer 7 builds will be released to the Windows XP technical community to encourage Web site and application developers to test their applications and sites with the new browser.

MIX06 attendees will also hear about a number of Web technologies and connection points, including Windows Presentation Foundation, “InfoCard” (the code name for a new technology in WinFX® that simplifies and improves the safety of accessing resources and sharing personal information on the Internet), Windows XP Media Center Edition, Xbox 360™, Windows Live™, Microsoft Office, Microsoft Expression and other emerging technologies.

The MIX06 conference runs through this week in Las Vegas. More information can be found online at http://blog.mix06.com/virtualmix.

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