Remarks by Ray Ozzie, Chief Software Architect, Dean Hachamovitch, General Manager Internet Explorer, and Scott Guthrie, Corporate Vice President, .NET Developer Division
March 5, 2008
RAY OZZIE: (Applause.) Thank you. Thank you. Good morning. Welcome to MIX. Welcome to Las Vegas. Terrific to be here. It’s been quite a year. On the flight down here from Redmond I was thinking about the broad range of products that we’ve shipped since we were here at the Venetian about a year ago. It was May of last year, the tools including Expression Studio V1, Visual Studio 2008. Languages — you know, IronRuby, IronPython, which I love. Runtimes such as Silverlight 1.0 and .NET framework 3.5
We’ve made a number of strategic investments since that time, investments in mobility, in services, of course in advertising. Some of the smaller size such as Screen Tonic, some much larger such as aQuantive.
And then there’s Yahoo. Although I can’t talk much about our proposed offer to buy Yahoo, I can say it’s already added some interesting twists to what promises to be a really, really exciting year ahead. We’ve got a lot on tap. Over the course of the next nine months, and progressively into the future, many of the software and services products that we’ve been developing for quite some time now will finally come to life. In fact, some of those investments will come alive this week, and you’ll see them in a few minutes, including Internet Explorer 8 and Silverlight 2, both of which I’m tremendously excited about.
As I look at the year ahead, I see MIX as the first of a number of key launch milestones. Kind of on a path, with a series of events culminating at PDC (Professional Developers Conference) this October, a path that will bring many of the key elements of our software plus services strategy from incubation to life.
You know, Microsoft has many products, many products, many services, we’ve made many announcements related to these things over the course of this past year. And it’s occurred to me that without being able to see the big picture as each one of these products is introduced, it might seem to you to be just a little bit random. So I thought I’d spend some time this morning just framing the big picture, to put things into context, including some of the things that you’ll see coming over the course of 2008.
There are really two distinct and important aspects of our all-up services strategy, both of them are critical to our success. The first is about the things that we do to deeply embrace advertising, which is the economic engine that powers the Web. The second is about how the Internet is reshaping and transforming Microsoft’s existing products and services across the board in all the markets that we serve.
In terms of advertising, it’s innovation in the experiences on the Web that provide the fuel for our ad-based economic engine. Even early on in the Web, it was content, commerce, and community properties that served as the key sources, the key drivers of user engagement.
Over time, content and commerce have been transformed by community innovations. As we link, tag, dig, and discuss things across the Web, together we’ve created a highly engaging world of social media and social commerce on the Net. And the reverse is all true: community on the Web and communications properties have been transformed by content. Social networks mashed together, photos and videos and music along with blogs, messaging, and other forms of group interaction.
This dramatic software-based innovation in content, commerce, and community, this innovative kind of recombination of the DNA of the Web has resulted in greater and greater and greater user engagement. And it’s exactly this innovation-driven growth in user engagement that’s turned advertising into such an incredible economic force in our industry.
With online advertising projected to grow from $40 billion today to $80 billion over the next three years, advertising is going to continue to be the primary way that we and you monetize services and apps of all kinds of the Web. And so in terms of strategically what is Microsoft’s role in advertising on the Web, the answer is, in short, to do our part and to use the resources that we have to ensure that there’s a vibrant advertising ecosystem on the Web based on a highly competitive ad platform that’s attractive to advertisers, publishers, and developers alike.
In order to ensure the health of that ad platform, we’re significantly investing in search and also in content, commerce, and community innovation. All of this works to attract and grow a highly engaged, well-targetable audience for advertisers. And if you wondered why we’re so interested in Yahoo, its creative people and its interesting properties, I hope this makes it a little bit clearer.
That’s how we view our role on the Web with respect to advertising, but in terms of our overall services strategy, how is the Web impacting Microsoft? How is the Internet reshaping and transforming Microsoft’s existing products and services across all our markets?
Before laying out what we’re doing in each of our major product areas, I think it’ll probably help if you understand the three core principles that we’re using to drive the reconceptualization of our software so as to embrace this world of services that we live in.
The first of these three principles certainly isn’t going to be a surprise to anybody in this room, and it’s simply that we need to think of the Web as a hub, the hub of our social experiences, our social mesh, the hub of our technology experiences, our device mesh. Related to the social mesh, we believe that the interpersonal nature of the Web will ultimately impact everything we do, including the personal aspect of the PC. In scenarios ranging from productivity to media and entertainment, all applications — ours and yours — will incorporate the group-forming aspect of the Web: linking, sharing, ranking, tagging on the Web will become as familiar to all of us as file, edit, and view on the PC.
Related to the device mesh, this first principle also recognizes that we’re living in a world where the number and diversity of devices is on the rise. From phones and PCs to smart TVs, DVRs, media centers, game consoles, digital picture frames, pocket media players, digital cameras and camcorders, recently, home servers, car entertainment and navigation systems — the list just goes on and on and on and it grows every CES. Until we believe that the quaint concept that we’ve kind of grown up with of one PC, of my computer, will give way to the notion of a personal collection of connected devices brought together by the Web. At the principle level, we believe that the Web will be used across all our offerings as a hub to simplify your life in managing and using a world of devices.
So our first principle spoke to the fundamental changes impacting the individual, the social mesh, the device mesh. Our second principle is focused really more on business and in providing the power of choice as the enterprise moves to embrace the cloud. Most major enterprises are, today, in the early stages of what will be a very, very significant transition from the use of dedicated application servers to the use of virtualization and commodity hardware for consolidating apps on computing grids and storage grids within their data center. This trend will accelerate as apps are progressively refactored, horizontally refactored to make use of this new virtualization-powered utility computing model. A model that will span from the enterprise data center, and ultimately, into the cloud.
This utility computing model will reshape enterprise infrastructures such as e-mail, communications, content management, databases. And it will also, as a result, reshape enterprise applications and solutions. All our software will be significantly refactored to provide a level of symmetry between enterprise-based software, partner-hosted services, and services in the cloud.
The power of server-service symmetry, the power of choice will enable IT to best leverage the skills of its key personnel and it will provide tremendous flexibility in developing, migrating, operating, and managing systems that are distributed and federated between the enterprise data center and the Internet cloud.
So that’s the second principle: the power of choice in the enterprise. As part of that principle, I mentioned the need to rethink and refactor applications for this new world, which really brings me to my third principle which — well, to coin David Weinberger, it stresses that for developers, we need to embrace a world of small pieces loosely joined, that is a fabric of software and service componentry that spans from the cloud at one extreme to a world of devices at the other.
As you developers in this audience are well aware, application design patterns at both the front-end and the backend are transitioning from being tightly coupled systems with program components being closely interlocked with one another, like the pieces in a puzzle, toward being loosely federated — or loosely coupled compositions and loose federations of cooperating systems.
As you’ve heard me say repeatedly, before I joined Microsoft, most recently when I announced the interoperability principles that will guide Microsoft’s work, in today’s world of loosely coupled systems, transparency, standards, and interoperability are key. At the front end, lightweight REST-based technologies have become ubiquitous, RSS and atom feeds are used as lightweight cues and channels between services across the web.
Declarative languages such as XAML are enabling us to rapidly repurpose and recombine UI components into new concepts and new apps. Many of those new apps are now needing to extend beyond the browser or beyond the PC. Users are beginning to expect rich, integrated experiences that are seamlessly delivered across the Web, the PC, and the phone — their entire mesh of devices. Not just Web apps that are ported to a PC or a phone, but instead actually take advantage of the unique strength of each platform. This new multi-device UI environment now requires a host of new front-end development skills.
At the backend, new skills are also required as developers are finding the need to embrace new programming models, new design patterns such as map reduce, models that are more appropriate for the cloud. This cloud-based environment consists of vast arrays of commodity computers with storage and software being spread across just hundreds of thousands of computers, very, very broadly for reasons of performance and scale and redundancy.
Over the next five years, the way we write code on the back end, the way we deploy it across a grid, the way we debug it remotely, the way we maintain it and service it will be fundamentally transformed by our progressive shift to this utility computing model in the cloud.
So those are really the three principles, the principles that we’re using to reshape all our offerings for individuals, for businesses, and for developers and designers. And so how are our products going to be impacted by these principles? Let me just get concrete. What I’m going to do is talk for a few minutes about specific offerings in five major groupings, services scenarios that span the full breadth of our business: connected devices, connected entertainment, connected productivity, connected business, and connected development.
First, connected devices: If you recall, my first principle talked about the fact that each one of us finds ourselves juggling the management of more and more PCs and other devices in our homes and in our lives. What’s particularly fascinating to me is that, increasingly, many of these devices are becoming Internet-connected and Internet-aware at birth.
This gives us the unique opportunity to use the magic of software to bring them all together into your own personal device mesh with the Web as a hub. Just imagine, if you will, that unified device management will enable your devices to report into a common service for status, for help, to report their location.
Just imagine the possibilities enabled by centralized configuration and personalization and remote control of all your devices from just about anywhere. Just imagine the convenience of unified data management, the transparent synchronization of files, folders, documents, and media. The bi-directional synchronization of arbitrary feeds of all kinds across your devices and the Web, a kind of universal file synch.
Just imagine the possibilities of unified application management across the device mesh, centralized, Web-based deployment of device-based applications. Imagine an app platform that’s cognizant of all of your devices. Now, as it so happens, we’ve had a team at Microsoft working on this specific scenario for some time now, starting with the PC and focused on the question of how we might make life so much easier for individuals if we just brought together all your PCs into a seamless mesh, for users, for developers, using the Web as a hub.
Before you know it, you in this audience are going to have the option of being the first to try out an early technology preview of this simple but incredibly useful new software and service. As this product emerges just over the horizon, I think you’ll find it to be quite intriguing and key in delivering upon a compelling vision of a personal device mesh and of connected devices.
The second scenario we’re working on at Microsoft revolves around the notion of connected entertainment. Building upon this same vision of the device mesh, it’s our aspiration that individuals will only need to license their media once, to organize their subscriptions and collections once, and to use any of their devices to access and enjoy their media, whether on the Web, on the go, in the living room, on the desktop.
And building upon something else I talked about earlier, our vision of the social mesh, we envision each individual having a media-centric or gaming-centric Web presence through which they can express their tastes, interests and affinities. Through which they can interact with others by linking and sharing and ranking and tagging and messaging and notification.
As many of you are already well aware, this vision is being realized today through our progressive enhancements to Xbox live for gaming, through Zune.net and the Zune social for media. Moving forward, more and more and more of our media and entertainment services across Xbox, Zune, and MSN, and across experiences such as Microsoft TV, Media Room, and Media Center will be progressively transformed by this connected entertainment vision.
The third scenario that we’re working on is focused on the concept of connected productivity. For Microsoft, productivity at its core means Office for the PC, Office Mobile for the phone, and Office Live for the Web. Through all three of these offerings, we’ll deliver productivity experiences that allow individuals to seamlessly enjoy the benefits of the rich dynamic editing of the PC; the mobility, note-taking and capture capabilities of the phone; and the work-anywhere ubiquity of the Internet all connected into a seamless experience using the Web more or less as an experience hub.
Office Live will extend PC-based Office scenarios into the social mesh, expanding the classic notion of personal productivity into the realm of the interpersonal, again, through social mechanisms such as the linking, sharing, and tagging of documents. We’ve begun to realize this vision with Office Live Workspace, which went into broad, public beta just yesterday. I very much look forward to giving you more specifics of where Office Live is going, and of its central role as the hub of our connected productivity strategy as we meet again over the course of 2008.
Above all, this entire strategy is focused on serving the individual, the individual’s productivity needs. But we’re also bringing it to market in the form of SharePoint and Exchange and Office Communication Server, delivering connected productivity scenarios to individuals within the enterprise.
The fourth scenario that I talked about that we’re working on is focused on just that, the enterprise, in the form of something that I refer to as “connected business.” Over the past few years, services for business have caught on in the realm of CRM and CRM-derived rapid solution platforms. Small companies in particular are now enjoying many of the capabilities that, in the past, were only available to enterprises, and we’re tremendously excited by the reception for both Dynamics CRM Live and Office Live Small Business, services currently in use by more than half a million small businesses worldwide.
So the greatest impact that services will have on business will most likely not come from these rapid solution environments, as valuable as they are, but rather, it’s going to come from the inevitable shift toward utility computing within the enterprise.
As I said earlier when discussing the three principles, we believe in providing enterprises with the power of choice as they move to embrace utility computing in their data centers, and ultimately utility computing in the cloud. In the past year, we’ve made great strides in realizing our vision in this area. At the lowest level, at the operating environment, our vision of utility computing within the data center is being realized today through Windows Server 2008 and Hyper-V and through System Center products including Virtual Machine Manager.
Over the course of 2008, I look forward to sharing more specifics related to how these platform-level investments will help our enterprise customers and all developers embrace utility computing in the cloud. Much higher in the stack at the level of what we call finished services all the way up at the top, our online business services just released into open beta this past Monday give organizations the choice of running Exchange, SharePoint or Office Communication Server as on-premises servers, or as services in the cloud. IT’s option. At the level of building-block services, services from which those online business services are constructed, last June we introduced BizTalk Services, which are building block services for app integration that include identity and relay and work flow.
Right here at MIX, we’re introducing for the first time what will be another one of our key building block services: the beta of our SQL Server Data Services. I encourage you to attend Nigel Ellis’s session being held tomorrow to get a taste for these services, which are high-scale database services that will bring the benefits of SQL Server for developers into the cloud.
And that leads me to my fifth and final scenario which revolves around the notion of connected development. Earlier, I spoke about the increase in need for platforms and tools that spans symmetrically on the back end from the data center into the cloud and spans seamlessly on the front end from the browser to the PC to the phone. We’re realizing this connected development vision through our .NET family of runtimes, including .NET Framework and Silverlight and supported by Expressions Studio for designers and Visual Studio for developers.
The vision is being realized today, literally today, through a lot of what you’re going to hear Scott Guthrie talk about in just a moment, and I’ll leave it to Scott to really expand much further on the connected development scenarios and to talk about the specifics of our plans and offerings.
You know, today I’ve spend some time framing the big picture of our all-up services strategy, that Microsoft views the Web through the lens of innovation in content, commerce, and community, and that we’re investing in search and ads to foster a healthy and highly competitive advertising ecosystem on the Web. I’ve also mapped out how the Internet has fundamentally transformed our software and services across the board, and you’re going to see this come to light more and more and more over the course of 2008.
Last year, I came here to introduce you to Silverlight. I told you about its potential to change the game for media, video, and rich Internet applications on the Web. This year, you’ll see that we’re delivering on that potential. With a better understanding of our strategies, of our platform and tools, with a little bit of an understanding about our upcoming offerings and how they fit into the big picture, I hope you’ll find that coming to MIX and coming to Vegas was a worthwhile experience.
I know today that you have many amazing technology choices available to you. But I’d like you to be on us, because together I think we can create extraordinary experiences that combine the power of the Internet with the magic of software across a world of devices.
So now I’d like to bring up Scott Guthrie, corporate vice president in our developer division for some amazing demos. The guy is really an amazing demo’er, and for some great surprises. Thank you very much. Scott? (Applause.)
SCOTT GUTHRIE: (Applause.) Well thanks, folks. It’s great to be back here again at MIX. We have an action-packed morning ahead of us and a ton of great content you’re going to see over the next couple days.
This morning, we’re going to cover four things: First, we’re going to talk about standards-based Web development, some of the exciting things we’re doing there, and then we’re going to drill into Silverlight, and specifically, cover some media-rich Internet applications and mobile scenarios.
First we’ll talk about the Web. Just last week, we had the largest developer launch event in Microsoft’s history. Around the globe, we had about 250,000 people attend launch events to learn more about a number of products that we’re launching, and a number of great Web development technologies.
We added a lot more support for CSS, both with the new Visual Studio 2008 Web Designer, as well as within ASP.NET with some of the new server controls. And we also took some big steps forward with data access through a new set of language extensions we call LINQ that makes it much easier to query and work with any type of data.
Last week we also shipped IIS7, which is probably the most significant Web release of our Web server that we’ve ever done. It adds tons of new features specific for hosting, lots of new features that make deployment and administration much better, and lots of rich, new extensibility opportunities that integrate with .NET. And best of all, both IIS7 and the .NET framework are built into Windows Server 2008 for you to take advantage of.
Later this year, we’re going to be shipping a number of extensions that build on top of this platform we just shipped. We’re going to be shipping a new model-view controller framework for ASP.NET that allows you to have complete control over the HTML markup that’s submitted, as well as allow you to publish exactly the URLs that you want within your Web site. It also enables a very clean, test-driven development work flow for you to take advantage of.
We’re also going to be shipping an update to our ASP.NET AJAX set, as well as introduce a new dynamic data framework for ASP.NET that allows you to build data-driven Web applications much, much easier. We have breakout sessions on all of these technologies here at MIX, and also preview releases are now available for you to go ahead and download.
This week, we’re also then going to be talking about our new version of Internet Explorer, and to kind of show it publicly for the very first time, I’d like to introduce Dean Hachamovitch, who runs the IE team, to show us in action what it can do. So with that, I’d like to invite Dean. (Music, applause.)
Dean Hachamovitch’s Remarks
DEAN HACHAMOVITCH: Thanks, Scott, thank you. Good morning. I am incredibly excited to be here today to introduce Internet Explorer 8. I’m so excited that I had to figure out how to focus. And I went to the marketing guys and they said three things, three things. And I said — these are developers. They can count higher than three. And then I thought, you know, it’s IE8, so we’re going to talk about eight things.
Before I start in on those eight, let’s go back to when we just started planning IE7. Now, back then, security was the key focus. And at the time, my kids would hear news about a Web — you know, just not working the way it should because of some security issues. And they’d ask me, “Daddy, did you guys break the Web?” And most of the time I could honestly say, “No.” But, you know, Web developers might answer that question a little bit differently. The question about, you know, does the Web work the way it should. And that’s not because of security but because of interoperability, because of making things work well across different browsers.
Now, for all that we did in IE7 around security and user experience, there’s more that we can do for developers because developers are the people who spend their time building the Web all of us use. What devs want to do is deliver amazing experiences, but what developers end up doing is spending too much of their scarce time just getting basic things to work. You know, why does this page work in this browser but not that browser? Or why is this performance so different? Why doesn’t this page work the way it should?
The Web gets better when developers can spend less time working through interoperability issues and more time innovating. And with that outcome in mind, we started work on IE8. Now, because I didn’t pick three, to make it easier to follow along today, I want to go through the eight topics.
All right. So CSS 2.1. We’re working to deliver CSS 2.1 support in the final IE8 product. We’re going to talk about the contribution and commitments that were — that we have around the W3C certification test for CSS 2.1. We’re going to talk about performance. We’re going to talk about the start of HTML 5 support in IE. We’re going to talk about new developer tools. Six and seven are just two examples of how developers can build innovative experiences that reach beyond their site, and activities are how developers can integrate their Web sites into the rest of the Web, and Web slices enable developers to reach beyond their pages and deliver directly to their users the content that they care about the most.
Now the last one, I’ll come back to at the end. So we’ve got lots to cover, let’s get going. All right. CSS 2.1 support, why? Well, today differences between browsers simply waste too much developer time. Real-world interoperability begins with CSS support. The core of our approach to interoperability is standards, and the question is which to choose. I mean, go to the W3C site and read, right? And read about the 68 active working groups — and that’s just the W3C.
So we start with CSS 2.1 because we think it’s the one that’s going to have the biggest impact. And we took the CSS second hand and we wrote a new component. Let’s see it in action.
Okay. Here I am in Firefox and I’ve got a Web page that I’ve authored with standards in mind, good CSS, and it looks pretty good. I’ll come over here to Safari and you’ll see that it looks the same. Not a big surprise. Now, I’ll go over to IE7 and show the same content and, you know, there are some issues. Anyone who’s coded CSS I think should recognize some of these issues, margin.
Now, let’s go over and see how IE8 shows this page. Now, this is going to be the first time IE8 is seen in public. And I can’t think of a better crowd to see it render a Web page interoperably and the same as the other guys.
Now, there are a lot of other things in IE8 that we’re not going to talk about today, things for the end user, things all over — but today we’re really focusing on this interoperability. Now, the key here is that we’re only part way done now, and there’s more to come. Again, the final product.
Now, I want to talk about the second challenge, the second topic, the certification test. Now, our goal of full compliance has challenges. Interoperability has many, many enemies. There are ambiguities, there are differences in interpretation, and sometimes the spec itself actually falls short of interoperability. If you look at that last parser at the end, it says the browsers can use any other algorithm — this is for a table layout — even if it results in different behavior.
Now, that’s not the interoperability that developers want. So until we standardize how all of us test standards compliance, no one can really tell what anyone has done. We need a comprehensive test suite for CSS 2.1, one that’s certified how complete and how correct any browser is on standards support, consistently and objectively. And to this end, we’ve contributed 702 test cases to the W3C CSS working group for the W3C test suite. These are being made available under the BSD license, which is the license that the W3C CSS working group has proposed using for the rest of its test cases, and we’ve also made these test cases available for developer comments and feedback both on MSDN and on the W3C’s mailing list, because we want to make sure we’re interpreting the standards the same way that developers are.
Now, there’s another challenge, and that challenge is the legacy Web. So if I come back over here, you’ll see IE7 and this is a page from 2002. And it looks great in IE7 because it takes into account how IE7 actually works. Now, when I go and I look at the same content — you know, pay attention, right? We’ve got these menus down the side, and this is what the page looks like. When I look at it over here in Firefox, it’s not quite the same page at all. It was the same content that was authored with IE7 peculiarities in mind in Firefox.
Now, when I look at that page in Safari, you’ll see that it looks just the same way it does in Firefox, the same content working interoperably, not necessarily the way the developer wanted it to in these browsers. Now, when I go to IE8, you’re going to see the same thing. So IE8 functions that same way. Now, the point here is that there’s content on the Web which operates with IE7 behaviors in mind, and that same content doesn’t always work the way you expect it to work in more standards-compliant browsers like IE8.
Now, earlier this week, we announced that following our interoperability principles, IE8, by default, would interpret Web content in the most standards-compliant way that it can. And long term, we believe this is the right thing for the Web. Shorter term, this choice creates a clear call to action for site developers to make sure the content that you serve to IE works well.
So if you come over here to this tab, you’ll see here’s the exact same content in IE8 rendered in IE8’s compatible with IE7 mode. Now, which of these two modes I use is completely under the developer’s control, and you can read more about this on the IE developer center. And you’ll also notice that for the beta, we’ve added an IE7 emulation button so the developers can have a good experience when they’re browsing other people’s sites.
All right. Now let’s talk about performance, number three. Modern, rich, interactive sites rely heavily on script, and we heard from developers that they needed significantly better performance in IE8. And we all know that assessing performance is hard. I mean, we’ve got a very impressive graph up here. We know that it’s hard. There are differences from machine to machine, from run to run, from benchmark to benchmark. So what do we have here? Well, the most important thing to take away from these graphs of some of these industry benchmarks is that we’ve made good progress. You can see that the IE8 column towards the right that represent elapsed times are much less than IE7 and much closer to the other browser’s times.
Now, it’s not the final product, so by definition we’re not done. But actually what’s more important than any microbenchmark is real developer feedback from a real-world site. And here’s what the Gmail guys have to say about their experience with IE8’s improved script performance.
Let’s talk about HTML 5. Let’s talk about the start of HTML 5 support in IE. Today’s AJAX-style Web is good, but it has limitations. So here’s a site in IE7 and I’m on this page, I’m on the site now, I can click into the travel blog and you can see that I can zoom in and zoom in and zoom in. And when I hit the back button, I get a somewhat jarring experience because the back button doesn’t really work all that well with AJAX. And as a developer, I kind of understand what’s going on, but as an end user, that really doesn’t make sense.
Let’s see how it works in IE8 with support for HTML 5 cache functionality implemented. I’ll come over here to my mini blog and I will filter just to see the things about San Diego and San Francisco, and then I’ll zoom in twice. And when I hit the back button it’ll zoom right back out, and then I can see different posts, just like before. (Applause.)
Now, the point here is not just that developers can make the back button work, although that is a good thing, but that for the end user, the experience of AJAX is smooth and works the way they expect it to.
Now, I love wireless, I love connectivity, but I can never tell when I’m going to lose it. So here I am blogging. I’m going to create a new post. It’s always fun to watch people type in these things, right? So I’m going to type: “Hello from the show in Vegas.” Uh- oh — and this is the part of the demo that I love — hey, guys, can you yank the network cable? We actually brought somebody down from Redmond to do that, by the way. (Laughter.) So they yank the network cable, and you’ll see that the page could respond and the page could intelligently warn the user, “Check your network connectivity.” And that’s because we support connection events in HTML 5 from HTML 5.
You’ll also notice that the post button became the save button. And this is really helpful because IE8 supports HTML 5 SAN storage, so now this page can save content locally, and the next time it’s connected intelligently, reconnects and makes that content available. (Applause.)
All right. So this is the part of the demo where I say, “Could you put the network cable back in?” We’re going to wait a minute, we’re going to let them put the network cable back in and I’m going to introduce developer tools.
Now, developers and designers, professionals and amateurs, need great tools in the browser. And this isn’t just about convenience, but it’s about visibility into why the browser acts the way it does. So let’s come over here to a part of my site that’s under construction.
Now, we heard you that browser differences mean the debugging of one browser isn’t equivalent to debugging in another and integrated tools are important. So let’s see some integrated tools in action. This is my site, let’s look at these thumbnails, and some script has busted somewhere here. And that pink color is probably not what I really had in mind. So let’s see what happens.
I can bring up the developer tools and I can debug script, let me go ahead, start debugging. And I’ll scroll down here, and I will set a break point, which is a lot of fun to do. And then I can click around this page and do different things, and eventually when I click there, I will stop at the correct part of the script. (Applause.)
Now, I know you’ve all seen debuggers before, but you haven’t seen this one. So, I just want to remind you, in case you have any doubts, that you can add a watch if you’d like, and you can reset the break points, and there’s an immediate window, and you can type stuff in, and that’s very important.
Now, the next thing I really want to do is I want to take care of this pink text, because I know that that’s just not right.
Now, I can look through all of my sources, but my sources don’t tell me how IE is parsing the page and why it’s treating the page this way. So, what I can do is actually select part of the page right there, and figure out where this text lands in the object model. I can see, okay, it’s in here, it’s in this, and then I can actually see the style information that IE is working from. This is important because even as scripts modify the page, my developer tool helps me understand what’s happening live.
Now, the tools here, right, make it easier to understand how different styles apply to an element. This style pane groups the information by the rules.
But my issue here is that I’m not worried about the rule, I’m worried about the property, I’m worried about the color. I can hunt and peck through all these rules, but it’s going to take a long time, and it’s not very much fun.
So, I’d like to trace the styles, and I’d like to figure out why I ended up with the end results I got. I can group these by property, and I can scroll down and discover that that color is actually fuchsia — something I didn’t know — and that I can open it up and understand, ah, that’s where that came from, instead of having to hunt and peck through all the different CSS I have. And I can experiment, and I can uncheck it and see, yep, that’s the rule that I need to take care of. (Applause.)
All right. Now let me talk about activities. Today, users manually stitch together sites they visit, for example, this photo of the month page, with the services they use. So, I’m looking at this image, and I’m reading along, and there is an address, and I’d like to get a map of it. There is a link, and I want to understand what my friends in StumbleUpon, or what anyone in StumbleUpon thinks about that link. This feature is so cool that I want to go and buy the lens, because I know that if I own that lens, I’ll take pictures just like this.
The problem is that today I end up selecting and copying and opening up a new tab, and that’s just a pain.
So, here’s the user experience in IE. I can select the text, and I get an activity indicator, and I click it, and it shows me a bunch of services. I can just go to Live Maps, and actually get a map of that address. (Applause.) And it’s live, which is pretty good.
I can come over here, and I don’t have to wait for the activity indicator, I can right-click and I can see what our partners at StumbleUpon did, they wrote an activity, and I can see reviews of the site before I go there in place.
Now, finally, I really want to buy this lens, but I don’t want to pay full price, so let’s see what we can do. Yep, okay, so they do sell it, and it’s good to see these previews. Let me go over to that eBay page.
All right, now, how did all that work? Well, for the user it was easy. Users are in control of what services appear in their browser, and there’s no need to install more code or an add-on or anything like that.
Now, for a developer it’s also very easy. They write a little bit of XML. Let’s see if we can bring that up. Basically, as they bring it up, this is the activity XML, and you can see that eBay essentially filled in a form. So, there’s a standard description of how an activity works, and eBay just has to fill in the parts in orange that are unique to their site.
Is this hard, is this easy, does it take them a lot of time? Well, if you ask them, and we did, because we enjoy developer feedback, you’ll see that it took them — if we advance the slide — you’ll see that it took them not very long at all to get a working prototype, and to actually deliver the service. Now, a lot of that has to do with how great they are, but in general developers won’t have a lot of challenge or a lot of difficulty making this work.
Today, Microsoft is making the Open Service Format specifications available under the Microsoft Open Specification Promise, and the Creative Comments Attribution Share Alike License. We’ve also made samples available, and we’re taking feedback on the spec.
All right, let me go back to the demo, and show you Web Slices in action.
So, here I am, and I know that I want to buy this lens. The thing is that when I get involved in this auction, I just want to keep going back, I want to keep going back. Now, what’s the pattern here? Today, Web sites have information that users want to keep an eye on, and this eBay auction is a great example of it. I want to know when it changes, I want to keep in touch with it no matter where I am on the Web. In IE 8 users can subscribe to parts of Web pages.
So, I’ll come down over here, and I’ll hover, and I’ll see an indicator, and I can click it. It will offer user confirmation, do you want to subscribe to a Web site, to a slice of this page, and it will go up over here into the Favorites bar. When I click “add,” if you look up over there, you’ll see that I get a tile that gleams in, and shows me that there’s information available. When I click it, I’ll see just the part of the page that eBay thought would be interesting for the user there. It’s great because I can see everything that I need to know about this auction. I can place a bid, I’ve got live links, and this is just great. This will be available to me anywhere I go on the Web as I browse around.
Now, I’ve been up here for a while, and I don’t know what’s going on with all my Facebook friends, so I think I’d better check.
I’ll come up over here, and I’ll type Facebook. Here I am on Facebook checking things out. It’s good to know where Joshua Allen is eating. You can see that if I’m interested in getting status updates, I can hover and get an indicator. It will also make them available on the main toolbar. So, I can click here, and again subscribe to a Web Slice and add it up to the favorites bar, and now I’ll always have my Facebook status updates ready and available to me wherever I go on the Web. (Applause.)
Okay. So, I can see what’s going on with my Facebook friends and with eBay. Now, the question is, how did they do it? Now, the site developer, if we switch over the slide, added just a little bit of markup, and what you can see here is the original code on their page, which is in white, and the parts that they have to enter in orange. So, again it’s very simple, very lightweight markup, no add-ins, no code, no complexity, no need to create an RSS feed.
Now, today Microsoft is making the Web Slice format specification available under the Microsoft Open Specification Promise, and it’s dedicating copyright in the specification to the public domain, using the Creative Comments Public Domain Dedication. We’ve also published the samples, and are taking feedback on the specifications.
Activities and Web Slices are two examples of how developers can easily built innovative experiences that reach beyond their site.
Now, earlier I said that the Web gets better when developers can spend less time working through interoperability issues, and more time innovating. Looking at these seven, you can see where we focus on enabling both interoperability and innovation.
Now, this list is not exhaustive. There is a lot more to IE8 that you’ll find online and that you’ll find at the hands-on labs here. There is also a lot more to come.
Now, some of these seven have got a clear call to action, like giving feedback on our CSS test suite, test cases, or feedback on activities and Web Slices specs. Now, others, like feedback on performance or actually writing an activity or marking up the Web Slice, are harder without real code in your hands.
And that brings me to number eight. Today, I am pleased to tell you beta 1 for developers is available after the keynote. (Applause.)
Please try it out. The developer tools, writing an activity, creating your first Web Slice, please try it out.
Thanks for your time. (Applause.)
Scott Guthrie’s Remarks and Demos
SCOTT GUTHRIE: Well, I’m going to switch gears a little bit and now talk a little bit about Silverlight.
Now, six months ago, we shipped the first version of Silverlight, we called Silverlight 1.0, and Silverlight 1.0 was very much focused on enabling media scenarios in a cross-platform, cross-browser way on the Web.
Over the last couple of months we’ve seen a lot of great sites go live with it and do some really innovative things with it. So, I thought just to kick things off a little bit as we start talking about Silverlight to show a quick peek at some of those sites that have gone live, and some of the things they’re doing.
SCOTT GUTHRIE: Now, one of the challenges of launching a new browser plug-in is getting deployment, and having it so that as a Web developer you can just depend on it being there already installed in the browser.
Now, our strategy with Silverlight 1.0 has been to basically partner with a lot of great sites that are delivering great content, as well as to deliver first party content using Microsoft.com and MSN to help drive deployment. As you get more interesting content, deployments obviously go ahead and accelerate.
Over the last couple of months since we’ve launched, we’ve basically seen a steady increase in the number of downloads of Silverlight each day, as more sites go live, and we expect to see that continue over the months ahead.
Right now I’m pleased to announce that we’ve reached a point where we’re downloading and installing about 1.5 million installations of Silverlight each day. That rate again is accelerating nicely, and over the months ahead, as more and more sites come out, and specifically as we start rolling out our new Silverlight 2 version, which not only enables media scenarios but also Rich Internet Applications, as well as mobile scenarios, we expect to see that accelerate further.
Over the next couple of days you’re going to hear a lot more about Silverlight 2, and I’m going to spend the remainder of my keynote talking about it, and showing off some of the things that you can do with it.
One of the things I wanted to announce upfront though that we’re pretty excited to announce is that effective today, Silverlight 2 beta 1 is available for download. (Applause.) You’re going to see it enables a whole bunch of really cool scenarios.
Now, with Silverlight 2 we focused our effort really kind of on three different spaces. One is on the media — continue to enhance the media capabilities that Silverlight has. You’re going to see some great features there.
We’re then entering the Rich Internet Application space and really let you build powerful applications. You’re going to see a lot of great stuff there.
And then we’re also enabling Silverlight to run not just on Mac and Windows and Linux boxes, but also on mobile devices, and we’re going to finish up the keynote showing off some of the capabilities that you can do there.
To start off with, though, let’s go ahead and drill into the media space. Now, obviously with Silverlight 1.0 we spent a lot of time focusing on media and on delivering high quality, high-definition video on the Web.
With Silverlight 2, we’re kind of extending that further in three different dimensions. One is improving the user experience when watching high-definition video even further. The second is on improving TCO (Total Cost of Operations) for delivering video. And the third one is offering monetization opportunities so that you can integrate ads into your site and into your Silverlight applications.
Let’s just walk through kind of a common scenario in terms of where we talk about kind of video experience, and some of the challenges that people have today when watching video, specifically high-definition video on the Web.
We’ve probably all been here where you go to a video site, you see a great video you want to watch, you click it, and the first thing it asks you or prompts you for is what bit rate do you want to watch it at.
Now, a lot of people in this room might know what a bit rate is. This sort of fails on my base “Mom Test”, which is she has no idea how many kilobits per second her connection to her home gets, or what type of link that she should go ahead and click.
This also from my perspective fails another test, which is if you’re at an event like this in a hotel full of people with laptops that are all actively downloading things on the Internet, you really have no idea what type of bandwidth connectivity you’re going to be able to get in your hotel room at any particular point in time. And if you click the wrong link, or if the network drops off suddenly as everyone downloads something, you’re going to get a fairly suboptimal experience as you end up buffering that video. This is true for all different types of video scenarios on the Web.
One of the things that we’re doing with Silverlight 2 is integrating a feature we call adaptive streaming. What adaptive streaming does is it basically allows Silverlight on the client side to look at what the capabilities of the client is in terms of like CPU, as well as what the network bandwidth looks like from the client to the target device. Basically it can automatically pick the appropriate bit rate encoding to use as you start playing your video, and even better yet, as the bandwidth adjusts or as your CPU on your system adjusts, it can automatically switch between bit rates. So, for example, if the network gets congested, it can drop down to a lower bit rate. If it comes back up, it can bring it back up, without the end user actually having to take any actions, without having buffering, and by having a very seamless user experience. The end result is a much more powerful scenario.
Let’s walk through kind of a simple scenario here where you can see a video that we’re watching. You can see we’re transmitting at about 2,000 bits per second. Our network drops off. Notice how Silverlight automatically adjusted the bit rate to go down. Once the network came back, it went up to the high quality. We drop back down as the network conks out, and then again when it recovers it can automatically recover.
You don’t need to write any code in order to specifically adjust for that, and Silverlight can take advantage of adaptively switching on the fly for you without an end user having to take any action.
With Silverlight 2we’re basically looking to enable you to plug in any type of adaptive streaming algorithm you want into the system, so you can integrate it with any content provider out there on the Internet.
One of the examples that I’m in particular excited to talk about today is Move Networks. If you’re not familiar with Move Networks, they basically provide, are one of the premier online media delivery content providers. They power Disney, ABC, Fox, Televisa. If you’ve ever seen “Lost” or “Gray’s Anatomy”, you’re running using Move Networks’ Adaptive Streaming technology.
Today, I’m excited to announce plans for a strategic partnership between Move Networks and Microsoft to enable deep integration of Move Networks’ Adaptive Streaming technology with the Silverlight client. That’s going to provide great media experience to the more than 30 million people already using Move Networks, and really power and deliver next generation media experiences.
With Silverlight 2 on the media side we’re not just focusing on the user experience, we’re also focusing on how do you deliver that user experience in a cost-effective way. So, if you’re downloading a lot of video, specifically high-definition video, it can cost a lot of money on the back-end.
Specifically we’re focusing on improving TCO in both streaming, as well as progressive download scenarios.
Last week, as part of the Windows Server 2008 launch, we also launched our Windows Media Services 2008 release. This basically is a big step forward for Windows Media Services, more than doubles its already existing scalability, and clearly establishes it as a leader in terms of streaming scalability on the Internet.
It’s a very approachable price point; it’s free. You can basically download it and run it on any Windows Server 2008 system.
And better yet, it’s integrated into the content delivery networks already on the Web, and has a very proven track record for industrial reliability. If you’ve heard about the Olympics being hosted using Silverlight, one of the key reasons was because of the scalability and the proven reliability that Windows Media Services has.
We’re also focusing then in this timeframe on enabling better TCO for progressive download scenarios as well. So, if you’ve ever been to YouTube, the way it works is you basically download a video directly from a Web Server without actually doing live streaming or on-demand streaming through the client.
The great thing about that Web Service scenario is it’s super easy to set up and very easy to go ahead and configure. The challenge, though, is you’ve got to think about the bandwidth. Specifically if you think about the typical user watching a video, on average they end up closing the video at least 50 percent of the time before they’re even a third or 50 percent through watching the video.
So, if you to that in a typical Web server scenario, the Web server is going to, as soon as the request comes in, try to send down as much payload as possible as quickly as possible to the client, and if the client ends up canceling it before the end, you basically pay for a whole bunch of content that was never watched by your end users.
So, what we’re doing with Silverlight and with the IIS 7 Media Pack that we shipped last week is to basically enable you to very easily inside your Web server admin tool — so this is the IIS7 admin tool — basically set up for any file type extension a bit rate throttler. So, you can effectively say for this Windows media content I want to go ahead and send down a burst of content as quickly as possible to the client when they click it so that they can see an immediate video-playing experience, but after, for example, 10 seconds of video being sent down, I’m going to throttle the remaining download to only stay 10 seconds ahead of where the end user is actually watching the video.
The benefit, of course, is as you start downloading video, you’re not going to see a huge gap between the Web server and the client, and if the user closes the browser, you’re only basically paying for 10 seconds of video that wasn’t watched.
So, super easy to set up, you can just copy your videos up on your Web server, and now you can save up to 50 or 60 percent of your overall bandwidth costs in terms of hosting.
What’s nice about both the streaming server as well as the bitrate throttler is that they’re built-in and run on top of Windows Server 2008, and they’re available completely for free for you to do video hosting.
Now, so I mentioned improving the user experience, improving TCO. The third thing that we’re focusing a lot on with Silverlight as a whole is offering better business opportunities for you; so specifically ways that you can go ahead and integrate advertising or other monetization models that you want into your sites and into the experiences that you build, and at the end of the day hopefully put money in your pockets and be able to monetize the hard work that you’re doing when you’re building your sites.
To kind of show off kind of how easy it is to integrate advertising into your sites, I’d like to invite Jon Harris on stage to walk us through a demo in terms of what you can do with Silverlight and our tools with it. Thanks, Jon. (Applause.)
Silverlight & Tools Demo
JON HARRIS: So for the next few minutes, we’re going to be walking through some rich advertising scenarios around Silverlight concentrating on a number of key areas, basically how to create these scenarios, how to manage them, how to deploy them, and how to track them. We’re going to start out by actually building a rich banner ad, and we’re basically going to try to speed that up a little bit because we’re going to give you a sneak peek of a new Silverlight ad template within Visual Studio.
Let’s just sort of dive in here and have a look at what we’ve got in terms of the normal window. One of the really nice things about this ad template is it’s actually based on the normal advertising standards that you get on the Internet today. So I’m going to open that up, it’s literally just a wizard. So I’m going to step through this. My first choice here is, what sort of ads do we want? Well, I want a display ad, in page expandable, we’re going to give it a size of 728 by 90, and then we just click through the rest of the options here. Now what sort of behavior do I want? Well, actually I want this banner to extend out over the HTML page, and below, so I choose below. And then finally how do you want to trigger this? So I’m just going to use simple mouseover. Obviously, being Silverlight, I want to have some really nice video in this overlay as well. The final thing we need to do is just decide how big we want the overlay to actually be. The video we actually want to play in there. Let’s choose a Halo ad, we’re going to build a Halo 3 advertisement in this section. And then finally whether I want to include tracking or not. I’m actually going to track this advert with Atlas Ad Manager a little bit later, so absolutely I want to turn that on. Hit okay, and now we get this base project opening up here.
I get sort of given the pages that I want to start off with, and you can see automatically I’ve got a lot of animation in there by default. This is how the banner is going to animate down over the page. That’s created for me. Also, I’ve got a default video player, again, a lot of the hard sort of underground work is done by the template. If we sort of dig into the code behind here, we can also see that all of the tracking information is added as well as all the mouse interactions as well. Let’s just see what this looks like. Obviously there’s going to be no graphics in here yet, but it will give you a flavor of what we’re doing with the template. So there’s the size of my advertisement, it looks good. It looks about the right size for a banner. As I roll over this, we get the nice animation there, we get the video playing through, and it’s a really solid sort of foundation now to actually build the finished ad from.
Now, being a designer, I actually want to make this look good as well. So we’re actually going to move over to Expression Blends to make this happen. I’ve got the same project open in Blends, just added a few graphics to help me actually finish off the project. And the really nice thing about Blends is it actually uses exactly the same projects and file formats as Visual Studio, which basically means the workflow between the developer and the designer is totally seamless. Let’s just quickly finish off this ad. There’s the ad in its closed state. We’re just basically going to drag out a JPEG for the background there, position it roughly in the right place. I want to animate these clouds, give them a little bit of a swirl. So we’re just going to come down to my storyboard as my clouds spin, you can see I’ve already started the animation, I just need to finish that off. So I’m just going to drag that out to around 2 seconds, and we’ll just give that a little swirl like so and play that back. Very subtle, just how I like my advertising, nice and subtle. That’s good.
The final thing we need to do is actually finish of the expanded sort of look at the banner. Again, I’m just going to come in here and see how far we’ve got. Let’s just playback this animation. We can see we’ve got the nice animation there still. We’ve got the default space for the video to play back, we’ve added some text, and buttons, and things like that. I need to finish it off by adding a new background, and in this case I’m actually going to add a second video, again just to try and make it pop out from the page a bit more.
So let’s just see what we’ve got here now that we’ve done some work in Expression Blends. So here comes the advert, sneak peek there, you can see we have the nice animation as you roll over that. It’s actually the same as that original template, very smooth sort of animation, and great quality video there. So now basically with Silverlight, Visual Studio, and Expression Studio, we’ve got this really solid platform for building out these rich advertising scenarios.
I’ve got the ad, now what? How do I deploy this ad, and how do I track this ad? Well, we’re actually going to deploy this ad through an application called Video.show, here it is. If you have not come across Video.show before, this is actually one of our software plus services blueprint applications. You can download all of the code for this application from CodePlex today. One of the nice things is, this has already been downloaded thousands of times, and it’s driving great video experiences at South-by-Southwest, and Learning.org over in the UK. It’s already being highly utilized there. These Silverlight advertisements can basically be served up from any ad serving platform, but in this particular example we’re using our very own Atlas Ad Manager to serve up and actually track the ads.
Let’s just sort of dig behind the scenes here, and see what Ad Manager is actually doing for me. Immediately you can see it’s got a very streamlined user interface. It’s also got a very flexible architecture as well that really allows the ad publishers to sort of maximize their revenue with their advertisements. If we dig in a little bit deeper, this is where I actually uploaded my Halo 3 advert, you can see it immediately picks up it’s being built using this new Silverlight advertising template. The other thing that was automatically picked up was all of the tracking information I actually wanted to include in the advert as well. So, again, really kind of streamlines the creation of these ads.
Probably one of the most important screens for the ad publisher, though, is the report screen. This is a customized screen for this particular advert, and we’re tracking a number of different things. We’re tracking, obviously, the number of impressions of the advert, but more importantly we’re tracking the amount of engagement that our end users are actually having with the advert, have they hovered over the advert, have they hovered over the video, have they watched some of the video, have they watched half or all of the video. All that sort of information allows Ad Manager to really make sort of informed decisions over whether the campaign is being successful or not.
Let’s go back to Video.show. So we’ve got that great advert that we saw designed by a great designer, and then in the middle here we’ve got some video content. Now I’m actually already monetizing all of this video content. And let me just show you how we’re doing that. I’m just going to hit play on this video, and I don’t get the video. I get an advert. But obviously I’m just going to skip past this advert, and I can’t fast forward, I can’t rewind, I can’t do anything. It’s locked into the stream. So for 15 seconds I watch the ad, then I get my content. This is actually being served, all of the adverts and all of the content here is actually being served by IIS 7, one of the new features that Scott just mentioned, Web Play list. Now I’m a nice kind of guy, and I actually want people to be able to skip past the adverts occasionally, you don’t always want to watch them. So we’re going to come down here in to the play list options, and we’ll just go through here and just click on that, and we can see immediately that my Halo 3 ad campaign skip forward is set default. Let’s just edit that. I just need to uncheck those check boxes, hit supply, then we’ll come back to Video.show, and this very next person that comes to the Video.show Web site, when it reloads in a second, the very next person that comes along, when they hit play, the great news is, they can skip through the advert there and just get straight to the content. Again, for the ad publisher, it’s fantastic, because they have total control over how their ads are going to be played back, and they don’t have to write any code to make this happen.
What we’ve looked at there is very linear advertising, much like watching a TV channel, you see an advert, you watch some content. How about if you wanted to do some different kinds of advertising, maybe doing overlay type adverts. Overlay adverts are fantastic when you’ve got the right advert in the right context, and to do those sorts of adverts you need total control over the placement of those advertisements. Let’s look at a couple of scenarios where we can actually build those out. And to do that, we’ve moved into Encoder 2. I’ve already loaded up my video that I want to try and make some money off here, and down below that I’ve got a number of script marker points. These are great, these are visual markers to allow me to dynamically load in advertising as the video plays. So essentially the video plays through here, it hits the first marker, the advert loads in, the advert plays, and then the advert unloads. And because this is visual, again, the ad publisher can get to exactly the right points in the video to load and unload the ads.
We’re actually going to go for a slightly different scenario, we’re going to burn the advert into the video in this scenario. And the way we’re going to do that is, I’m going to choose my overlay option.
I’m just going to load in some XAML to actually overlay over the video. That’s one of the great new things with Encoder 2, you can use bitmaps for your overlays, you can use alpha-encoded video, and now you can use XAML as well. So we’ll add in a XAML now, we can see it’s actually on the timeline here. Let’s just stretch that out so it fills up the full frame of the video. And one of the really sort of cool things about that, as I scrub that, you can see it actually animated XAML, which is even better for me as a designer because I can do some really great stuff. If I hit play, I’m going to play that back, the advert is going to pop up, it looks great. So the really nice thing about this, it’s the same XAML, the same XAML that I use in my desktop WPF (Windows Presentation Foundation) applications, the same XAML as I used in my Silverlight Web applications, I can now use exactly that same XAML in these rich sort of advertising overlays as well.
So we’ve literally just scratched the surface of what’s possible in Encoder 2, but hopefully you can see, we can really speed up your workflow when you’re creating these rich advertising scenarios.
With that, I’d like to hand it back to Scott.
SCOTT GUTHRIE: As you can see we’ve spent a lot of time focusing on kind of how can we provide you the extensibility hook, so that you can integrate experiences and advertising together, however it works best for your particular business. Obviously there are lots of different ad vendors out there on the Internet to choose from, and we want to make sure that obviously you can use not just Microsoft’s ad offering, but also other offerings, as well.
And one of the questions a few people have asked me recently is, there’s hypothetically one very large ad provider in particular out there, that probably most people have heard of, and how can I integrate that with Silverlight, what are the different ways and mechanisms you can use to enable that. And so actually I’m very pleased to announce to invite Ari Paparo, who is the Vice President of Advertising Products at DoubleClick, on stage to talk about how you can do that with Silverlight.
DoubleClick Silverlight Demo
ARI PAPARO: Thanks, Scott. Thanks, Microsoft, for having me. As many of you know, DoubleClick and Microsoft compete on a lot of fronts, but at the same time we cooperate, and we have one thing that we’re very much in common in our thinking, which is the need to support media companies and publishers with engaging video experiences. So what I’m here to announce, and I’m pretty excited about, is DoubleClick’s support for Silverlight 2, for our DoubleClick In-Stream product, which is a product that allows publishers to serve, track, forecast, and report on in-stream video advertisements.
The reason why we’re building support of this, and I’m going to demonstrate some code, is essentially that in order for our metric to be the basis on which people buy and sell things, they’re audited, it goes through a very lengthy process to make sure that they’re kind of the gold standard of reporting. So it’s very important that we have our code that goes through that whole process that allows our clients to rely on it. So that’s kind of what I’m going to show you, and I’m also going to show you developers can use it to create pretty exciting experiences.
So what we’ve got here is a site from a common client, so the NBA is a DoubleClick client for selling ads, and they’ve adopted Silverlight. So it’s a good example. And what we’ve got here is a pretty simple pre-roll ad. So I click on the video player, and now I’m seeing a pre-roll ad, and we wired it up just for demonstration purposes to show a trace window that allows us to see what’s happening here, so mid-point, pause, play, mute, et cetera. So now what I’m going to show you is how we did this, and how it relates to the DoubleClick In-Stream product.
So going over to Visual Studio, we have the DoubleClick SDK, and what it essentially does is it lets you instantiate the Dark Shell. So the Dark Shell is our code that, like I said, has gone through that whole process. The implementation is meant to be as compatible as possible with the operations of major publishers. So it takes an ad tag. Anyone who has ever worked on a Web page that has ads on it knows what an ad tag is. It’s a URL that has certain parameters in it that says what different targeting criteria to use.
So basically this a plain old URL that fits directly into the ad operations of major clients. It loads the ad, and then what’s interesting, I think, is that it has different callbacks. So this allows both us to record the events that we need to record, to give a really great array of reporting metrics to the advertising buyer, so they know about those impressions, both the mid-point, pause, mute, et cetera, but also for the developer to be able to say, I want to do something when the video starts, I want to do something when the video restarts, because often in these immersion environments the content on the sides, the play lists, the different user experiences change a little bit as the video plays.
So the example I like to give is that if a user pauses or mutes your video, you can put up a big overlay that says, hey, don’t mute our video, this is how we pay the bills. But, you can just imagine a lot of really exciting ways to deal with that.
So what I’m going to do is just create put a little stop here, and we’ll see it live running. So publish the page, when the user clicks play to play the video we got an ad back, and then we got to this point where we were at, the video start event being defined, and you can see it’s live code.
You can step through it, you can see all the variables, it’s pretty friendly. And specifically when I set those callbacks in that tracing window that we saw, the way that works was that you have different handlers, so the video OnVideoPauseEvent, for example, is just defined as a function that you can ad whatever code you’d like to, and then you can essentially play it, and instead of a trace event in a real life environment you could ad whatever code you want.
So in sum this is a pretty exciting area for us. We’re going to continue to be investing in the Silverlight platform. This will be available some time in Q2. And I’m happy to talk to any of you over the next day or so about what we’re doing, and how we’re supporting this moving forward.
So, once again, thank you very much for having me, and I appreciate your time. (Applause.)
SCOTT GUTHRIE: So as you can see, we spent a lot of time with Silverlight 2 focusing on the user experience, focusing on providing usability to deliver that kind of video experience with the best CTO possible. And then being able to integrate advertising however you want, with whoever you want, in order to monetize that.
NBC Olympics.com Silverlight Demo
Now we’re seeing, again, some of the incremental features. I thought it would be great to actually put them all together and show off what I think is going to be the biggest video online media experience of all time later this summer, which is the Olympics. So I’m very happy to invite Perkins Miller, who is the Senior Vice President of NBC sports and the Olympics, to show off for the very first time what the NBC Olympics.com site is going to look like. (Applause.)
PERKINS MILLER: Thanks, Scott.
SCOTT GUTHRIE: Thanks.
PERKINS MILLER: Great to see you. Hello, everybody, good morning. I am thrilled to be here. My name is Perkins Miller, and I work for the Sports and Olympics Group for NBC. I want to introduce Matthew Rechs here from Schematic, he’s a partner of ours, along with Microsoft and Silverlight, in building this project we have before us in 2008.
Now, as Scott was suggesting, this is going to be a major, major media event, and I’ll tell you it’s going to be terrific, and I am terrified, and for probably some good reason. We have 150 days to go as of right now until the start of the Olympics on August 8th in Beijing, China. It’s going to be a massive, massive celebration. On the broadcast channels of NBC you’ll see about 1,200 hours across five different network channels. So we’re committing to do what we do best, which is deliver it the best way that we can across the broadest airwaves.
Now, for a long time NBC has been focused on the digital space, as well, with NBC Olympics.com, but for this year we’re doing something that has never been done, and I think it’s the most ambitious project online that’s ever been attempted, which is the terrifying part. And we’ll be putting 2,200 hours live online for 17 days, to support the Olympics. There are 25 sports, there are 2,200 hours, for 17 days. We’re going to then take those 2,200 hours live, we’re going to take the broadcast coverage that we had of the game, and we’re going to re-rack and entire amount of content and make it available to you VOD (Video on Demand).
So you’re going to be able to go online, and you’re going to be able to consume video how you want it, and when you want it. And honestly, that’s what took us to Microsoft, and took us to Silverlight. When we were evaluating how could we solve for his major problem, which was this tremendous amount of content, 2,200 hours, just so significant it’s really kind of hard to digest.
So how can we take that volume of content, which we know is going to be tremendous, and how can we make it accessible to customers, how can we make that experience, that we know the consumer wants, when they want it, how they want it, how can we deliver that, that’s where Silverlight came in, because they can enable us to deliver this video in a way that is interactive. People are going to it’s going to be a dynamic, immersive experience. People are going to touch the video, touch data, consume the content in ways that they are going to direct.
So that was a critical, critical aspect for us. The second component was video delivery. So if any of you know NBC, we are committed to delivering high quality video content, so it’s not as if we could shirk our responsibilities and deliver you video that was grainy at 100k. So that was another critical aspect. So the two things of marrying the data, and delivering the high quality video was our sort of mission in establishing a partnership with Microsoft and Silverlight.
So right now I’m going to go to NBC Olympics.com, and show you how we’re going to do this, or at least how we envision it. Now, remember, some of this information is we’re using clips from a previous Olympics. So this is not going to be something we forecast happening, but it will be exciting nevertheless, I hope.
So right now you come to NBC Olympics.com, and you’ll click on a link, or click on a video highlight. In this case we’ll take a look at maybe a USA-Lithuania basketball game. Now, here’s a tremendously high quality clip. I mean, just the fact that you’re looking at basketball, this is Olympics sports never having been streamed live ever before. And the most important thing is, you’ll be able to connect with the data.
So here you’ll be able to if you don’t know who Lebron James is you’re going to be able to go read his athlete biography. If you don’t know who some of the other athletes on the Lithuanian side are, you’ll be able to read their biographies. You’ll be able to go look at the statistics. You’ll be able to consume any piece of data that we’ve assigned around this video, to give you more context, to connect you more with the experience.
And one of the most incredible things is that we’ll have expert commentary that will go along with it. So in case you’re not a big basketball fan, you want to find out what happened, or why these guys are shooting from outside this big circle in front of the net, we’ll be able to deliver you that expert commentary.
Now, probably while I’ve been talking here I’ve missed something, so I’ve missed a Lebron James dunk. So the fantastic thing you’ll be able to do is you as a user will be able to go and rewind, and review the play you just missed. So this is just an incredible feature. (Applause.) So now you’ve experienced what the kind of interactive, you’re engaged, you’re consuming, you’re rewinding, you’re connected to this immersive experience.
Now let’s say you want to take a step back, you want to relax, you want to go from the six inch experience maybe to the three-foot experience. So here is a way for you to get the big picture. Now, this is a 16 by 9, sit back, enjoy the Olympics experience. This is high quality video. This is something that we feel is a companion to our NBC broadcast. Now, by the way, we’re never going to shirk our obligations on the data, though. That is what’s critical. You can always still be in touch. So you’re going to be engaged. You’re going to find out what’s happening at any given moment.
Now, 17 days, 2,200 hours, 35 sports, and there’s something happening every second. So an alert will come up, and this alert will tell you, for example, that there’s some gymnastics coverage going on. So now we’re going to go see how Martina is doing, she’s having a great time. So I’m a big gymnastics fan, and I love to watch the full routines, the tumbling exercises are remarkable. But, my wife is even more passionate about this than I am.
So I’m going to go share this with her. I’m going to go in, I’m going to put her e-mail address in and send her a direct link to this clip. She’s going to be able to go into this and watch this experience, just as I’ve been watching this experience. So this is a way we’re going to connect communities across the Internet like has never been done before, with the Olympics video.
So let’s say that we wanted to look at more content that’s out there. So with 2,200 hours, 34 sports, it’s everywhere. So I want to go discover now what other sports are going on now. So Silverlight enables me to discover. And here’s a way that we’ve created an environment for you to navigate. So let’s say I want to go look at team sports. I happen to be a big baseball fan. So I want to go see what’s happening in the world of baseball at this very moment.
Now, I’m able to go in, look in the index at six live video clips here, I’m going to choose one, and because it’s maybe the bottom of the fourth there’s really nothing happening, and I’m still going to watch gymnastics, I’m going to go back to gymnastics, and I’m going to do picture-in-picture in this window. Now, this is a remarkable thing for me. I mean, this is absolutely tremendous, because this is what you experience on your home television. This is something you learn to maybe adapt to, but now we’re going to deliver this to you online, as well. So it’s a really great example of this interactivity that we’ll be able to build into what we’re working on.
Now, live is really where it’s at for, though, when it comes to consumption of the sports for those true, true sports fans, who want to see it happening when it’s happening. So I’m a huge track and field fan, as well. So we have an example here of the 110 meter hurdles. When we show you the live video though, we’re not just giving you one stream to look at, we’re going to give you four, so you can look at what’s happening right at the starting block, and then we’re going to give you images, three of them on the right hand side to allow you to go select, and choose, and dive into the content as you want to consume it. So you can then take this image, if you wanted to, and again, go drive it through a picture-in-picture environment.
Now, let’s say that I’m not so much of a crazy Olympics fan. I want to see what other people are watching. So this is an example where we’re going to use Silverlight technology to create an engaging environment to show you what other people are watching. So let’s say that you want to know what (Nadia Lucan ?) is doing today, or you wanted to know what the top 10 videos of the moment are today, this is a way to navigate to what is most popular, what’s been determined by the community of people watching the Olympics to them at any given moment.
Now, of course, I happen to be a big Michael Phelps fan, you can tell I’m a fan of everything Olympics. So I’m going to watch Michael Phelps play. Now, I’m also on a business site, so we’re going to watch a brief commercial. Now, you’ve watched a tremendous amount of Olympic content, but we’re going to give you an opportunity to hear from one of our sponsors, one of our partners, in this case Direct TV. It’s seamless, it’s integrated, it’s not intrusive in any way. So now here you have it. We’re sitting back, it gives me the most popular clip of the day. We hope this is going to be Michael Phelps, perhaps, winning his seventh gold medal at the Olympic Games, a tremendous experience.
So thank you guys very much. I can’t tell you how excited I am about this partnership with Silverlight, working with Schematic, with Scott’s team. This is a tremendous opportunity, 150 days from today we’re going to take on the Olympics in Beijing, China, with 2,200 hours of content, with the athletic partnership of Silverlight. Their team has built a dynamic application that is tremendously engaging. It allows consumers to view content when they want it, and how they want it like never before. So I’m tremendously excited.
So thank you very much, and I appreciate it. (Applause.)
Silverlight 2: Optimized for Rich Internet Applications
SCOTT GUTHRIE: So pretty amazing kind of video experience, and something I think a lot of people are going to be looking forward to, obviously, this summer. Now, Silverlight 2 delivers much more than just media scenarios. Silverlight 2 now includes a cross-browser, cross-platform version of the .NET framework, specifically optimized for rich Internet application scenarios. So let’s talk a little bit about kind of what those RIA capabilities are, and some of the cool things you can build with them.
Silverlight 2 also includes a rich WPF UI framework. This is a subset of the full WPF UI framework that we ship on the desktop, as part of the .NET framework today. And what this gives you is a really rich way to use controls, to build your sites. It provides advance features like layout management, so that as you resize your pages, or resize your Silverlight controls, it can automatically adapt and modify the layout of the content within it, and give you a flow layout. It includes data mining support, so that you can enable rich data scenarios, rich binding scenarios with a model view container separation. It also includes a very rich skinning, styling, and animation system, that allows you to customize exactly what the applications look like, and do some really great stuff with them.
It includes a very robust networking stack. We support REST, we support SOAP, we support WS, we support standard HTP endpoints that you can call from the client to the server. We also support cross-domain networking. You don’t have to just call back to your origin server, you can also call service on the Net. We also build in support for sockets. You can do socket-level programming within Silverlight on the client, as well.
We have integrated data support. As I mentioned, we have data binding for UI controls, we also have built in support for LINQ, our data querying and capabilities that we provided as part of .NET 3.5. We also have a local cache or store, that you can cache data on the client across browser sessions.
Silverlight 2, as you’ll probably see in a couple of the demos is very, very fast, and really delivers what we think is the best possible performance for building RIA solutions. And best of all, all the features in Silverlight 2, including both the media support that you’ve already seen, as well as all of the .NET framework support that I’m talking about here, plus a few other bells and whistles, fit in a very small download.
Beta one is a 4.3 megabyte download, and it takes between 6 and 10 seconds to install on a clean machine. It does not require the .NET framework to be installed previously. You can just take a vanilla Mac, or a vanilla Windows machine, and you’re good to go. We’re also, obviously, partnering with Novell to provide a Linux implementation of Silverlight 2, as well, that you can go ahead and download and use. We think the combination offers a kind of power.
I mentioned the WPF UI framework, and I mentioned controls, and one of the things that, if you look at Silverlight 1, and Silverlight 1.1 alpha, one of the most common things people have asked for is build in lots of controls, and have a bunch of controls that I can use as I start building my apps, so I don’t have to actually implement all that functionality by myself.
One of the things that we’ve done with Silverlight 2 is built in a lot of built in controls. So we support not juts the standard form controls with beta 1, button and textbox, and checkbox, we also support higher-level controls, like slider controls, calendar controls, state picker controls, as well as a data group. And what this means is you get out-of-the- box functionality that you can just take advantage of, and immediately use. Over the next couple of months you’re going to be seeing a lot more Silverlight controls appear on the market, both ones coming from us, as well as from third parties, as well as developers who post them on the Web.
We’re shipping today all of the controls that you see here on the page, as source, with an open source license. What that means is you can basically download our source, you can modify it, and you can reship them, you can sell them, you can do whatever you want with them in order to get started as building your own controls.
We’re also today shipping a testing framework for Silverlight that allows you to write unit tests for both non-UI, as well as UI functionality within it. To help seed you we’re shipping more than 2,000 unit tests that cover all the Silverlight controls, also under an open source license.
One of the things about the controls (applause.) I think you’ll find it gives you a pretty good way to get started, and a pretty good way that, as you’re building your apps, you can also make sure from the testing side perspective you can go ahead and use a test driven methodology, and make sure that you can actually test these solutions as you’re building them.
Now, building controls and having a controls framework is really powerful, in that you get a whole bunch of functionality out of the box. The classic challenge when building UI applications, though, is what if you don’t like the way the controls look. And typically with Web applications there’s a balance between both the developer side, and the designer side, in terms of styling and skinning them.
One of the things that WPF has always provided, and which Silverlight 2 now has, is a very rich control templating and skinning model. What this means is that you can take any of the standard controls that we ship, let’s say like a calendar, and you can get a default look and feel right out of the box, but you also as a designer, or as a developer, have the ability to completely skin it, and customize exactly how it looks.
This goes beyond simply setting styles or colors, so obviously you can skin it like you would, say, CSS. Silverlight also has this control templating capability, which allows you to actually change the entire visual tree of the control, as well as add custom animations, custom state changes, completely declaratively without having to write any code, or change any code that’s using that control. That’s incredibly powerful from both a control developer’s perspective. It also means that form a design tool perspective it makes it very easy to customize and skin what these apps look like.
We’re going to be shipping Visual Studio support. We’re going to be shipping Visual Studio support that allows you to go ahead and create new Silverlight applications. As you can see, we have a split view design editor, that allows you to go ahead and type your XAML and see as you type what your app is going to look like. We have full Intellisense support for both your XAML, as well as for your code behind. We also have full debugging support. The debugger works against both Windows clients, you can also remotely debug Silverlight running on a Mac.
As you can see here, as a developer if I wanted to, and I didn’t kind of care about style, I could actually start my project, and use vanilla controls, kind of lay out what a site might look like. I could style it inside Visual Studio if I wanted to, or I could also go ahead and open it up inside Expression Blend, which uses the same project file format as Visual Studio, but it’s designed specifically with designers in mind, and to have a more designer-friendly experience.
What’s cool is I can use Expression Blend to completely re-skin what that app looks like, without having to change a single line of code within the app. That, again, provides a ton of power and flexibility, not just for changing the look of the control, but also the feel of it. So if you want a nice animation or a nice hover over a sec if someone clicks on the calendar, a designer can do that entirely in Blend, without having to write code.
Obviously, as a result you can start with a site that maybe doesn’t look super-attractive, but it’s fully functional, and get to a very nice polished look and feel very, very easily.
I’m pleased to announce today that we are shipping, in addition to Silverlight Beta 1, we’re also shipping preview edition releases of Silverlight Tool Support, for both Visual Studio, as well as Expression Blend. So you can download these immediately, and all of the demos that you’re going to see later today were built using the final beta one build that you’ll get today, as well as using these development and design tools.
Now, ultimately talking about waxing on about how great all these features are really only gets you so far. Ultimately, I think apps speak a lot louder than words. So what I’d like to do is actually show off a couple of pretty cool apps that have been built with Silverlight 2, many of which will be going live in the next couple of weeks, or even today, and I think show off some of the power of what you can do with beta one.
To start off with I’d like to invite Roy Ben-Yoseph, as well as Eric Hoffman, who are from AOL, who are building their next AOL mail client using Silverlight.
AOL Silverlight Demo
ROY BEN-YOSEPH: Thanks, Scott. You know, it’s wonderful to be here at MIX this year. We at AOL are focused on redefining what it means to have mail from AOL, and we’re working on creating e-mail that lets you be you. Part of that is using the latest technology to innovate to the extreme. And let’s take a look at that, and really it’s best to start at the beginning.
What you’re seeing is our current Web mail application, and it is DHTML and AJAX-based. It provides a basic desktop capabilities, like drag and drop, and resizing columns, but what people have told us, and we want to focus on more and more, is on performance, just make it fast, and that’s where Silverlight comes in.
What you’re seeing now, interestingly enough, is a very similar experience, similar to what is available to close to 50 million AOL users, but it is in Silverlight. It is a rich e-mail application, rich Internet application, using Silverlight 2, and leveraging the best features that are already available at AOL like unlimited storage, and great spam control.
So let’s see some of the performance. Eric is going to drag and drop sorry, he’s going to drag and roll through different folders, and see how fast the application moves. Now, performance is important, but it’s not everything. A really important piece for us is personalization.
Now, any Halo 3 fans in the room? Maybe one or two people?
SCOTT GUTHRIE: Come on, Halo 3, come on, let’s hear it.
ROY BEN-YOSEPH: So here, a one-click transition we’ve got a Halo 3 mail from AOL, different colors, different interactive backgrounds, there’s Master Chief in the background, lightning striking all around him, really, really cool.
Eric, why don’t you show us some other cool and fun things here?
ERIC HOFFMAN: One of the great things about this application is that this is exactly the same code we saw before, we have control templates, a very powerful metaphor for us, and it’s about a rich experience. We really wanted to come out with something big for the show, and we’ve got Master Chief in the background, we have a five-second animation loop with lightning in the background, and the performance is still here, too.
Notice as I scroll up and down on the folder list, the data is just there, and this is actually live data coming off a live server back in Dulles, Virginia. The data is there. How do we do that? We take advantage of protected, isolated storage, intelligent caching, reduced code size inside the browser, it gives you the performance that you’re looking at here. It’s significantly faster than our AJAX-based applications, maybe two to three times, conservatively.
But, it’s not all about performance, it’s also about personalization, and notice I’m able to resize the folder train, the message list, custom control layouts allow us to do that, again, more about convenience for members and users. If I click on top of the message list, you’re allowed to sort the data in any fashion that you want, typically something you only see in a desktop application, bringing that to the Web is sort of bleeding the lines.
More nuances, our settings dialog, again, it takes advantage of what Silverlight can offer, in terms of transparency, overlays, subtle story-board animations, we use this for messaging users when they need to do things, settings, and things of that nature, but just that much richer of an experience.
Again, more on performance, notice as I scroll through our contact list, thousands of contacts in here, just effortlessly scrolls again, using that protected, isolated storage, much more advanced than what you can do with a browser cache. If I click on somebody there it brings you into our rich composing experience. Again, Master Chief is till in the background, the animation is still flowing, but it just feels rich, it’s like something that you want to use.
As I get out of our composing experience. Scott mentioned before about the ad builder Microsoft is working on, and that’s really going to take ads to a whole new level of richness and engagement. As I roll into our ad right now you can see I’ve got a Halo trailer playing, we’ve got Master Chief putting his rifle away. We’ve got animation, we’ve got irregular shaped windows. Basically, we pulled out all the stops on this. We’re very proud of this application. We’re very excited about it, and we hope it’s going to use applications more like this in the future.
Back to you, Roy.
ROY BEN-YOSEPH: That right advertising integration is a great combination of an awesome user experience, and great options for advertisers, just wonderful possibilities. In the near future you’ll see mail from AOL leverage Silverlight 2 in creating rich Internet applications, focused on performance, personalization, and the overall user experience, which is really what people should expect. Now, don’t forget to join us tomorrow morning, we’ve got a break out session where Eric and the development team is going to show you exactly how all this is built.
Thanks very much. (Applause.)
SCOTT GUTHRIE: So that’s one example of some of the types of applications you can build with Silverlight 2, and really start to create some differentiated user experiences for a medium that has been around for a while, I think, it’s pretty cool to see what you can do to change it and enhance it.
One of the things we’ve been focusing on with Silverlight 2 then is also enable kind of user experiences that don’t exist today, and include in it a number of nice features that can really let you do things that aren’t possible today, and maybe people haven’t seen done before. One of those features is a feature that we’re going to show off in just a second we call Deep Zoom. It’s based on our Seadragon technology that we shipped as a research project about a year-and-a-half ago, and it basically provides a way that you can very easily, and very cleanly navigate through very large images, and very efficiently only download the portions of the image that you need, and handle all of that infrastructure for you so that you, as a developer, can just have a very, very seamless experience, and really blow away your users.
To actually show off a really cool implementation of this, I would like to invite Hard Rock International on stage, and specifically Sean Dee and Scott Stanfield to show off the app that they built. (Applause.)
Hard Rock Silverlight Demo
SEAN DEE: Hello, how are you doing? We’re Hard Rock. We started with one cafe in London in 1971. We have 126 restaurants now, 13 hotel/casinos, four live venues, a theme park hopefully you guys will join us in Myrtle Beach later this summer. What we thinks makes us special, unique, is our rock and roll collection, 70,000 pieces of memorabilia, the most valuable collection in the world. Hard to move, hard to insure, how do we share this with tons of fans around the world, and how do we tell, more importantly, the stories behind these great, great pieces? With a little help from our friends, a little Beatles reference, I would like to thank the team in Orlando, our great friends at Duncan/Channon, our marketing agency in San Francisco, of course Microsoft, thank you guys, and Vertigo, our fantastic partners in Point Richmond. So with that, we’re going to have a little demo here, and share with you how we’re going to take our collection to the next level on the Web with Memorabilia 2.0.
So, Scott, let’s share.
SCOTT STANFIELD: The defining moment of rock and roll is arguably 1964; it started with the British Invasion. What you see here is four faces you probably know. These guys, this photo was taken by probably some paparazzi backstage at the Paramount Theater in New York City just moments before they did their first live show. By pulling back using the mouse wheel, you can see the context of the shot. These are the suits these guys wore when they got off the plane at JFK. Notice the TWA sponsored bags. TWA is not around anymore, are they? It doesn’t always work. If you pull back a bit more just using the mouse wheel, you see the context of Hard Rock it’s probably their largest memorabilia, the Paramount Theater itself. If you’re visiting New York City, check them out at 1501 Broadway.
Pulling back even further, obviously Hard Rock has more than just your New York stores. We’ve got Orlando where the headquarters are, we have Lisbon, we have Chicago, and other ones. But we felt like this collection of 16 wasn’t just enough, we had to add something that really represented Las Vegas. And who better than to represent Las Vegas than the Chairman of the Board himself, Frank Sinatra? Now, Frank is just one of, in this collection, one of 512 stars. When you hit this little circle button, check this out, we pull back to see the whole collection that we have right now. This is two billion pixels. You would need a monitor (applause) you need a monitor the size of those two screens on my right to see all this without zooming in. That’s not going to get through security.
Let’s take a dive back in. I’m just going to click on this guitar. I happen to know it’s Eric Clapton who gave you guys the first piece of memorabilia to reserve a table. This is really interesting. I’m going to zoom into this logo on the upper right so you can see the detail on this Capital Records release. This is an early Beatles album which featured “Yesterday”. If you have the stereo copy of this LP, you might want to check your collections, the last one sold for $85,000 in auction.
Let’s see what other kind of memorabilia we have from the Beatles. I can pull this down, and we just did a pivot. You see that, this is not just one big picture, it’s a collection of pictures. We can control this dynamically. So we see down here we have besides like their tour bus, we have this really interesting letter, and I can bring up my little info panel and see, this is a letter written by Paul McCartney to their bodyguard during their stay here in the U.S. for the first time, and it’s a really heart-felt message from Paul written on stationery from New Zealand, but it’s funny you read it, he says he ran out of paper in New Zealand.
Pulling back a bit more, you can see that they gave this guy a very unusual set of signatures that were these ink blots, and John Lennon is supposedly represented by the black one there.
It turns out that browsing memorabilia that are documented is a lot of fun. In fact, as I sort by year, we can see some of the oldest memorabilia here, and this is an affidavit signed by Sergeant Elvis Presley. Ironically, the most visible and famous American during the war lost his ID card. I want to show you one more bit. We’ll switch over to show some clothing. We found this just this morning after seeing Vince, the kid that did the great Johnny Cash. We found some boots worn by Johnny Cash himself. Check out the detail on these boots, you can see the stitching, and the leather, and everything.
Now these pictures, all 512, were taken by Hard Rock using your standard digital SLR cameras that you guys probably have at home. But we did something special, this picture here of the Bo Diddley guitar is really large. In fact, it would barely fit on a CD-ROM itself, it was taken and stitched together with 57 photos in like a two-hour photo shoot, and that enables us to zoom way in and get this level of detail we haven’t seen before. You can see the wire rapping on the “E” string. You can pull back and zoom over and see the nice pearl inlay on the rosewood guitar. You can even see the scuff marks on the pin for the guitar strap. Finally, if you look close enough, when I took this photo, I tried to clean it, and I actually left my thumb print somewhere on here. There it is. So I left my thumb print on here. I didn’t think even we could zoom in that far.
So if you want to learn a bit more about how we did this, I’ve got a session Friday morning at 8:30, early, early for rock and roll, but come check it out. And, by the way, if you want to play with this yourself, we’ll be live this week. Go to HardRock.com, look for the memorabilia link, and check it out yourself.
Now, it wouldn’t be rock and roll unless I left you guys with a little bit of music. So let’s pull up Bo Diddley and you can check out his moves.
Thanks a lot everyone. (Applause.)
SCOTT GUTHRIE: As Scott mentioned, this will be live on the Web later this week. And you can go learn more about it as well as in the breakout session. What’s cool is, you’re wondering, “Okay, how do I create one of these experiences?” We’re shipping today as part of our tools package software that lets you take and import any JPEG or any graphic from any type of digital source that you want. You can stitch them together and provide a layout, or default collection layout, however you want, and then you basically can export the multiple tiles of images necessary in order to provide that smooth experience while also not killing your bandwidth. And then you can basically point a built-in control inside Silverlight at that selection, and now you have Deep Zoom technology. So looking forward to a lot of the great experiences from that.
One of the things like premiere brands like Hard Rock and others need is kind of a site, and kind of an app experience that really gives you that kind of polish and rich user experience. And if you think about premiere brands today, Aston Martin is one of those that really stands out near the top of the list, not just from a business perspective, but from an end user’s perspective, they want to basically be able to control the end to end experience, starting on the Web, going to the showroom, and living inside your car that you’ve purchased.
What I’m really excited to show is a new version of the Aston Martin site, and I invite Marek Reichman, who is a chief designer of Aston Martin, to show it off. (Applause.)
Aston Martin Silverlight Demo
MAREK REICHMAN: Good morning. I’m Marek Reichman, Design Director for Aston Martin. Aston Martin really stands for excellence in design. We spend a lot of time creating the cars now, the fabulous sedan, fabulous body, beautiful lines. We really scrutinize those lines, so it’s important that any contact that a customer has with the car we try and convey that.
So we’re going to look at three stages of the experience of Aston Martin, online, in the dealership, and then ownership.
PAUL BISHOP: My name is Paul Bishop, I’m the MD (managing director) of Splendid, a design consultancy based in London who works on basic designing connected digital experiences, and what we’re going to show you first is the Silverlight Web site for Aston Martin.
So what we’ve got here is a full 3-D model, rendered model of the car that we created back in London in basically what we tried to recreate a dealer environment. So this car, the idea is creating something that looks exactly like the real thing, but in a completely virtual environment.
MAREK REICHMAN: It’s so important, as I mentioned, that we spend so much time developing these that the first point of contact online with the car it feels emotive, it feels like the real product, you can actually see the light lines on the car.
PAUL BISHOP: So, if you imagine I’m going to go and buy and Aston Martin, which I wish I was, we’re going to explore the car. So imagine going to dealers and basically walking around the car. The dealer might point out the various points of interest in the car, wheels, brakes, those kinds of things. I always start with the color, so let’s look at the paints.
MAREK REICHMAN: Paint, again, is so important. Color choice for our customers is very important. We have circa 2.5 billion different variations of color and combinations of color, and obviously when you decide to buy your Aston Martin, thank you, you’re going to choose the color first. So we have our contemporary range, we have fast track, we also have very special paint colors as well to highlight the body lines.
PAUL BISHOP: So I want to feel pretty special, so I’m going to go for fire red, apply that to the car. You can see the car has changed. What we haven’t done here is just pin to the silver version of the car is the full new model, so all the lights, all the textures are based exactly on the color of Aston Martin. So I’ve chosen the color I would like for the external view of the car. So what about having a look at the interior, which is obviously where I spend most of my time.
MAREK REICHMAN: And interior is, again, a very, very important part of an Aston Martin. If you think about the various forms of leather, the grains of leather, how we can configure that, how many variations there will be, the mixture of alcantaras and leathers, the stitching, the carbon fiber, the brushing or the polishing of the real aluminum parts, there’s true craftsmanship in an Aston Martin interior, and we really need to highlight that.
PAUL BISHOP: So what we’re using here is the Silverlight Deep Zoom technology to actually really zoom in on the image here. So this is, I think, about an 18-gig photograph, it’s not huge, but it’s reasonably big. You can basically go in and see all the stitching, you can see there’s a different stitching here that we can specify in about 10 different colors, we can specify different types of carbon fiber. This gives people buying an Aston Martin a really true experience of what it’s like to sit in the cabin of a premium sports car.
One of the most important things about the DBS, it’s been inspired by a race car, the DDR9. So how do I find out about what’s inspired this car.
MAREK REICHMAN: And this inspiration, as Paul says, comes from the DBR9. It’s a thoroughbred of racing, and the DBS is its road going version. There’s one important aspect of that, obviously you need to be able to stop the car. The brakes are so important. The DBS has these fabulous carbon ceramic brakes, so you really want to have a look at that and choose a wheel that would offset and make you really look at those brakes.
PAUL BISHOP: So let’s look at the wheels, and we’ve chosen the same color, the same option sticker as we used before. So you can basically look through the wheels, you can look at the suspension, you can look at the brakes, you can flip items to see what size wheel has this got, what tires it has got.
You can also look at video which gives you a really immersive view of what it actually means when we say it’s inspired by the DBR9. So you can see here the DBS and the car that inspired it, which I would probably like having in my garage personally. But what we want to do here is choose a five-spoke wheel, which hasn’t gone to market yet, and obviously sets those carbon ceramic brakes off, so we’ll apply that to the car. You can see that the model has changed. You can spin that around and have a really good look at the wheels.
I’m pretty happy with its configuration, so what I’m going to do is save that. And what it’s done is saved it to my Aston Martin area, which allows me to store and configure as many cars as I want, so I can send these to friends. I can say “What do you think of these colors? Or think of these wheels? I can also send this to a dealer, and say, can I come in this Saturday and talk about these cars with you. I can also specify videos I want to save, so basically create my own video channel, which allows me to then share with friends, and get a really good understanding of what Aston Martin is all about.
That was the online experience, and that obviously then has to translate to the dealer experience. So what Marek got in his hand here is a Samsung UMPC (Ultra Mobile PC) running a WPF application which then controls an XNA model. So this is using full live 3-D, which basically creates lighting textures dynamically as we can change it, we can change color, lighting, all those kind of things live.
MAREK REICHMAN: Suppose I’ve come into the dealership, and as you can see I have a 2 o’clock appointment to sell Paul the car. He’s not Ian Fleming. And obviously this is the car that he spec’d on line, but there are various choices that we can still go through. If I just click on the car, we can then look at the hotspots on the car, and we can go through the color range. So Paul comes into the dealership wearing a pink shirt, we can actually spec the car in exactly the same pink of Paul’s shirt. Not that I would recommend that, I would actually go for something around this way. We can then look around the car. We can actually rotate the car, and zoom into various areas on the car. As we spin back, we can then look at the car in reality.
We’ve now spec’d the car, we’ve configured the car. We want to talk to you a little bit and show you something about what we could possibly do in the future to really improve the experience, the ride and drive experience of an Aston Martin with true telemetry. So let’s have a look at that video.
MAREK REICHMAN: Thank you. (Applause.)
SCOTT GUTHRIE: I don’t know about you, but, boy, do I want one of those. If you’re wondering, there is an Aston Martin dealership here in Las Vegas. So, it’s something to do maybe if you get bored. I think one of the things is that it’s kind of cool seeing all of these apps. A couple of things just to call out. One is all of the online browser experiences that you saw were built using the same beta one build of Silverlight that you have available to download now. There’s no special private builds. We actually didn’t have to do any special bug fixes in order to enable these. You can actually start building these experiences today. And you can use all the tools that we provide in order to do that.
Another thing I think is cool about looking at this last example is kind of how Aston Martin is really taking advantage of these higher .NET continuums. They’re using Silverlight inside the browser for a cross-browser,cross-platform experience. They were using WPF inside their dealer shop in allowing kind of using the 3D capabilities of both WPF as well as the XNA framework for .NET in order to provide that model. And they were even using an embedded device inside that car for telemetry data also powered by .NET.
As we kind of think about where .NET and Silverlight provide some unique value, the fact that you can use this common programming model across all of your tiers within your application, you can use a common set of APIs, you can use whatever language you want in order to target those, and you can use a common set of developer and designer tools in order to build them with. Obviously, in the Web space, we have ASP.net and IF, which we talked about earlier. We’re also today releasing a SharePoint set of extensions that allow you to embed Silverlight controls as Web parts, and do some really powerful Silverlight scenarios inside SharePoint. Obviously, with the desktop space, with things like WPF, as well as our full .NET framework, we allow you to build the richest possible client application both online and offline, and incorporate 3-D like you saw here with full hardware acceleration. And then, obviously, now with Silverlight we have an ability to run .NET inside the browser and put all those together.
From a programming model perspective, if you’re using the full WPF on the desktop, and you’re using Silverlight, you’ll find they are a compatible subset of APIs. So because we want to optimize for download size, we don’t have every feature that’s in the full WPF inside Silverlight, but the features we do have are API compatible, and that means that as you build your applications, you can reuse the same XAML markup, you can reuse the same assets, you can reuse the same code, and you’ll even be able to reuse the same controls in order to do that. That really allows you to build some pretty powerful experiences both inside and outside the browser.
We’ve seen a lot of B2C scenarios already today that show off kind of how you can use Silverlight and .NET.
Silverlight Line of Business Application Demo: Cirque du Soleil
What I thought we’d actually spend a little bit of time now is showing a more line of business scenario that actually shows how do you build an HR application in order to manage people talent. We’re going to actually start with building a WPF desktop application this time, and then also show how you can use the same application and reuse the same code in order to build a Silverlight application and access it on say a Mac.
Now, you might think, well, line of business application, yeah, it isn’t always necessarily exciting in Vegas and all that thing, so what we tried to do is actually add a little bit of unique Vegas flavor, and very happy to invite Cirque du Soleil on stage to show off kind of what they’ve built. (Applause.)
KRISTA MONSON: Thank you, Scott.
Good morning! My name is Krista Monson, and I am head of casting for Cirque du Soleil’s resident shows in North America. Essentially this means that I oversee the entire casting process for our shows in Las Vegas and in Orlando, and mainly for the artistic disciplines: actors, dancers, musicians, singers, clowns, and non-acrobatic circus arts, including various forms of manipulation like fire and juggling.
At Cirque du Soleil, we have over 3,000 employees all over the world working to uphold and evolve the Cirque du Soleil enterprise.
With all of our shows worldwide, we have over 1,000 artists performing on a nightly basis to thousands of audience members. Currently we have 15 shows operating, six resident shows, and nine touring shows.
Our job in casting is to essentially fill those roles with artists demonstrating an extremely high degree of artistic and acrobatic excellence. But in addition to this we also have to maintain a database filled with artists who could potentially fill these roles either tomorrow or in the future. Some of these roles are extremely rare and can be filled by only a handful of human beings in the world. Currently we have over 22,000 artists in our data bank.
To do this, we have 16 talent scouts and a total casting team of 65, in addition to hundreds of casting partners spread out all over the world, auditioning and attending events.
One of the most important tools we use in casting is one of these: This is the database used to add new candidates, as well as to update information on current candidates we have.
From wherever we are in the field, from Mongolia where we may be looking for contortionists, to a small village in South Africa looking for ghamb’u dancers, we need to trust that this information can reach our master database station in Montreal.
From this dashboard view I can see everything at a glance: my e-mails, calendar, tasks, contacts, I can see an overview of all of our shows, including pertinent information that will help me prioritize my day
I see today that I’m scheduled to meet with an up and coming young artist named Scott Guthrie. Before auditioning Scott, let’s go to the artist tab just to review what information we currently have.
SCOTT GUTHRIE: Hi.
KRISTA MONSON: I’m Krista, and I understand you’re interested in working for Cirque du Soleil perhaps.
SCOTT GUTHRIE: Yeah, I’m definitely looking for a career change, yeah. (Laughter.)
KRISTA MONSON: Excellent. You never know.
In the past, we would have taken bits of information from various sources, handwritten information from the artists, the talent scout’s evaluation, and the real goals for us, the video images. All of these would have been sent separately to Montreal, and eventually entered into the artist file.
However, with the new system, using the Microsoft technologies, I can enter all of this information directly into the database while still in the field.
Even better, this information becomes available to my colleagues worldwide, many of whom may be looking urgently to fill a role that this artist may be perfect for.
Since we are on the road, and often without network connectivity, it is really important for us that this application can function offline. Currently, we are working with a local task version of the database.
Scott, I have to ask you a few questions that will help us best determine where you would fit best.
SCOTT GUTHRIE: Sure.
KRISTA MONSON: First of all, are you comfortable with nudity?
SCOTT GUTHRIE: As long as it stays in Vegas.
KRISTA MONSON: Do you suffer from vertigo?
SCOTT GUTHRIE: I don’t even like being this tall, yes.
KRISTA MONSON: And would you prefer to work under the big tent on a touring show or with a resident show?
SCOTT GUTHRIE: Oh, definitely the big tent.
KRISTA MONSON: Excellent. Perfect.
Finally, we take our golden information, the video. So, Scott, I’m going to ask you to do your talent. Remember yesterday? Yesterday was a long time ago, and tomorrow is a long time away; now is all we’ve got.
SCOTT GUTHRIE: Between fire-eating, contortionists, I thought maybe we’ll do some juggling.
KRISTA MONSON: Okay, go for it, Scott.
SCOTT GUTHRIE: It’s the hardest part of the keynote. There we go.
KRISTA MONSON: Thank you. We’ll edit out the ending.
SCOTT GUTHRIE: Okay.
KRISTA MONSON: Thanks, Scott.
SCOTT GUTHRIE: Thanks.
KRISTA MONSON: While my audition with Scott is over, unfortunately, my work with the data is actually just beginning. Now comes the time where the trained judgment of the talent scout really shines, and I evaluate him.
Many artists have various disciplines; however with Scott I would call him more of a one-trick pony. Artistically, he took a lot of risks. However, technically, I would say he’s more on the weak side, but I will be generous. He’s a circus artist, and I would say he’s more of a cabaret artist.
Because this is offline, it would have raised challenges about how and when this information could be synchronized with the master database. However, using the synchronization capability, this process is virtually invisible to me.
Finally, with our knowledge of the roles in the shows, I am able to instantly prospect Scott for the roles for which he is most appropriate. I can even target it, streamline it even more and find the top matches for someone like Scott. And if I want, I can also compare this to how many artists are in the database who also can perform this function.
All of this took a great deal of time, which is why I prefer to do it on the long ride home back to Las Vegas or Montreal.
Once we are back in the office, again in Las Vegas, in Montreal, or in Asia, we can now focus on the second half of the casting process, which is delivering the human beings to our stages.
If I go to KOOZA, for example, I can take a look at all of the roles that are available, and I see currently there is an opening for a backup juggler. All of the artists who are appropriate for this role come up, and I see there is a new application by an artist named Scott Guthrie. If I take a look at his media, I can see this wonderful video. However, I think what I may do is wish to recommend that he spend a little bit more time honing his technique before we offer him a full time contract.
Thank you very much. (Applause.) Send us a new demo in six months.
SCOTT GUTHRIE: I think I’ve got a career in front of me.
So, what we saw here is some of the power you can use with WPF in terms of building a line of business app, as well as how you can use kind of the online and offline capability. The great thing is again the same control, the same code could be used to build Silverlight apps and have it run cross-platform, as well as run it on the desktop.
Now, one of the things that we’re doing obviously today is showing off a lot of the power and capabilities that Silverlight 2 provides. We’re also at the same time obviously investing very heavily in the full WPF that ships as part of the .NET Framework. So, specifically we’re going to be shipping more controls later this year that provide out of the box functionality for WPF. We’re going to be streamlining the setup for the .NET Framework so you can install it much quicker on a machine. We’re also then making significant performance improvements to both startup times and cold startup time on a machine, as well as in the graphics layer.
I thought let’s actually maybe show off a few of the things that we’ve done in terms of some of the graphics performance, and see some of the neat things that you can take advantage of.
So, what we’ve got here is — if we can bring it up on the screen — we have a simple WPF app that’s hosting right now an image. What you can see here, as Henry clicks it, we have a little bit of a graphics physics engine in place here.
One of the things about WPF that’s pretty important is that by default it’s hardware accelerated, which means that rather than have to use the CPU on the system to render graphics, we can actually push it to the graphics card.
You’ll notice here on the right-hand side we have task manager loaded inside Windows, and as Henry is doing this, notice that the processor time on the CPU never really gets above 10 or 12 percent. That’s because it’s pushing it all down to the hardware.
We can do this not just with static images, but let’s also go ahead and run a video. So, this is a high-definition video, and you can see here likewise we have the full graphics capability, and even more impressively the CPU is staying between 10 and 20 percent, and that’s pretty much just doing the actual decoding of the video on the chip.
Now, one of the things that we’re adding is support not just for doing this with a physics engine, but also providing built-in support in WPF for very extensible shader models that allows you as a developer to write custom effects that you can apply to an image, a video, or any control inside WPF.
What’s cool about these custom effects is that you can write them in such a way that they’re not software rendered, but we can actually use with WPF, push them down onto the GPU of your graphics card.
So, for example, let’s go back to image here and use the ripple effect. You can see here this is a custom effect we’ve written, and as you kind of — the physics engine still works as he’s kind of moving the mouse around, we’re applying the ripple effect. What’s cool is again look at the task manager. Because it’s all hardware accelerated and we’re pushing that custom effect that we’ve authored to the hardware chip, again it doesn’t take up that much CPU time.
We could do that not just for an image, but we could also apply it to say a video. So, here’s an HD video being played with a physics engine in place, using a custom shader effect, and 15 to 20 percent of the CPU, which is kind of impressive I think.
We could use, for example, let’s say the magnify effect instead. This gives you kind of a nice fisheye lens that you can apply on top of that video. Again notice the CPU on the system is very, very low, let’s you do a lot of things.
What’s cool about this is it’s not just about images and video in terms of how you can apply this. You can actually apply these effects to anything in the WPF control tree. So, for example, here is a text box, and notice again we get the graphics engine with the text box. We could apply the ripple effect in order to — or the magnifying effect in order to actually go ahead and customize it. Notice spell checker still works in the text box, even though we have the magnifying glass with a physics engine in place. And again the CPU on the system never gets above about 10 or 20 percent as you’re doing it. This is running off of a laptop.
So, you could start to see some of the power that this sort of effects API gives you, some of the graphics performance improvements we’re making to WPF, and it’s really going to allow you to build truly differentiated desktop experiences that go much further than what our customers might even expect today.
So, some exciting stuff; we’re going to be shipping all of these capabilities using a servicing update to .NET 3.5 this summer, and so you as a developer for all the performance improvements actually don’t need to do anything or even have to recompile your app in order to take advantage of them, and you’ll be able to start using the shader effects immediately. (Applause.)
So, we’ve talked about media experiences, we’ve talked about Rich Internet Applications that run on a desktop browser; let’s start talking about mobile.
Specifically .NET now and specifically Silverlight is going to mobile devices, and this is going to allow you to reuse the same code, the same assets, the same developer tools and design tools in order to build experiences that work on any mobile device. We’re going to support running them on both Windows Mobile as well as non-Windows Mobile devices, and allow you as developers and designers and companies to basically distribute these experiences eventually across the Web.
Sliverlight Mobile Demos
What I thought I’d do is just actually show off a pretty cool app that I think starts to illustrate some of the potential of what you can do with Silverlight on a mobile device, and so to do that I’d like to invite Darren David , who is the CEO of Stimulant , to actually show off a pretty cool social networking app called MIXr. (Applause.)
DARREN DAVID: So, what I’m going to demo today is a Silverlight application called MIXr that we build in conjunction with the Step Change Group. It’s a real time, mobile-based social networking application that helps users answer one very important question: where is the party at?
Now, this is a fully data-driven, touch screen based application, running on Silverlight for Windows Mobile 6.
Now that Silverlight is available for mobile devices, what it allows us to do is to design, build and test on the desktop using our standard workflow and tools, then deploy directly on the phone with no changes whatsoever.
So, I’ve got this app running on my phone. Let’s imagine that I’m finishing up with my MIX sessions for the night, and I want to head out for a drink with my friends. So, I’m going to tell MIXr that I’m feeling mellow, and I’m going to go look for some friends. So, this is going to pull up a list of all of the hot spots here in the Venetian that match my mood.
Let’s dive into the Z-Bar. I can see four of my friends are there. So, now I could start to see which of my friends are at the Z-Bar, and I can start to get a better sense for the scene.
So, let’s dive in and take a look at the videos and the photos. Of course, I can view that full screen.
So, here we’re directly integrating with the media features on the device: a lot of couches, bar looks pretty swank. I’m going to go ahead and tell my friends that I’m on my way. So, what this is going to do is update my status in the system, so now all my friends will know where I’m headed.
Now let’s take a look at how Silverlight can take advantage of being on our always connected mobile device. Let’s fast forward a bit and say that I’ve arrived at the Z-Bar. Now, because MIXr knows where I’m headed, it’s ultimately going to check in on me. When I hit yes, it’s going to update my status in the system, and now all my friends will know where to find me. It’s probably a good time to order a drink.
So, MIXr just alerted me that one of my friends showed up. So, I can give him a call directly on his phone or I can view his status page. So, what MIXr does is it aggregates a bunch of information about all of my friends. So, here I can see Nathan’s Twitter feeds, I can see his latest cell cam shots, and that makes it really easy to stay connected with Nathan throughout the night.
So, after a few more drinks with Nathan, we’re starting to get warmed up, and we kind of want to pick up the pace a bit. So, I’m going to tell MIXr I’m feeling upbeat. Now, what MIXr does is it tracks all user updates, and it uses that data to display trends, and I can use those trends to figure out what the hotspot is at any given point in time.
So, what I’m looking at here is an interactive data visualization that lets me view user ratings for any venue over time. What I can see here is that from 10:00 to midnight it looked like Tao is a hopping spot. So, that’s probably where we’re going to head.
Now, here we’re directly leveraging Silverlight’s presentation and layout engine to display a lot of complicated information in a way that’s easy to understand, quick to navigate, all on a device that fits in the palm of your hand.
So, let’s check out and see who’s hanging out here: the usual suspects. Let’s see what’s up with Kevin.
So, what’s really exciting for us about Silverlight is the kinds of rich, intuitive user experiences that all of us as developers can build for the mobile environment.
All right, that looks like a pretty sweet scene. So, I’m going to join Kevin.
Now, just in case things start getting a little out of control, and I know that rarely happens here in Vegas, but just in case they do, MIXr can detect I’m having a little bit of problems hitting the buttons, which you can tell I have been, and it’s going to take matters into its own hands, and it’s going to bring up the sobriety test. Looks like I’d better walk that line.
So, we’re really excited about the power that Silverlight is bringing to mobile development. It allows us to port all of our user experience directly to mobile application development, without needing to learn any new tools whatsoever.
Thank you much. (Applause.)
SCOTT GUTHRIE: Thanks.
Now, the mobile device that Darren showed here was a Windows Mobile 6 device that he was running it on, and obviously we’re planning on supporting that, but one of the things that we’re trying to do with Silverlight is get Silverlight installed on as many mobile devices as possible, and that includes not just Windows Mobile but also non-Windows Mobile devices.
One of the things we’re very pleased to announce today is that we’re partnering with the largest cell phone manufacturer in the world — (applause) — and that Nokia will be delivering Silverlight on their S60, S40, and mobile Internet tablet product line.
To tell you a little bit more about this partnership, let me show a brief video from Lee Williams, who’s the senior vice president of Nokia, to talk about it.
SCOTT GUTHRIE: We thought it would be fun, as we talk about the Nokia partnership, to actually show for the very first time Silverlight running on a Nokia N95 Symbian device, and see a cool app built with it. So, I’d like to invite Tamir Melamed from WeatherBug to actually show it off. (Applause.)
DEMIR MILIMED: Hi, Scott. Thank you.
So, we’re really excited to be here today; what a great event.
As you know, Scott, WeatherBug and Microsoft have been having a longstanding relationship for many, many years, and in the last few years we have partnered with Nokia to develop multiple applications.
Today, we’re really excited to announce our first new WeatherBug Silverlight application running on Nokia S60. That’s really exciting for us out here.
But first let me say a few things about WeatherBug. WeatherBug is a leading provider of live local weather information. We operate the world’s largest weather network, with over 8,000 weather stations, all professional grade, running in local neighborhoods across the U.S., pushing data to our datacenter every two seconds.
In addition to that, we have data from over 60,000 locations worldwide: schools, TV stations, the National Weather Service, the Department of Homeland Security, and many other who rely on our technology.
WeatherBug is a top 10 news and information Web site. We have over 17 million unique monthly visitors on a monthly basis. We have over three million active widgets, half of them running on Vista nowadays.
For all you developers out there, you can try our API at API.weatherbug.com, to add weather to any of your applications.
Recently we became Verizon’s premier weather partner. We supply Verizon Web applications, mobile applications, WAP, MMS, MNS, video, you name it. It’s a great partnership for us.
Today, we have more than 5 million mobile users who rely on WeatherBug on their phones every day.
So, now let me demonstrate our mobile applications using Silverlight to deliver WeatherBug data on a Windows Mobile and Nokia S60.
Can you see that? Good. So, since we’re in Vegas, let’s start looking at the Verizon phone Windows Mobile running a new Silverlight app. As you can see, the temperature now is about 53 degrees, and it’s a pretty nice day, the forecast looks pretty nice for today.
My next stop after Vegas is Portland, Maine. So, let’s bring in the Nokia S60 and look what the weather is going to be on our phone.
So, as you can see, it is the same application running on Windows Mobile, Nokia, and on our Web site. You can check it out yourself if you go to Silverlight.weatherbug.com. You can now go and play with the same application. You’ve got all these graphic abilities. It was very easy to do with Silverlight.
So, as I said, I’m going to Portland. It’s pretty cold down there, 15 degrees. Let’s see what the radar is out there. We can animate radar easily using Silverlight’s ability to display rich connected applications. There’s a pretty big storm going that way.
So, let’s see what the forecast is going to be for the next few days. It’s going to be pretty cold. The next three days it’s going to warm up. We can look what’s happening in the next few hours, and as you can see, we can go and see an hourly focus here pretty easily.
So, as you can see, we have a red triangle indicating some kind of weather alert. Let’s check that out. Oh, the winter storm warning, meaning snow; that’s pretty bad. One of the nice things about Silverlight is it lets us do amazing graphic animation. So, for example, if you have snow, we can add snow to your WeatherBug, pretty easy to do nowadays with Silverlight. (Applause.)
We tried to do all this with Flash Lite, and believe me, it was costly and didn’t really work. Silverlight is an amazing technology. We built all this in less than three weeks, and it’s working very nicely.
Thank you, Scott.
SCOTT GUTHRIE: Thanks, Demir. (Applause.)
So, going forward you’re going to see us continue to bring Silverlight to more and more mobile devices, and our goal is to try to get it on as many mobile devices and allow you to go ahead and just take advantage of it with a variety of different clients, everything that has an SDK.
So, to sum up what we kind of talked about this morning here, we’ve covered Web standards, we’ve covered some of the things that we’re doing with media support inside Silverlight 2, we’ve covered RIA, and we’ve covered some mobile scenarios; lots of power here, lots of functionality. Best of all, you can now download and take advantage of all these features immediately after this keynote.
So, IE 8 beta 1 is available, Silverlight 2 beta 1 is now available, the Visual Studio and Expression tool support is now available, and we’ve also just brought a new ASP.NET NBC refresh that’s available as well.
We’re very much looking forward to spending the next couple of days with you to be able to talk about these technologies, get your feedback, and hopefully learn how to make them even better.
To learn more about these technologies, you can visit our online sites. The IE 8 beta site is now live, obviously the ASP.NET — www.asp.net — site, our Silverlight site you can now download all of the capabilities from, and we’re also launching a new Expression Designer site, focused on the design community, this week that you can also go ahead and visit.
Again, we’re very much looking forward to the opportunity to partner with you, to talk and engage over the next couple of days. Thanks a bunch for attending and taking time out; we’re really looking forward to it. Thanks. (Applause.)