I had a great time at the keynote today. The audience was very engaged and the partners that came up for demos add a lot of value. If you where there, I'd love to hear from you. If you could not make it, we are working on getting the video up on the net soon, stay tuned!
I kicked it off by talking about the "balances" we are faced with in the industry today... PC vs. Web, Device vs. PC, Software vs. Services, Consumer vs. IT, On-site vs. Hosted... The list goes on. For most of us, there is not real choice to be made in each of these cases. The answer is clearly both in just about every case. Yes, you need to think about both PC and web, you need to think about software and services. Putting your head in the sand on any one of these can a serious missed opportunity for your business. Investing exclusively in any of these could equally well put your business at risk. The solution here is balance...
Luckily the .NET platform makes it easy to deliver this balance... .NET now spans web, rich client and, with Silverlight, the RIA and media space.
For the media space, I showed off the HD video and general power of the video rendering engine we have in Silverlight with the Fox HD trailers and the video wall.
9 videos at once... wow.
Then I talked about the recent Silverlight 1.0 RTM just a few weeks ago... I am very happy with the adopt we are getting... I showed just a few of the many customers we have for Silverlight 1.0 live on the web today:
The Home Shopping Network has a very compelling LIVE stream, but they also allow users to select recent segments based on their interest at the moment.. this puts the users more in the control, thereby increasing HSNs sales.
I gotta say, I have never been interest in professional wresting, but with the World Wide Wresting website using Silverlight I can now claim I am "working" when I check out WrestleMania 23 😉
And of course, Microsoft is using Silverlight on our own sites... One of the most popular is Tafiti, a search organization site based on Silverlight..
And of course the official Halo3 site...
A few the many other Silverlight early adopters we have live today!
Next I moved on to RIA applications that are enabled by Silverlight 1.1 and specifically the developer\designer collaboration Silverlight offers and the value of having a .NET offering in the browser..
Next I showed the Top Banana application that the great folks at Metaliq did. This is a great application to show the depth of applications you can build with Silverlight in browser. A few years ago I would have never guessed that you could build a first class video editing\lightboard application in the browser. That and it is done in 209KB (uncompressed)... wow!
Next I showed the Dynamic Language Runtime demo... This showed how mature the CLR in Silverlight is. I am able to type in code and have it dynamically executed.
Next, I dropped to some code to show how you really build stuff with Silverlight. Here are the basic steps: I built
1) In Visual Studio Beta2 (with the Silverlight Tools Alpha Refresh) I built a very simple Silverlight 1.1 hello world application with a client side event handler in C#. Get the source to the full project
2) I opened the exact same project file and Xaml file in Expression Blend 2 September Preview and did some cool designer effects such as gradient fills and adding a cool timeline.
3) I deployed the application (the page.xaml and dll\pdb) to a linux box. I showed a very simple PHP page I wrote to host the Silverlight content. There are no special extensions or Microsoft code required on the server to host Silverlight. It will work with any web server!
Download load the full project from here ReMixApp.tar.gz
4) I hit the page from a mac and showed how you can deploy on Linux and server content seamlessly to a Mac. For completeness I also showed how this works great with streaming video from the Linux box as well.
And, I could not help but also show some simple streaming media example... this is exactly the output of Expression Encoder just FTP'ed up to my Linux server...
5) I went back to my Visual Studio project and showed how to do remote debugging to the mac. I attached to the Safari process on the mac, set a break point and stepped into the code. I showed off the complete debugger experience you get including locals and the immediate windows where I showed I could change properties and have them reflected back on the process running on the mac.
I ran out of time to show building an ASP.NET project that hosts the Silverlight content with the asp:Xaml control and how to consume a web service from Silverlight in an Async way... that will have to wait until next time 😉 But if you want to play with it now, download it from now.
Next, I talked about PopFly... This is a very cool, viral mashup building application that is targeted at advanced end users. PopFly itself is a great Silverlight example app as are the mashups it creates.
I showed PopFly off by opening up a my friends FaceBook page where he had published a cool Astorids\Flickr mashup he created on PopFly.
I liked it, but of course I wanted to tweak it a bit, so opened it up in PopFly and changed it to a Wack-a-Mole game
Then published it to by spaces.live.com site.
A very cool end-to-end work flow.
Next we dropped into some really cool partner demos to see what customers are already doing with the Silverlight platform.
First I had Justin Shaffer, SVP for New Media for Major League baseball .com... The have a very cool Silverlight application that gives subscribers access to live streaming and on demand video from every major league game. It comes complete with overlay stats and enough data to make even the hard core base ball fans happy!
Next with a real powerhouse in the web design world... Lightmaker...
CEO Ian Hilton and Keith Frechette told a great story of how they went from a 100% flash shop to a big Silverlight and WPF fans by watching Microsoft's changing attitude toward user centric design and the really compelling products that outstrip what you can do in Flash today.
They showed us a couple of very cool apps they are working on for the Orlando Magic. A ecommerice application complete with forms, data validation and form to form navigation
And a seat selector application that allows you to drill in and literally see what the field looks like from your seat before you buy!
See it live here
Lightmaker was helped out by having accesses to a really powerful new set of Silverlight controls from ComponentOne..
I was happy to bring up Todd Schick Director of Business Development and Bernardo de Castilho CTO join me in the keynote. These folks offer some really impressive business focused controls for Silverlight 1.1 that fully support the easy programming model of WinForms with the styling and customization of Xaml.
Just check out their control gallery
And did you notice that the cool ReMixBoston page was actually used ComponentOne's DataGrid?
Finally, I was very pleased to be joined by Miguel de Icaza from the Moonlight project.
He showed off many of the apps we demoned during the keynote running on Linux in Moonlight! Miguel and I had a good debate on Emacs vs Visual Studio.. Regardless of what "real men" do... I gotta say I love VS 😉