Now that Mix is behind us I’ll focus on other stuff moving forward, but did want to make a few comments about the event and about the technologies we were showing. We are incredibly pleased of course at all of the positive feedback we received about the event, it sounds like people had a good time generally and found it really useful – plus met up with plenty of interesting people. Which hits all of the targets we were aiming for so we’re well pleased.
One of the difficulties at running an event like Mix is getting the balance right between developers and designers, between people new or new-ish to Microsoft technologies and people who are more experienced, and the business / marketing folks vs the technical folks. And nowhere is that balance more difficult to achieve than in a keynote, but it feels like that we just about pulled it off ie most people found enough of interest in the keynote to make it worthwhile. Case in point: The Sage “tax return” form which is a really interesting blend of the exciting stuff (Silverlight and Ironpython) and the boring stuff (a tax return). Virtually everyone I talked to thought this was the best demo in the keynote and talked about it enthusiastically, and I’ve seen a number of blog posts which agree with that. But I’m not sure the desginers in the audience could get past the “but this is just a boring tax form” concept. Unless people tell me I’m wrong? On balance, I feel it was absolutely a good demo to have in the keynote – for me it said that Silverlight is about more than just whizzy UI, but can and will be used for real world business purposes too and has genuine value to add in that context.
The other piece that is particularly interesting (to me anyhow) is how much Windows Live was talked about at Mix. Not only was it in the keynote – with the new www.adventureworksresorts.com quick app announced – but we had four separate sessions too. Windows Live is starting to really take shape as a developer platform and the story is becoming quite compelling in terms of being able to integrate some genuinely useful features into web apps, plus take advantage of the success of offerings like Hotmail and Messenger.
Mix really did exceed my expectations in terms of how well it all came together – and we’re already starting to think about how we can make it even better next year 🙂