Yesterday, Microsoft announced a significant technology advancement in Rich Internet Application (RIA) platform development.
This announcement was significant on many levels from my perspective.
- It solidifies (beyond SL 1) the ability to use .Net to develop richer (beyond video and media) web client applications. As you may know, I have had strong opinions on the previous Web development experience (Thin Client - Web Clients).
- It clearly shows our effort in meeting customer demands to provide a continuum and compatibility of development environments from Devices to Web and Rich/Smart Client applications. Check out Scott Guthrie's blog post with sample code.
- Providing VS designer support and very rich Expression Studio support for the above. This will further empower designers to build rich client applications with WPF and rich media/RIA experiences with Silverlight.
Check out the Mix08 site for more details, including the keynote.
Some of the coolest things I saw were:
- The Hard Rock Café demo of zooming in and out of media images and retaining resolution. WPF rocks!
- The upcoming Olympics media experience was unbelievable. The demo of multiple channels on the screen, the ability to rewind real time events and PIP (Picture In Picture). Unbelievable. Sniff, sniff, I miss my ability to do PIP on my TV. Sad that with High Def, etc... I had to give up on one of the coolest features I once had.
- Silverlights ability to adjust the streaming experience based on my ever changing connectivity bandwidth was to cool for school.
One other note. I watched the keynote live from my desktop and I couldn't help but wonder how the audience could sit their so quietly when so many cool things were being shown on real bits. We aren't talking vapor or demo-ware here. I haven't been directly involved in the SL development effort and granted I work at Microsoft so I likely bring some bias, and I guess I am more excitable than your average person about where we landed on the ability to develop applications in a very compatible way from devices to Web to Rich Client applications (and maybe I had some influence) but can someone tell me why the audience was not as engaged. I mean, PIP - come on people, that's cool stuff! In any event, as a developer/consumer I am thrilled, as a contributor I am proud, and as a user I don't expect I will leave my DVI flat panel dual monitors during the Olympics.
I would love to get your thoughts on where we hit or missed the mark. Enjoy!