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MIX 2011–Day 2 Recap: Kinect and Mango

Day 2 of MIX 2011 is over, and a lot has happened. Today we saw presentations from Joe Belfiore, Scott Guthrie, and Dan Fernandez, each one of them demonstrating some awesome technology. We heard that Windows Phone “Mango” development tools would be available next month, Kinect for Windows SDK some time in the Spring, and John Papa demonstrated some forthcoming Silverlight 5 features, including Data binding support in debug mode within Visual Studio.

The most exciting feature announced, for me at least, was the XNA and Silverlight integration. They didn’t elaborate on it much during the keynote, but it should allow XNA developers to build easy UX Experiences within their games, or allow Silverlight developers to deliver high quality 3D Content in their projects. I’ll be going to another session today on the topic, and will bring more details when I can.

The first session I went to yesterday was What’s Coming Next to the Windows Phone Application Platform. This session covered a full list of everything we saw in the Keynote, giving itemized lists detailing what we would be seeing in Mango. They didn’t go too far in depth, but the pointed us in the directions of the sessions that would be relevant to our interests.

I moved onto a lunch session, which was unique in that it addressed the issue of a lack of Women in Technology. The session was led by Lynn Langit, Sr. Developer Evangelist for Microsoft, and Thomas Mueller, who works extensively with databases. The lunch session was interesting because it had attendees building Lego models that represented issues related to Women in Technology.

After that, I moved down to the Connect area to speak with Clint Rutkas about his Kinect driven chair. They had two of the chairs set up in the Coding4Fun area, one functioning and the other taken a part for people to look at the internal guts of the chair. I’m sure that many people are interested in building something something like this, and the instructions on how to do so will be available on Coding4Fun when the Kinect SDK goes public.

The next session I attended  was Windows Phone Architecture: Deep Dive. It was a rather interesting, informative session, where the speaker, Istvan Cseri, delivered information about all the changes coming quite in depth. He spoke about the new Gyroscopes, the new chipset, and other hardware and software updates we will see in Mango. If you’re into the deep details of the Windows Phone platform, I highly recommend you take a look at the streamed version on the MIX Website.

The final session of the day that I attended was Multitasking in the Next Version of Windows Phone: Part 1. This was a slide intensive talk where they went over how multitasking in Mango is going to work, and what we as developers have to do to take advantage of the rich new feature set related to Multitasking. He broke down the four basic types of Multitasking and gave a brief demo of them. The second part will be today, and is a much more code-intensive session.

I’ll have more information related to the third day of the conference, covering each session I attended and giving more technical details hopefully.

Until next time,
Patrick Godwin

MIX 2011– Day 2 Keynote Announcements

It’s been another great keynote here at MIX 2011, with great announcements from both the Windows Phone team, the Silverlight team, and the team that developed the Kinect for Windows SDK. Let’s go ahead and breakdown the keynote announcements.

For the Windows Phone announcements, Joe Belfiore took the stage to announce the updates made for the Windows Phone developer experience. They announced new features related to “Mango”, such as the ability for application multitasking and fast application switching, deeper integration with phone features so apps can better use Live Tiles, and access to different sensors, such as the camera and Motion Sensor, to build augmented reality experiences. The tools for these features will be available to developers soon.

They then announced some forthcoming apps, which should be available in the next version of Windows Phone. These apps included Skype, Spotify, Layar, Qantas, Kik Messenger, and Amazon Shopping for Windows Phone 7.

Up next was  the Kinect for Windows SDK, which was presented using demos  of Microsoft research’s WorldWide telescope, as well as a PC game called “Wall Panic”, which utilized the Kinect Sensor through the new Kinect for Windows SDK. Clint Rutkas, owner of the successful Coding4Fun blog on Channel9, was a part of this section of the keynote. To learn more about the Kinect for Windows SDK, and to sign up to be notified of the beta release, take a look here.

Finally, the Silverlight team, set to demonstrate some of the new features present in the Silverlight 5 beta, which is available for developers now. They demonstrated a new XNA-based form of 3D Virtualization on Silverlight, and showed never before seen HD video from the U.S. Navy Blue Angels using Silverlight 5. More information is available here.

Overall the Day 2 keynote was very interesting, and contained plenty of great bits for developers to use and expand upon. Take a look throughout the day on Twitter for the latest information related to the MIX event.

Until Next Time,
Patrick Godwin

MIX 2011–Day 1 Wrap Up

All I can say is wow. MIX is an extraordinary conference with lots of great information and breakthrough sessions related to XNA, Windows Phone, and other great technologies. After the keynote addresses, people made their way from the ballroom to different breakout sessions.

Before attending my first session, I took a look around The Commons, an area where development teams from all around the convention had booths set up to demo their technologies. I stopped by the Windows Azure booth,  the Windows Phone 7 booth, the ReSharper booth, and the Internet Explorer booth. One of the main reasons to visit these booths? Swag, and lots of it. T-Shirts, buttons, and all sorts of other goodies were handed out for free, so it’s a nice touch.

From there I moved to my first breakout session, which was presented by Rob Miles, a professor of computer science from the United Kingdom. He demonstrated XNA 4.0 in the context of Windows Phone, and gave quite an amusing presentation. His demoes from his presentation are available over at his blog.

After this session, I went with Kenny Spade, an Academic Developer Evangelist for Microsoft, to the lunch room to meet with a Microsoft Student Partner who was present at the event. I introduced myself to Jennipha-Lauren Nielsen, and hope to continue to work with her throughout this event.

After that I relaxed for about an hour in The Connect room, learning about Netduino, a microprocessor running on the .NET Micro Framework. If you’re interested in learning more about Netduino, take a look here. I also caught up with Clint Rutkas, of Coding4Fun, sat with Dennis Delimarsky and I for a bit, just trying to find some time to relax before heading back to the busy events.

The last event I sat in on was a session related to the Rx extensions for .NET, more specifically how they apply to Windows Phone. Jim Wooley, owner of ThinqLinq.com, showed some cool demos on how to move your current applications to a model that uses the observer pattern, using the Reactive extensions for Windows Phone 7. For more information related to his presentation, check this out.

That’s a rough breakdown of my first day at MIX. Remember to continue to follow my blog, as well as my Twitter and the #MicrosoftSI hashtag for the latest information related to the Microsoft Student Insiders at MIX 2011.

Until Next Time,
Patrick Godwin

Full Disclosure:
My trip to the event, as well as my badge and all other expenses were paid for by Microsoft as a part of the Student Insider program.

MIX2011 Day 1 Keynote–Announcements

There is a lot going on here at MIX11, from awesome breakthrough speakers to the announcements at the keynotes. Today’s keynote showed some awesome announcements.

First of all, Dean Hachamovitch, VP of Internet Explorer, announced availability of the Internet Explorer 10 Platform Preview. Dean was quoted as saying “Internet Explorer 10 will push the boundaries of what developers can do on the Web even further.”.

Internet Explorer 10 will push the limits, improving support for HTML5 as well as hardware acceleration, first shown in Internet Explorer 9. Internet Explorer 10 adds new features, such as CSS3 Gradients on background images and CSS3 Flexible Box Layout. You can download the Internet Explorer 10 Platform Preview here, and can expect code refreshes every 12 weeks.

During the keynote Microsoft demoed how technologies like HTML5 and IE9 can be used to deliver a richer and more beautiful experience on the web, using Foursquare as the platform, providing visualizations of how the users gather. You can take a look at the foursquare demos here.

Dean Hachamovitch took the stage again to demonstrate how Microsoft is committed to web standards. Hey showed projects from the HTML5 Labs site, a group of early prototypes of the specifications from W3C. Check it out here.

Microsoft also talked about the Orchard project, a free CMS built using ASP.NET. Orchard 1.1 is available today, along with many new modules from Amazon, UserVoice, and DISQUS. They also announced an ASP.NET MVC3 Tools Update, with support for Entity Framework 4.1, which includes Code First Support, as well as HTML5 markup support

MIX11–Keynote Day 1

The Microsoft Student Insiders are covering the MIX 2011 Keynotes live. Take a look at the live blog below:

<a href=”http://www.coveritlive.com/mobile.php/option=com_mobile/task=viewaltcast/altcast_code=c624e8830f” _mce_href=”http://www.coveritlive.com/mobile.php/option=com_mobile/task=viewaltcast/altcast_code=c624e8830f”>MIX 2011 Microsoft Keynote Day 1</a>