The keynote presentations were fairly interesting, particularly because they demonstrated a number of cool web apps that people have built with Silverlight. I particularly enjoyed the Hard Rock memorabilia site and the Aston Martin. Unfortunately, this wasn’t Oprah, so I couldn’t reach under my seat and find keys to my new car.
A few key things I learned:
- Microsoft views advertising as the key to the web ecosystem economics. And most of their examples are traditional, print-style advertising (banner ads with video, etc.). Much of their investment in these technologies is to drive the advertising business. Seems diametrically opposed to the ClueTrain Manifesto and markets as conversations. Hugh Macleod, where are you?
- Projecting (if not coining) the concept of Utility Computing. Devices of many forms that each provide some utility into a mesh of such devices connected through the web.
- Entertainment and social network meshes are big parts of their strategy.
- IE8 fixes all the stuff that IE7 broke as far as rendering standards and performance. It’s focus is on integrated interoperability (interop that just works without having to worry about special coding mechanisms). It also introduces concepts of Activities (web services that are linked to snippets of content on the fly; e.g. select the text of a camera model and up pops a smart tag linking to services you’ve enabled, such as finding that model on eBay) and WebSlices (links to subsets of a web page that can pop-up enabled services and maintain a linkage over time).
- Silverlight is focused on rich media applications on the web. Video especially. It is now available to run on Windows Mobile 6.