Live from MIX08 – Day 1

March 5, 2008 at 9:56 am 1 comment

OK. MIX08 just started. Over 2,000 attendees. So many people that MS employees have to be in an overflow room to make sure customers/partners are able to see the Ray Ozzie keynote in the main room.

If you’re interested in watching the keynote, click here.

Ray is talking about the evolution of the web over the past years and how user engagement has increased through things like social networking, blogging, tagging, etc. With that, the importance of advertising is increasing and MS has an important role in providing a great search and advertising platform.

3 core pricinples for how MS is looking at the web as a S+S platform:

  1. the web as a hub for all kinds of social and device interaction
  2. providing the power of choice to businesses in terms of embracing the web as an extension of the data center
  3. a fabric of software and services that are loosely coupled through standard interfaces

The ability to mesh devices and applications will enable new way of developing applications, manage applications, and administer systems.

‘Connected Entertainment’ will enable individuals to only license a media file once and be able to consume it on different systems. More and more of M&E services will be progressively transformed by ‘connected entertainment’.

‘Conentected Productivity’ will allow individuals to use Office applications wherever, whenever, however they want. Through the integration of Office Live Workspaces with Office client, it will become more and more of a hub for an individuals’ productivity needs.

‘Connected Business’ benefits will come from the enterprise embracing utility computing in the data center (Win Server 2008) as well as in the cloud (MS Online). Building block services (BizTalk Services, SQL Services) as well as enterprise applications (Exchange Online etc.) are available to extend/shift enterprise computing from the data center to the cloud.

 ‘Connected Development’ through powerful tools and building block services.

IE8 Beta 1

Some really cool new features in IE8. I can visit a web site, mark something like an address, right click and a variety of ‘activities’ show up. Such an activity could be LiveMaps, which when selected brings up a small window with the map for the address. These activities can easily created through small weight XML code.

Silverlight

1.5 million Silverlight downloads per day! Silverlight 2 Beta 1 available for download now. Silverlight 2 will have adaptive streaming to adapt to varying bandwidth available. No end-user action required, bit rate for the media is automatically adjusted – up and down. Strategic partnership between MS and Move Networks for tighter integration between Silverlight and Move Networks.

Very seemless integration between Silverlight, VisualStudio, Expression Blend and Atlas AdManager to quickly design/build multimedia ads with integrated tracking via templates and wizards.

DoubleClick announcing support for Silverlight 2 for in-stream advertising.

2008 Olympics on NBC. NBC providing a preview of the 2008 Olympics site. 2,200 hours of Olympics will be available online live and via VOD through Silverlight. NBC will be adding data about the teams and the players to the video stream and allow the viewer to get more information. The video stream can be extended to 16×9 HDTV format. Infividual clips can be shared with other users and create a ‘connected experience’. Pitcure in Picture capabilities and multiple feeds within the same window, which lets the user switch between different events. Lots of applause from the audience…!

AOL showing off a mail application written in Silverlight. Incredible performance in terms of data pulling and interactivity. Ability to easily reskin and personalize the UI. Didn’t look like a web application at all, rather like a rich client app. To see this application for yourself, click here.

Blazing Fast AOL Mail with Silverlight

Hard Rock showing their memorabilia collection on the web, implemented with Silverlight. Incredible navigation, zooming in/out, being able to ‘move’ around within a Hard Rock cafe and zooming into individual collection pieces. This will be live this week at http://www.hardrock.com/ in the Memorabilia section.

Cirque de Soleil showing a casting database application (built in WPF) that can be used in the field or anywhere. Casting director taking video of Scott Guthrie juggling to record his talents in the database. She then categorizes his talents. This offline database is then synched with their main datbase in Canada. This application helps their 65 talent scouts all over the world to organize the casting progress. She can look-up openings for the different CdS shows and map those openings to potential talents recorded in the database.

Silverlight Mobile. Mobile social networking application (Mixer) shown on a mobile phone. Application was developed once and can then run on a desktop of mobile device. Scott Guthrie announcing that MS and Nokia partnered to integrate Silverlight on Nokia platform. Weatherbug showing a new Silverlight application running on a Nokia device. Also available here.

Here are more links to keynote details on the MIX web site.

Search Engine Optimization

Session VOD here

68% of all people coming to an ecommerce site started at a seach engine.

Crawling (what is the search engine looking for?):

  • what does the Robot.txt file say?
  • Can I download this page?
  • Can I process this page?
  • What is this page about?
  • What are all the links?
  • How does this compare to past versions?

Ranking:

  • Inbound links
  • Quality of content on the page

Searching:

  • is it spelled right?
  • is the user looking to buy/navigate/etc.?
  • what content can best fulfill the neews
  • how should the results be ordered?

Best Practices:

  • Proper use of HTML tags –> use them semantically
  • Anchor text really important <a>
  • Heading tag very impotant (only 1 per page) <h1>
  • Title <t>: include a desciptive title
  • Don’t lock navigation behind JavaScript –> whatever is within JS can’t be seen by a search engine

URLs:

  • Structure/Semantic of URL is important too.
  • Describe what’s on the page in the URL (i.e. store.com/Microsoft-Zune-G2-Black/sku_1234.htm)
  • Don’t use underscore ‘_’ to separate words, as search engines look at it as 1 word, not as separate words. Better to separate the words with dashes ‘-‘.
  • Pay attention to HTTP status codes

Microsoft Surface

I just had my first hands-on experience with Microsoft Surface and man is it cool!!! I want one at home. No more messes with kids working with fingerpaint, sharing/organizing photos by simply moving them around with your hands and such is just super cool. It’s super intuitive and very fast. Quite frankly, I was suprised how responsive the surface interface is and how fast the applications respond to objects, such as membership cards, phones, digital cameras or such being placed on it. This UI proves that less is more.

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First blog entry Live from MIX08 – Day 2

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Brent  |  March 5, 2008 at 5:22 pm

    Very very very cool! Silverlight and Surface – how dazzling! The Hard Rock demo is terrific.

    Reply

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