Justin James offers a roundup of Microsoft's major announcements from Mix 09, which include information about Internet Explorer 8, ASP.NET MVC 1.0, Silverlight 3 Beta 1, Expression Blend 3, WebPI, Azure, and .NET RIA Services.
I've been so busy that it slipped by me that Mix 09 was happening last week. My first inkling was when my RSS feeds went absolutely insane with product announcements about development and design-related products. In case you missed the news stories from the event, here's a recap of Microsoft's major announcements.
IE 8 hits the streets
The most important news from the event is probably that IE 8 is now gold and available for download. This one took me completely by surprise; I had no idea that IE 8 was so close to being done. You should have heard my cussing when I learned that IE 8 was dropping on Thursday, as I scrambled to find out if auto updates would push it out that afternoon. Luckily, it is not in the auto update bin as of this time (Microsoft has not announced when that will happen, to the best of my knowledge).
I've already installed IE 8 on my personal desktop computer, and so far, I have no complaints. But there's still plenty of time to find its warts and flaws!
- Microsoft Internet Explorer 8 is released
- Photos: A first look at Microsoft Internet Explorer 8
- Photos: Installing Internet Explorer 8
- Photos: Eight usability tweaks in IE8
ASP.NET MVC 1.0
Version 1.0 of ASP.NET MVC is ready and available to download. This is probably one of the most anticipated .NET items in a while, and it is great that it is out the door. Microsoft has also really shifted gears with how new libraries are developed for .NET, starting a few years ago on a small scale with the AJAX extensions. In a nutshell, Microsoft has decoupled major items (MVC, Parallel Extensions, etc.) from the Framework releases, and as each new version of the Framework is released, the other items are rolled into it. I think that this is the way to go.
Silverlight 3 Beta 1 and Expression Blend 3
Silverlight 3 Beta 1 is out. Let's see... 18 months since Silverlight 1 was released, six months since Silverlight 2 came out (heck, the Olympics were running on a Beta of Silverlight 2), and now Silverlight 3 Beta 1. Dare I say it, but is Microsoft getting a little more dexterous (I hesitate to say agile) in its development?
Silverlight 3 Beta 1 looks pretty solid, with lots of upgrades on the streaming video, offline functionality, the ability to be run out of the browser, and a strong security mode. There are also betas of tools for Silverlight 3 available.
Alongside of the Silverlight 3 Beta is a beta of Expression Blend 3. It looks like there are a ton of improvements in this release.
One-click Web app installation for IIS
WebPI, a "one click install system" for Web apps is released. It's basically a new packaging system that hooks directly to IIS, so you can install an app directly to IIS by running the installer or by managing the install from IIS. Microsoft also has a gallery of apps up to peruse. The WebPI system works with ASP.NET and PHP applications.
Azure gets a refresh
Azure's new CTP is out. It is easier to install the development tools, and the functionality is expanded (to include FastCGI, for example). The development tools have also been expanded a bit as well.
.NET RIA Services
Microsoft announced a new set of libraries called .NET RIA Services (NRS). NRS is designed to make it easier to put together n-tier applications that use RIAs to interact with the user, presumably Silverlight. It couples the mid- and back-end layers with Silverlight to make "daily chore work" easier. It also provides a way for Microsoft to tightly wed Silverlight to the Windows Server platform.
Are you excited about any of these announcements in particular? Have you installed IE 8 yet? If not, do you plan to install it? Let us know what you think about these Mix 09 stories.
J.JaDisclosure of Justin's industry affiliations: Justin James has a working arrangement with Microsoft to write an article for MSDN Magazine. He also has a contract with Spiceworks to write product buying guides.
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