Archive for the 'event' Category


are you thinking of going to MIx 08?

There’s good news and bad news.

Let’s deal with the bad news first. The bad news is that Mix 08 is totally sold out so if you’ve not got your ticket you’ll have to wait until next, book early! Well done to the Mix team for putting together a great schedule.

The good news is that will be hosting videos of many of the sessions. Not the same as seeing them live and interacting with the other delegates and speakers but definitely better than missing out altogether.

Keep your eye on for all the latest news.


MIX winding down for 07… looking towards 08

MIX has changed dramatically since it appeared on to the event map as a single event in Las Vegas in 2006.

This year MIX blossomed into a worldwide extravaganza which started in Las Vegas in late April, to then spread out across the globe at 17 other events.

  • MIX 07 – April 30 – May 2
  • Sweden – May 24
  • Italy – May 30
  • Hong Kong – June 5
  • Hungary – June 11 – 12
  • Netherlands – June 13 – 14
  • India (TechMela) – June 13 – 16
  • Switzerland – June 18 – 19
  • Korea – June 19
  • France – June 21
  • Silicon Valley – June 22
  • Australia – June 25 – 26
  • South Africa – June 26 – 27
  • Singapore – June 29
  • Taiwan – August 30
  • UK – September 11 – 12
  • Tokyo – September 19
  • Germany (XTopia) – October 10 – 12

    Having been at Microsoft for just over 12 months working as a User Experience Evangelist (UXE) seeing this kind of investment this early in Microsoft’s entry in to the creative market has been a fantastic thing to witness first hand. No toe in the water here, it’s been jump in with both feet and really embrace the market.

    For me personally it’s been a great experience getting to meet so many people across the globe from so many differing backgrounds, pure .Net developers, ActionScript gurus, pure Flash animators, Photoshop masters, Ruby and Python experts… this for me is what has made the events so – eventful – such a diverse range of people brought together at one event. MIX, really does live up to it’s name!

    It’s been a packed six months, I can’t really believe it’s only been that long but from sitting in as part of the audience at MIX in Vegas, hearing and seeing the amazing reaction to the announcements that day to presenting sessions at 6 of the different ReMIX events around the world, it’s been a real buzz being part of this adventure. I mean, little did I realise when I saw Wayne Smith deliver his Expression piece of the keynote in Vegas that I’d be on stage doing the same thing in keynotes in Sweden, Italy, Hungary, South Africa and the UK! A few late nights, and the addition of a few gray hairs 🙂

    So why post about MIX now? For me MIX is only over now. MIX:UK is the last MIX event I’m involved in this year and it just seemed a good reflection point.

    MIX:UK itself was a blockbuster. A sell out event. In reality it was over subscribed so no doubt we’ll be looking for a bigger venue next time!

    It was a hugely ambitious project for a first time event, 4 tracks, 36 sessions, 58 speakers, the obligatory party – with a full on Guitar Hero 2 competition. What I feel worked really well in this event was that of the 4 tracks only 2 were owned by Microsoft, the other 2 tracks were run by the community, 1 track for designers, 1 for developers. In the spirit of ‘mixing’ it up the owners of those tracks had full autonomy over who they invited to speak – so we had sessions that included Ruby, Python, work by Flash designers, and session titles such as ¨a nice cup of tea¨ and ¨swaggily fortunes¨, yes MIX:UK is definitely the right title for this event. Response to the event has been great, you can read some of the feedback, reviews, summaries etc on the backnetwork, or if you’d prefer a quick summary in a different format then you can can listen to the BBC podcast here (updated BBC link).

    This is what makes the MIX events so great, they’re literally the physical embodiment of Microsoft’s reinvention, from a company that seemed to be inward looking and risk averse to one that is trying new things on almost a daily basis, Silverlight, Surface, Photosynth, Seadragon and in terms of technology is now practically an open house!

    The change has been massive and it’s just the start… and the place to be to witness the next stage of the evolution… MIX 08 Las Vegas March 5-7 2008, see you there 🙂

  • 27

    A question at recent events was… Flash or WPFe?

    I’ve attended a number of events over the last few weeks, Designertopia, WebDD, Media Technology Day at Microsoft and the Future of Web apps. During these events a couple of questions have cropped up more than others, firstly isn’t WPF/e just the same as Flash, should I use WPF, WPFe, or XBAP and finally the more general, which technology should I use?

    The first question is the one I’m expecting to hear most as we continue talking to the general designer community and in many respects it reminds me in some regards to the old isn’t Flash just the same as Director discussions from many years ago. The end content looked similar, yet the journey to produce that end content was totally different.

    In reality I think this is what is happening with WPFe and Flash today.

    Designers who have lived with Flash for the last 10 years are picking up WPFe, kicking the tyres and recreating the same kind of work you can create in Flash… from an external point of view for someone looking at the finished work there seems little or no difference, but the journey to get there is totally different.

    Well if we ignore the fact that as of today there is no IDE for WPFe which tends to put the brakes on the design process (watch this space though), when you talk to those designers and developers already experimenting with WPFe the difference between WPFe and Flash is stark.

    Taking a simplistic view Flash provides a wonderful environment for building self contained applications or widgets, essentially self contained interactive web real estate. It’s a binary file format that recreates a lot of the same functionality as HTML, drop down menus, scrollbars, etc, and it needs to do this as Flash is an island of interactive content within the HTML page. Flash has a robust development language; ActionScript which enables some truly amazing experiences to be produced, but Flash remains something that exists as an element on a page rather than existing as an integrated part of the page.

    WPFe tackles the same area of rich content but from a different direction. WPFe could be considered as an extension of HTML and AJAX rather than a standalone technology like Flash. It’s not a binary file format and instead exists as a combination of XML and Javascript. WPFe content is blended into the page in addition to the technology and therefore doesn’t replicate the functionality of the technolgies that already exist.

    Flash replaces parts of the page to provide a richer experience, and WPFe extends the page to provide the richer experience.

    The end result of both technologies is a richer, and hopefulley better(!) browser experience.

    So, when it comes to the wire which technology is better Flash or WPFe. Well I work for Microsoft and left Adobe/Macromedia after 7 years to be here so it’s obvious which direction I prefer. But that decision was a personal one.

    It’s all too easy to cloud pragmatic judgements in the real world of end users, deadlines and clients; there is no black and white, right or wrong, it’s all shades of grey and it’s about using the right technology for the right project to deliver the best experience for the user.

    For the developers and designers the choice in the long run will probably fall to the technology that fits in with their production model better.

    The one thing that we should never forget is that for the client and particularly the end user they don’t really care about the technology – they only care about the experience.


    Date for the diary, Feb 21st: WPF and Expression Technical session with the team

    In December Tim Sneath brought about twenty members of the WPF team together to answer your technical questions and listen to your feedback.

    Well that worked well so we’re doing it all over again 🙂

    This time the team will be covering both WPF and Expression Blend. If you’re working on a WPF application as a developer or designer, or even just thinking of using WPF, it’s definately worth coming along to heer what’s going on and have the opportunity to question the team directly.

    Ideally in addition to the usual Q&A we’d love to hear feedback on what we’re doing right and wrong with WPF, and what you’d like to see in the next release of WPF?

    The chat takes place on Wednesday, February 21st 2007 at 7pm UK/GMT, 8pm Europe (that’s 2pm Eastern, 11am Pacific). Use this link to add an appointment to your calendar, and use this link to enter the chatroom on the day of the event.

    Grab yourself a cup of tea (or something stronger) settle down and join the team.

    Spread the word around, and hope to see you there!