Archive for the 'mix07' Category


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 🙂

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    BBC demonstrates Web 2.0 project

    During the keynote on the second day at Mix07, Microsoft’s 72 hour discussion held yearly in Las Vegas, the BBC demonstrated what for many was one of the highlights of the show.

    This was an extremely complex project in terms of the make up of the team as it comprised people from five companies, Microsoft, BBC, Siemens, Ioko and AKQA, on top of this the time scale for delivery was very demanding with only a 3 week window in which to pull the whole project together. 

    Three weeks, five companies, a new team, a new technology and no set brief at the start of the project, a huge timezone difference, as the designer was actaully in Singapore due to another project commitment – the project had all the signs of a roadcrash!

    Taking all this into consideration I think one an amazingly aspect of this project is that it was actually completed a little ahead of schedule.

    This was only possible due to two things. Firstly it goes without saying the talented design and developer team that worked on the project (well done guys – great job), but secondly, the really flexible way the Silverlight, XAML, JavaScript combo allows the work to be broken down and shared around the team. One developer acted as the hub of the team, the designer and two other developers fed into him. This allowed the designer to concentrate on the visuals, the two developers to concentrate on hooking and writing the JavaScript to provide the interactivity, and the third ‘hub’ developer to actually wire it all up in Blend and Visual Studio.

    The final thing to bear in mind when you look at the video is – this was NOT Silverlight 1.1 Alpha with the built in CLR, that would have been too easy 😉

    This project was built using the Silverlight 1.0 Beta using Javascript to provide the interactivity… personally I think this is great, as it really shows off some of the potential of the technology even in its first iteration.

    You can find further information here at the BBC website

    You can also view the BBC section of the key note: BBC keynote

    Enjoy 🙂


    Expression Blend 2 May Preview Available Now!

    That’s right at the MIX 07 keynote today not only did we annouce the shipping of Expression Studio but also announced that you can download a preview of Expression Blend 2.

    This new preview allows you to start building great media with Silverlight today!

    You can get the download from here:

    Expression Blend 2 May Preview Download