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MIX06 recap: How bloggers reacted to Microsoft's latest show

Bloggers covered all the bases at Microsoft's MIX06 show. Here we look at what the community said about the conference.

Wireless Internet service permeated MIX06; signals were available just about everywhere Microsoft was at The Venetian in Las Vegas. Some used this service to catch up on work or sports scores, while others kept the community informed on the proceedings, in many cases updating their blogs as sessions transpired. Other bloggers, in turn, posted their reaction to what had been said, and so on and so on. Here we take a look at what the blog community has said about MIX06.

(The views these bloggers express are not necessarily the views of Also, this is but a small sampling of the reaction to MIX06. As you can imagine, a show with omnipresent wifi for those who are there -- not to mention live video streaming for those who are not there -- generated much buzz.)

Bill Gates' keynote address
As reported here, Microsoft chairman and chief software architect Bill Gates used his keynote address to tell developers that future Web applications must focus on the end user. Most bloggers found demos of killer apps that MySpace and the BBC are rolling out more impressive than Gates. Paul Ballard described it as a "rumpled looking monologue," while Nick Bradbury, said it "started off as the same old robotic marketing pitch" before Tim O'Reilly, founder of O'Reilly Media Inc., came on stage to interview Gates.

MySpace's amazing growth
Social networking site MySpace is now the second-biggest site on the Web, trailing only Yahoo! and having recently passed MSN. Microsoft, though, takes comfort in knowing that MySpace uses ASP.NET 2.0 and SQL Server 2005 to manage its 1.5 billion daily page views and dramatically reduce its CPU server utilization, Scott Guthrie writes. Meanwhile, Robert Scoble shares the lessons behind MySpace's success that he learned from CTO Aber Whitcomb.

Atlas makes its debut
Two emerging Microsoft technologies generated much buzz from bloggers. The first was Atlas, the tool that lets ASP.NET developers uses Ajax (Asynchronous JavaScript and XML) in all its glory without getting JavaScript headaches. Jon Galloway offers his thoughts on the technology, as does Scott Guthrie, who offers a variety of Atlas-related downloads, including a talk he gave at Microsoft DevDays in The Netherlands.

More on MIX06's MIX06 page

Gates: Web development must focus on user, not device

WPF covers browsers and beyond

Microsoft unleashes Atlas at MIX06

WPF hits the big, and small, screen
The second hot technology was Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF) and its browser- and platform-neutral companion, Windows Presentation Foundation Everywhere (WPF/E). This, in a nutshell, is Microsoft's XAML-based UI creating tool, and it can be used for apps geared toward mobile device or high-def TVs. Mike Harsh offers a few screenshots of what can be created with WPF, while Ben Galbraith and Jon Galloway offered their perspective on WPF/E. Andrew Stopford, meanwhile, weighs in on the Flash/Flex vs. WPF/Expression debate.

Overall impressions

  • Michael Swanson notes that MIX06 organizers will soon be posting webcasts of every session. Swanson also hints at posting a how-to for folks who want to strip out the video and listen to sessions as audio files while they travel. If still photos are your thing, there's a huge gallery at Flickr of the show, The Venetian and Sin City itself.
  • Kaliya Hamlin, also known as Identity Woman, offers two reasonable criticisms of the proceedings: the lack of plugs in any of the conference halls and the absence of an official conference wiki.
  • Randy Holloway describes the conference as "wildly successful," though he wishes the presentations had been more interactive and the tools for networking got people talking to folks they didn't already know.
  • After watching the proceedings from his desk and perusing the blogoshpere, TDavid of Make You Go Hmm concludes that, face-to-face networking aside, there was no reason to attend MIX06, since all the relevant information was on the Web.
  • Finally, MiniMicrosoft wishes the Vista delay news could have been delayed a week so Microsoft could have had some time to bask in the glow of a successful show.
  • Dig Deeper on ASP.NET and Ajax development

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