Wild predictions for MIX11

31 03 2011

As I mentioned before, I’ll be attending the glorious MIX conference for the second year in a row this April. Last year, Microsoft showed off IE9 and Windows Phone 7 for the first time, and good times were had by all. This year, we could either see a more timid year with more focus on sessions, or an even more astounding show than the last. Beneath are some of my wild and baseless predictions.


Things that might happen

Silverlight 5 beta

I think this is one of the less wild predictions. Actually, I’d be very surprised if we didn’t see this after the first day’s keynote. Silverlight 5 holds a lot of promise and a good starter for anyone interested is to check the Silverlight 5 Firestarter.


 Silverlight 5 Silverlight 5

 Silverlight 5


Blend 5 beta

We’ve heard nothing about this but the probability of seeing a first glimpse of the next Blend isn’t that bad. With SL5, there is an increased need for handling 3D objects and animation support. Also, Blend has become a very popular tool amongst both developers and artists. Microsoft would be wise to put more focus on this.

If Blend 5 would feature either the creation of 3D XAML objects or just be able to import objects to XAML from Maya or 3D Studio Max, I’d be very happy.

Expression Blend 5

Microsoft Tablet

Rumors in a Swedish magazine further hints about Microsoft actually having a go at the tablet market. As with iPhone, Microsoft are late to the game, but could in my opinion deliver something that Apple couldn’t. The deciding factor I think is whether Microsoft would allow “regular” applications or insist on running only managed code like the iPad. In my opinion, a tablet running regular applications sounds much more promising, especially considering the amount of good applications and market share Apple had when they launched the iPad.

It’s important to make the distinction between “regular apps” and “regular apps for a touch device”. I’m not saying we should run regular versions of Outlook, Spotify and Visual Studio on a touch device. I do say, we’d like to create small, quick apps with WP7 and deploy quickly to Windows 7 (or maybe Windows 8).


Things that won’t happen

Courier revival

Everyone loved courier as an idea, but it’s put in Microsoft Limbo for now, not dead yet not alive. Forever drifting…

I’d like to see Courier come back, but we probably won’t.


Movits performing at MIX

One of Sweden’s hottest bands right now is the jazz-rap-swing-hiphop group Movits, which have gotten a lot of attention in the US as well as at home. Their second album “Out Of My Head” just dropped and I can’t stop listening to them. Balaclava Boogie will definitely be one of my “Vegas tunes” this year.


That’s it folks. Please feel free to add your Mix predictions or Vegas tunes below.




4 responses

31 03 2011

I think we’re going to get some early news on IE10. Having Dean in the keynote doesn’t make a lot of sense unless there is some new IE news, and IE9 is already history by internet standards.

31 03 2011
Viktor Larsson

I agree with you that this might be the case. He might also be there to discuss IE9 for WP7 or rub in the numbers on how successful IE9 is. Would be nice with a small preview though.

8 04 2011
James Manning

I’d imagine Dean might be there to continue the ongoing (IMHO, ineffective so far) efforts to put to rest the HTML5 vs. Silverlight fiasco. Even just looking in DevDiv, there’s Soma arguably trying to (carefully) assert that Silverlight isn’t dead on the SL team blog one day (with Walid and The Gu), then right afterwards posting about HTML5 and Expression Web greatness.

Admittedly, it’s quite the difficult task they have at hand: try to not miss the HTML5 ‘wave’ (and the openness+standards+etc facets thereof) but at the same time, try to not alienate all the Silverlight/MSFT-stack developers.

The really interesting ‘fight’ might be within the Expression suite, where Blend will be fighting Web.

Will Expression Web be crippled and/or delayed in certain areas to try and maintain a (larger than otherwise) feature gap for Silverlight?

Heavily promoting HTML5 development does seem a tad odd from the perspective of developers in the MSFT stack, if for no other reason than it doesn’t seem to do anything to help MSFT revenue.

Trying anything in the ‘Embrace, Extend, Extinguish’ (IE9-specific bits, even if only in the ‘lights up’ category) is likely to result in mass-defection (not much point in using an HTML5 development tool whose output doesn’t work across all the major browsers). Similar attempts at 800lb-gorilla behavior (WRT specs on HTML5/CSS3/ECMAScript/etc or other areas) would seem to be similarly self-destructive of the current efforts.

ok, that’s enough rambling out of me for now. :)

9 04 2011
Viktor Larsson

Hi James!

That was a long comment, but well worth reading. I agree that it will be hard to balance HTML5 and Silverlight. And maybe even harder for us to justify using SL in our projects.

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