I'm at the MIX conference in Las Vegas, courtesy of Microsoft New Zealand. Ray Ozzie has just completed his keynote speech, in which he delivered a more refined version of his 'integrated Web/Desktop' vision. He talked about how the best solutions are "integrated solutions", meaning integrated Web, desktop and mobile. He talked about RIAs and devices, and noted that in this era SAAS now means "software *and* a service". He went on to say that web apps today and tomorrow are complicated, fragmented. He also noted the richness of all the possible delivery platforms in this era.
Next Ray Ozzie outlined two types of web apps - what he calls "Universal Web" apps, meaning ajax, html, browser based apps. Then he discussed "Experience First" apps - xbox, mobile, pc desktop apps. He pointed out that "the most sucessful solutions have an element each of universal web and experience first".
Ray said that a common design pattern has emerged for this new era of desktop/web/mobile apps - desktop for richness, browser for tagging and other collaboration/community features, mobile for location-specific information.
Ray said that this "brings together the best of the web, best of the desktop and best of the device - using the service as a hub". He also noted that to build these apps, developers and designers can use all kinds of platforms - some of them not Microsoft's. He may've been referring to Adobe Apollo, for example. (Incidentally, I visited Adobe's HQ last week and there is a post on that coming soon).
Next up, Ray Ozzie announced some major upgrades to the Silverlight product, which was first announced a couple of weeks ago. There are 3 main parts to Silverlight now, said Ozzie.
Silverlight is targeted purely at the universal web - it's a cross platform runtime for video delivery. This was the part that was announced two weeks ago.
The big news today is that Microsoft is bringing Silverlight into the .NET environment, making it a full-fledged RIA deployment platform. Ray referred to Silverlight as a "first class .net runtime environment" and noted that "Silverlight brings .net to the universal web".
Also, Microsoft is officially shipping Expression Studio today.
In other news, there are new APIs and html-based controls being released - for Live contacts, virtual earth, photos within Spaces, search.
Ray then showed Photosynth, a new photo app that has an excellent zooming feature - which has also been added to Silverlight.
3) Silverlight Streaming
The third part of the story is streaming, which allows developers to post Silverlight apps to Microsoft's storage service in the cloud. This essentially enables things like video streaming, via the browser.
Overall, Ray referred to Silverlight as a "foundational technology" which is now a key part of Microsoft's web development platform.
More from MIX soon....
Photo from pxn8 (I was sitting next to him)
Update: Microsoft Silverlight 1.0 Beta and Microsoft Silverlight 1.1 Alpha is immediately available for download at http://www.microsoft.com/silverlight.