Home Live Blog: Microsoft MIX 2011 Day 2 – New Windows Phone 7 Features, Silverlight 5, Kinect SDK

Live Blog: Microsoft MIX 2011 Day 2 – New Windows Phone 7 Features, Silverlight 5, Kinect SDK

Today we’re at Microsoft MIX, a developers conference in Las Vegas. Microsoft will be trying to woo developers and presenting on HTML5, Windows Phone 7 and Silverlight.

Today we’re expecting to see more about mobile and Kinect.

9:05 The event kicked off with this video made by a fan. Joe Belfiore, corporate vice president and director of Windows Phone Program Management, says that if the video gets enough page views it will be turned into a television commercial “because we care about the community.”

9:08 Belfiore is addressing the issue of failed updates. Says issues weren’t widespread, but Microsoft decided to halt the updates because of uncertainty about how widespread the issues are.

9:11 He says that operators make the final call about when updates go out.

9:13 There are now 13,000 apps in the WP7 app market.

9:15 Gartner and IDC predict WP7 will be the 2nd most popular mobile OS by 2015.

9:16 Marco Argenti, head of developer experience for Nokia, is taking the stage to talk about the Microsoft partnership.

9:18 Says Nokia will bring more users to WP7, more customers for WP7 app sellers.

9:18 Back to Belfiore. He says WP7 will support 16 language. Today developers from 30 countries can build and sell apps, that will increase to 38. End users will be able to buy apps from 35 different countries, up from 16.

9:21 Experience for users with lots of apps will improve – searching for installed apps, searching marketplace etc.

9:22 Better filtering in the marketplace – music, podcasts and apps will be separated. More meta data, including ratings.

9:24 Belfiore is demoing the marketplace features on an Asus device, not a Nokia.

9:27 Demoing the ability to append additional info to the “cards” for various objects (apps, movies, etc.) within the OS.

9:29 The same IE9 codebase as used on the desktop will be on WP7.

9:31 Now playing music from an HTML5 site – you can multi-task with this, leave the music playing in the background while opening other apps.

9:32 Now he’s comparing an iPhone 4, a Nexus S and a WP7 phone running an HTML5 “speed reading” test. WP7 smoked all of them, the Nexus was 2nd and the iPhone lagged behind.

9:36 New features coming in the fall: sockets, built in sql database, more launchers and choosers, and access to contact and calendar. Also, access to sensors: raw camera access, gyroscope, etc.

9:39 Demo of scanning a barcode in order to find a price on Amazon.com. Showing how to pin the app to the homescreen to make it easy to do the barcode scanning.

9:40 WP7 team worked with Microsoft Reseach to create the “motion sensor” which makes it simple to build motion sensative apps with the compass and gyroscope. Demoing the use of augmented reality app Layar.

9:44 Demoing multitasking. Spotify is coming to WP7, and it will support the background audio stuff demoed earlier.

9:45 Angry Birds will be available for WP7.

9:46 “Live Agents” – system of running background apps w/o eating too much battery.

9:47 Example – Qantas app. He can pin a tile for each flight he has in the app. The tiles update can trigger alarms, change color, etc. depending on flight status and where you are.

9:51 Developer tools, codenamed “Mango” will be available next month.

9:52 Scott Guthrie now talking about developer experience.

9:53 Demoing new emulator capabilities, including accelerometer support via a 3D emulator allowing you to move the virtual phone around, on Windows Visual Studio 2010 Express for Windows Phone.

9:55 There’s also now location simulation so that you can test location-aware apps in VS.

9:56 All the features he’s showing are part of the free version of the Phone development tools.

9:58 Nice looking WP7 app performance data collection and visualization in VS.

10:05 Performance enhancements in Mango – much smoother scrolling, etc.

10:09 Demo of how the local SQL database works. Makes many tasks easier – search, for example, can be added to an app in only one line of code.

10:11 Sockets are supported in Mango. Demoing an IRC client built easily on WP7 using an existing open source .Net IRC library.

10:15 Demo of Kik for WP7. Works in real-time – you can see when someone you are chatting with receives your message and when they begin typing a response. Kik guy says it’s easy to add push notifications to WP7.

10:23 Silverlight 3D demo.

10:25 Switching gears to Silverlight 5 for the browser.

10:26 New features: Hardware decode, “trickplay” so that you can play video faster without making the speakers sounding like chipmonks. Good for watching educational/training videos.

10:29 U.S. Navy talking about using Silverlight to create a website.

10:36 John Papa will now speak about new features in Silverlight. Demoing an app called “3D House Builder.” Impressive 3D animation and rendering using GPU. Plus, data binding and data binding debugging. Full list of features here.

10:44 Jeff Sandquist talking about Kinect now. Says Kinect is the fastest selling electronic device ever.

10:45 Kinect SDK for Windows will be available this spring, first with a non-commercial license.

10:47 Demoing how to build Kinect apps in Visual Studio. Very straight forward. Made a live painting app in just a few minutes and a few lines of code.

10:51 Showing a chair with omnidirectional wheels controlled by Kinect. X and Y axis are controlled by gestures. “It’s like tank driving.”

10:58 worldwidetelescope.org demo – using Kinect to navigate a virtual outerspace.

10:59 University of Konstanz student researchers have built a Kinect system for the visually impaired. A Kinect receiver is mounted on a helmet to detect obstacles – when the user gets too close to an obstacle he gets a vibration notifications of varying stength depending on how close he is to th object. The Kinect can also read QR codes to provide directional information.

11:03 Frog Design is demoing a Kinect game called Wall Panic 3000. Participants have to mimic the positions presented by the screen.

11:05 The Oprah moment: everyone at Mix is getting a Kinect. Clarification: Press, including ReadWriteWeb staffers, are NOT receiving free Kinects. However, please do see the disclosure below.

That’s it for the keynote.

Disclosure: Microsoft paid for Klint Finley’s travel and lodging to attend MIX, and MIX is a ReadWriteWeb sponsor..

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