Although I won't be attending MIX '06 this week, I am interested in what people think of some of the announcements that will be made around building Web platforms with Microsoft technologies and various Windows Live announcements this week. I am also surprised to see that a bunch of talks are from external folks from companies like Yahoo! and Amazon which is nice. 

Some of the sessions I'd attend if I was in Las Vegas would be

Speaker(s): Scott Isaacs
Explore the challenges and lessons learned developing the Windows Live and Gadgets Web client frameworks powering Windows Live, Hotmail (Kahuna beta), Spaces, and more. This technical talk presents design and architectural considerations for building interactive AJAX-like sites. See how componentization, network management, accessibility, page composition, and more impact the design and engineering of your Web application.

Speaker(s): Brian Arbogast, Ken Levy
Windows Live provides unique opportunities for developers from hobbyists to large ISVs to build social networking applications on top of the largest contact and address book database on the Internet. Developers can build these applications utilizing Windows Live services such as instant messaging, search, location based mapping, blogging, gadgets, and others. These can be AJAX style Web applications, run within Messenger or other rich applications. The Windows Live Platform provides several business models based on revenue sharing and paid placement. Brian Arbogast, Vice President of the Windows Live Platform, discusses and demonstrates the latest developments of the Windows Live platform.

Speaker(s): Doug Purdy, Clemens Vasters
Your site is more than a collection of pages; it's a programmable platform that your users are leveraging in innovative new ways. Scraping, mashups, and RSS mean that your site is already a service, and the fastest, most flexible way to build that service is with Windows Communication Foundation (WCF). With WCF you can expose your site over a whole host of different transports and formats, ensuring that clients of all kinds can access your content. Use WCF to take your site to the next level and provide an optimized experience for all of your users.

DIS004 - Beyond the Banner: Advertising on the Web and Where It’s Going
Speaker(s): Ron Belanger (Yahoo!), Bant Breen (Interpublic Group), David Jakubowski, Jeff Lanctot (Avenue A), Jed Nahum, Jason Rapp (New York Times), Jennifer Slegg (JenStar)
Advertising revenues in traditional venues like print magazines and television are declining, while online advertising is exploding. Advertisers want richer online ad platforms. Content providers want ads that maximize revenue without negatively impacting the user experience. What role will advertising play in "podcasting," "video blogging" and other emerging media? Join a panel of industry luminaries to discuss these and other issues.

Speaker(s): Jeff Barr (Amazon)
Amazon subsidiary is leveling the search playing field. For the first time, developers looking to build the next "big thing" in search or an ultra custom search engine have access to the 300 terabytes of Alexa crawl data, along with the utilities to search, process, and publish their own custom subset of the data-all at a reasonable price. Developers no longer need a million dollar budget or to reinvent the wheel designing search algorithms, to be able to build their own search engines or create customized Web services based on data from the Alexa crawl. As a full-service Web analysis and Web service publication platform, the Alexa Web Search Platform should allow any user with an Internet connection to access Web content on a large scale and provide new services or applications to the online community. Jeff Barr provides an overview of the Alexa API and shows developers and designers how to get on the new, leveled search playing field.

Speaker(s): Jeffrey McManus (Yahoo!)
Yahoo! is opening up to developers using Web services. Today our services enable developers to access Yahoo! properties as diverse as Web search, maps, Flickr, comparison shopping, and many more -- and we're making more available all the time. In this session you'll learn how you can incorporate Yahoo! Web services in your application or Web site, and see a demonstration of integration between Yahoo! Web Services, the new Yahoo! Presentation Library, and ASP.NET "Atlas".

Focus(s): Architect, Developer
Session Type(s): Hands-On Lab
In this lab, you'll create a gadget that mashes up concert event info from with images from

Speaker(s): Alex Daley
As content and services are delivered to customers in more locations, on more devices, users are expecting information to be more tailored to their context and more relevant not to just "what" they are looking for, but "where". Microsoft's Alex Daley hosts this session exploring ways to reach customers with location relevant information, building richer experiences that make your site or application more "sticky" and fulfilling for users. Alex covers using Microsoft's Virtual Earth development technologies to build applications from store locators to location-based social networking to customized vertical search experiences.

BTB025 - Developing Interactive Applications Using Windows Live Robots, Activities, and Alerts
Speaker(s): Pierre Berkaloff (Conversagent), Campbell Gunn, John Kim (Conversagent)
Learn how to create rich and deeply integrated applications leveraging the 200 million worldwide Windows Live Messenger users. Windows Live Messenger offers a unique platform for building applications that provide a shared experience, such as joint shopping, multi-user gaming, customer support, and more. Windows Live Messenger applications can use a combination of features including BOTS, Alerts, and Activities (which is the application window within Messenger), as well as social networking. Learn about the business opportunities exposed by the Windows Live Messenger platform and details on how to build applications that capitalize on these opportunities.

Speaker(s): Brad Abrams, Rick Spencer
This session explores best practices for designers and developers who are tackling the real challenges of building AJAX-style user experiences on the Web. Explore a few key principles that are the hallmark of the modern web from developers on the Microsoft Live and "Atlas" teams. These principles will be illustrated with real-world examples from the Windows Live Local and you will learn how they are easy to leverage with Atlas. Discover how the "Atlas" controls and components remove the complexity from designing rich, interactive experiences, and help you build AJAX-style applications more quickly.

Speaker(s): Garrett Serack
"InfoCard" can bring a new level of security to authenticating users to your site. In this session, take a deep developer look at how this can be achieved. A traditional forms-based authentication implementation is converted to use InfoCard, along with explanations of the Web services, protocols, and security considerations that one needs to understand.

Speaker(s): David Jakubowski, Jed Nahum
adCenter is the next generation of online advertising that will allow you to conveniently plan, execute, and adjust your online advertising programs. Get the insider view of our current search advertising pilot in the U.S., and a preview of the innovations we're testing at the Microsoft adLabs.

Definitely a diverse set of talks. Check them out and let me know what you learned.


Tuesday, March 21, 2006 5:39:01 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)
Um, well when you put it that way...
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