I'm at MIX06 this week, and I've left behind a full inbox which I'll tackle when I return (so apologies if you're waiting for an email from me). The conference is in Las Vegas, which means I'm far too sleep-deprived for a coherent post, so I'll just toss out some random comments:
- I have to be honest and say that this morning's keynote from Bill Gates started off as the same old robotic marketing pitch we're used to hearing from Microsoft. Things improved considerably, though, when Tim O'Reilly did a "live" interview of Gates. You could tell Gates was far more engaged than he was during the marketing spiel - it's fair to say his personality showed through, and that was a welcome change. We need more of this from Microsoft.
- The live demo of Atlas, Microsoft's AJAX framework, received quite a bit of applause. It looks to me like they've done a nice job hiding the complexities of cross-browser/cross-platform AJAX from Microsoft developers.
- Dean Hachamovitch gave a preview of IE7's RSS features (among other things), and several people around me were visibly impressed with IE7's handling of Microsoft's Simple List Extensions (SLE). It is very cool, but it left me wondering how I'd handle displaying multiple feeds (such as a folder of feeds) when each feed has its own set of filters and/or sorting criteria. Regardless, I agree with Charlie Wood that RSS aggregators will need to support SLE if they hope to remain competitive.
- After spotting Marc Canter in the crowd, I wondered at what point we'd hear his voice boom out when nobody was expecting it. I didn't have to wait long - at the end of the MySpace presentation, Marc called out for them to create an open API (a point he echoed during the brief Q&A session). I know I've got RSS blinders on, but given MySpace's content, it seems to me that they could really open things up through a more aggressive use of RSS and (especially) MediaRSS.
- The demos of WPF by the BBC and Fluid received many well-deserved oohs and ahhs. After watching those demos, I immediately stopped being jealous of the cool UI gadgets that Mac OS X developers get to play with (sorry, Brent!).