Microsoft MIX10 – Day 1 – Windows Phone 7 Series

This week, I’m in Las Vegas for MIX10, a conference for web designers and developers to mix and mingle ideas about how to create superior user experiences. Now in its fifth year, MIX10 attracts the very best in the industry by exposing conference-goers to new Microsoft technologies and serving as a catalyst for inspiration to create the next generation of rich web applications. Some of the sessions included in the conference this year are: Designing and Delivering Scalable and Resilient Web Services, Securing Microsoft Silverlight Applications, Building Web Applications with Windows Azure Storage, and Stepping Outside the Browser with Microsoft Silverlight 4.

One of the biggest announcements at MIX10 came today in the form of new details surrounding the Windows Phone 7 Series (WP7s). This is Microsoft’s new power play in the world of mobile media. This series is a reset from Windows Mobile 6.5, which left a lot to be desired as a phone operating system. The new mobile platform, however, simplifies development by tying in well to the Microsoft ecosystem. The WP7s also features unified application and game development that creates synergy between products and services from the living room to the desktop to cloud to mobile and beyond. The applications and games are built with Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 and Microsoft Expression Blend, two free designer and developer tools for phone development.

The WP7s platform possess many features common to most mobile platforms such as: touch gestures, accelerometer awareness support for direction and movement, maps integrated with Bing, push notification. My favorite feature, uniquely supported by WP7s, is try and buy awareness built into the application programming interface. This streamlines the process of converting trial to full versions of applications for developers and end users alike. The software development kit includes Silverlight support for building applications and XNA support for building games.

Another important announcement is the milestone release of Silverlight 4 next month. It will deliver features that combine with Microsoft’s existing tools for designers and developers, Visual Studio 2010 and Expression Blend, to create a substantial vehicle for application development. The workflow between designers and developers utilizing these two tools is the same across all platforms, a major bonus. The application development story continues to evolve as Silverlight deploys to browsers, desktops, and mobile media.

That’s all for now. Stay tuned for more from MIX10

Adam Flater is a Technical Architect and Evangelist at Roundarch and is also the founder of the Merapi Project. For more information on Adam Flater, follow @adamflater on Twitter or visit