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MIX10: Microsoft Makes Silverlight and Windows Phone 7 Series Announcements

Microsoft made a Silverlight 4 release candidate (RC) available for download today, Scott Guthrie, Microsoft corporate vice president announced from the keynote at MIX 10.  This RC builds on the beta that Microsoft released at the PDC last November. Guthrie noted that at the PDC he announce that Silverlight is on 45 percent of Internet connected devices around the world. Now number is reaching 60% of those devices. Customers adopting Silverlight include the BBC, EBay, Netflix, and, among others.

Look for a feature called Pivot which will give you the ability to visualize and see patterns in large data sets.

Guthrie also unveiled the beta of the Expression 4 design and development workflow tool. Look for Path Layout, which allows you to design and develop UI without having to write code. Expression Blend supports Silverlight 4.

A highlight of the keynote was the first deep dive for application developers into the recently announced Windows Phone 7 Series. "As the browser, server, Web and devices evolve, a focus on delivering consistently great user experiences has become paramount," according to Guthrie. "By extending our familiar plaftorm technologies and tools to phones, Microsoft is delivering the premiere application development experience across a variety of devices and form factors."

  • A Microsoft press release lists features developers can leverage to create Windows Phone 7 Series apps:
  • Accelerometer, an intuitive control that responds to motion
  • A Microsoft Location Service to provide developers with a single point of reference to acquire location information
  • Microsoft Notification Service for pushing information to the phone, regardless of whether or not an application is running
  • Hardware-accelerated video with digital rights managment (DRM)
  • IIS Smooth Streaming for a high quality viewing experience
  • Multitouch
  • Camera and microphone support

Another keynoter, Joe Belfiore, Microsoft corporate vice president (Windows Phone program management) pointed out that "Windows Phone 7 Series brings together a rich application environment, powerful hardware, a fresh approach to software, and a smart new design. It was designed to generate incredible opportunities for devleopers and designers to quickly and easily deliver compelling applications and games. With the best developer tools, an established ecosystem and marketplace, and a path for developers to use their Silverlight and XNA Framework skill sets, we are delivering an application platform that is simple, powerful, and inspiring."

  • Microsoft also announced the availability of comprehensive tools support for the Windows Phone 7 Series. These include:
  • Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 Express for Windows Phone
  • Windows Phone 7 Series add-ins to use with Visual Studio 2010 RC
  • Windows Phone 7 Series Emulator for application testing (the emulator was a big star in the keynote demos)
  • Expression Blend for Windows Phone CTP (available as a separate download)
  • XNA Game Studio


Go to Silverlight 4 and Expression Blend 4 download for more information.

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