Top 15 Technologies in Spotlight at Microsoft MIX 2010

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Top 15 Technologies in Spotlight at Microsoft MIX 2010

by Darryl K. Taft

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Microsoft Gives Users a Peek at Internet Explorer 9

Microsoft unveiled the Internet Explorer 9 Platform Preview, including expanded support for HTML5, hardware-accelerated graphics and text, and a new JavaScript engine. Microsoft detailed its support for a number of HTML5 specifications, including CSS3, Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG), XHTML parsing, and the video and audio tags using industry-standard (H.264/MPEG4 and MP3/AAC) codecs, among others. In addition, Microsoft produced an IE9 Test Drive Website at

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Microsoft Releases Software Development Kits for Open Data Protocol

Microsoft also released software development kits for OData, an HTTP and Atom-based approach to data portability, for a number of languages and platforms, including .NET, Java, PHP, Objective-C (iPhone and Mac) and JavaScript.

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Microsoft Delivers Silverlight 4 Release Candidate at MIX2010

Silverlight adoption has continued at a rapid pace with installations approaching 60 percent of all Internet devices worldwide—an increase of nearly 15 percentage points in just four months. Customers such as Major League Soccer, BBC, eBay, Netflix, and CT Corp., a Wolters Kluwer business, demonstrated how they are taking advantage of the power of Silverlight to deliver compelling consumer and enterprise experiences.

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Chakra JavaScipt Engine

Microsoft's "Chakra" is a new JavaScript engine in IE9 that uses the multiple cores of todays modern chips to effectively manage computing resources and improve Web performance. By combining increased interoperability with a new JavaScript engine and Direct 2D technology, Internet Explorer 9 enables Web developers to provide users with richer experiences that render more quickly and consistently.

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Microsoft Contributes a Templating Engine to jQuery JavaScript Library

Microsoft is investing resources to contribute to the development of the jQuery JavaScript Library to help improve the development process of standards-based Web applications. Microsoft will also work to provide better interoperability between ASP.NET and the jQuery JavaScript Library by enhancing ASP.NET so .NET developers can better incorporate jQuery capabilities. In addition, Microsoft will actively promote and distribute versions of the jQuery JavaScript Library by packaging it with popular products such as Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 and ASP.NET MVC 2. As a first step, Microsoft will contribute a templating engine to the jQuery JavaScript Library Team to simplify Web applications.

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Windows Phone 7 Series Application Development Platform

With the Windows Phone 7 Application Development Platform featuring Silverlight and the XNA Framework, developers will be able to take advantage of multiple features.

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Microsoft Delivers New Preview of -Dallas'

Microsoft announced the second Community Technology Preview (CTP) of "Dallas," an information marketplace powered by the Windows Azure platform, which provides developers with access to third-party data sets that can be consumed by Web and mobile applications. By making content and data available with an OData feed via "Dallas," developers can access and monetize their data under their terms and pricing, which can be can built into applications to deliver unique user experiences.

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Microsoft Delivers Houston at MIX10

"Houston" is a new a browser-based Silverlight control that allows developers to interact with SQL Azure directly. Houston allows for the rapid creation of tables, views and procedures, and is used for rapid database development in the cloud. Microsoft first demonstrated Houston at the Professional Developers Conference (PDC) 2009 in November, but will deliver a preview of the technology this spring. Microsoft software architect Douglas Purdy discussed "Houston" at MIX10.

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Microsoft Releases New Download of -Orchard' CMS Project

Orchard is a free, open-source, community-focused project aimed at delivering applications and reusable components on the ASP.NET platform. It will create shared components for building ASP.NET applications and extensions, and specific applications that leverage these components to meet the needs of end users, scripters and developers. In the near term, the Orchard project is focused on delivering a .NET-based Content Management System application that will allow users to rapidly create content-driven Websites, and an extensibility framework that will allow developers and customizers to provide additional functionality through extensions and themes.

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XNA Game Studio 4

Though initially released at the Game Developers Conference on March 9, Microsoft reiterated the significance of XNA Game Studio 4 at the MIX10 conference. The XNA Framework and XNA Game Studio 4 are key components in the development of Windows Phone 7 Series applications. XNA Game Studio is an integrated development environment (IDE) for game development that will be used for building mobile applications for the next-generation Microsoft phone platform.

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Expression Blend for Windows Phone Community Technology Preview (CTP)

Microsoft delivered a new CTP of its Expression Blend 4 designer technology to support development of Windows Phone 7 Series applications.

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Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 Express for Windows Phone

Microsoft delivered a version of its Visual Studio 2010 Express tools for Windows Phone 7 Series application developers. This is a preview version of the technology for developers to get started writing apps for Microsoft's next-generation mobile phone platform.

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Windows Phone 7 Series Add-in to Use with Visual Studio 2010 RC

Microsoft also released a new Windows Phone 7 Series add-in to use with the existing Visual Studio 2010 Release Candidate technology to build apps for the Windows Phone 7. This is different from and in addition to the Visual Studio 2010 Express for Windows Phone technology.

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Windows Phone 7 Series Emulator for Application Testing

Microsoft also delivered the Windows Phone 7 Series Emulator for application testing. This is an important piece of technology for developers building applications for the Windows Phone 7 Series phone, as testing is key to delivering applications that take advantage of all the features of the platform.

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Windows Azure Command-Line Tools for PHP Community Technology Preview

The Windows Azure Command-Line Tools for PHP Developers creates a deployable package that can be used for both the local Development Fabric and Windows Azure Platform cloud. The purpose of this tool is to provide a command-line utility to PHP developers to create, package and deploy a PHP Web applications to the Windows Azure cloud. The tools are available on Microsoft's CodePlex open-source project hosting site.

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