Microsoft Hosts Mix for Web Developers, Designers

Microsoft opens registration for its second annual Mix conference aimed at Web developers, designers and advertisers.

Microsoft has opened registration for its Mix07 conference, which is aimed at bringing Web developers, designers and the advertising community together to look at new business opportunities around Microsofts next-generation Web technologies.

Mix07 will be held at the Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas April 30 to May 2. The conference will be Microsofts second Mix event; the company hailed last years Mix06 as a "conversation" with Web developers and designers. Interested parties should go to to register for the event.

"Mix is a forum for discussing ways to bring technologies such as ASP.Net AJAX (formerly code-named "Atlas"), Windows Presentation Foundation/Everywhere (WPF/E), Media Center Edition, Internet Explorer, and the Expression suite together in a way that enables developers and designers to deliver rich Web experiences that drive business results," the Microsoft Mix site said.

The Mix07 keynotes will be Microsoft Chief Software Architect Ray Ozzie and Scott Guthrie, a general manager in the Microsoft Developer Division, according to Tim OBrien, director of platform strategy at Microsoft.

Last year at its Mix event, Microsoft launched the Go-Live preview of its AJAX (Asynchronous JavaScript and XML) tool, then known as Atlas.

"At Mix06 we re-engaged with a big segment of the Web community that did not have a lot of familiarity with Microsoft," OBrien said.

With Mix07, Microsoft hopes to maintain a "consistent set of interactions" with Web developers, the design community and advertisers, OBrien said. And the conference will indicate how Microsoft has acted on the exchanges the company has had to date with the various communities, he said.

The updated Mix07 Web site has the link for registration, along with descriptions of about 30 of the sessions that will be held at the event, although there will be more than 50 sessions overall, OBrien said.

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Microsoft will also discuss its increasing emphasis on promoting and adhering to industry standards in the Web development and design space and making AJAX development easier, he said. In addition, the company will give updates on its tools and runtimes, such as Microsofts Expression suite of tools for designers, ASP.Net AJAX, Internet Explorer, WPF/E, .Net 3.0 and others.

"Well be talking about technology were currently shipping as well as about future directions," OBrien said.

Microsofts goal is to use its heritage of meeting the needs of the developer community as a foundation to reach the designer community, OBrien said. Mix07 is just one way to extend that.

"In general, maintaining a two-way interaction with the community were trying to serve on an ongoing basis" is of major importance to Microsoft, OBrien said.

As for developers and designers, "the first order of business is to get these two groups integrated from a workflow perspective," which Microsoft is doing with the Expression tools and the underlying XAML (Extensible Application Markup Language) technology that boasts support in both Microsofts core developer tools and its newer design tools.

A key point Microsoft hopes to push, according to OBrien, is that there is a linkage across the three primary areas of focus—developer, designer and advertiser—and that is "the business focus for all three," he said. "The connection across these makes Mix unique."

OBrien said that one-third or more of the sessions at Mix07 will be headed by non-Microsoft speakers, including speakers from competitors and Microsoft skeptics. And Microsoft partners will also be heavily represented in the speaker ranks, he added.

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