Just got back from ReMIX in Melbourne and I have to say I saw some very cool stuff there!
For those who don’t know, ReMIX is what they call MIX when it leaves Las Vegas and goes to the rest of the world. Its a Microsoft conference about new technologies they are working on mostly relating to the Internet and where it is going in the future for Microsoft, this years conference mostly talking about the new silverlight platform for creating rich web applications.
It was run with 2 different rooms, one for the technical side of using silverlight and the expressions suite and the other more relating to designing for silverlight. Obviously I chose the creative track for the day.
Session one with Jonas Follesoe and Jose Fajardo, we saw a few really cool demos relating to new possibilities with silverlight 2, Jonas demoing an on-line app called Youcard which made little cards on the screen for each person you added and it pulled in their latest tweets and flickr photos which was very cool along with a sweet looking UI. Then Jose went on to talk about the possibilities with using deep zoom, another great tool that you can use to zoom into photos and maintain resolution. Check out deep zoom or Seadragon demos on Youtube.com.
After that session Tim Aidlin from Microsoft gave us a really good overview of all the products in the Expressions suite and how they all work so seamlessly together.
Had some lunch then and another session with Tim who is a design evangelist at Redmond which was pretty rad. He spoke more in-depth about the products and showed us why it was such a great platform, showing the way it will bridge a huge gap between designers and programmers and make workflow a lot simpler in the future. He also introduced a little more information on XAML, the code language behind silverlight and WPF applications. Its kinda like HTML but way more powerful.
The next session didn’t really do alot for me, a speaker from Avanade spoke about how to create good CSS for a website which seemed a little bit old information, he talked about how its better to use CSS div layouts rather than your old fashioned table layouts. I didn’t get much out of this talk, but for the last 10 minutes of the session a speaker from Readify named Alister Jones talked about his first experience with silverlight when creating a media player for Quick Silver surf competition, I would have love to hear more about it be he ran out of time, just mentioning a few issues he ran into in his first experience and how he overcame them.
After we had another break I jump into the technical track for a session to hear what Phillip Beadle from Readify had to say about building rich Internet applications in Silverlight, and although I didn’t really understand to much about the coding side it was really interesting to get an insight into what the program goes through to make applications in silverlight, he made a cool demo where users in the audience got their mobile devices out and logged into the page he made and input the data of kicks and punches from Duke Nukem or Chuck Norris, then we watched the battle unfold on the big screen. I think Duke won.
Last session of the day was with a couple of fill in guys because the normal speaker had to pull out, but it was still really cool, they talked about making pages and applications for mobile devices. Speaking alot about how to make a good UIand UX for the mobile device user. Then another guy made a quick application for a mobile phone showing how easy it really is to make compatible software, silverlight will be available very soon on all Nokia phones!!! He just made a really simple page with a button and then created a gesture system so when the user flicks his finger or stylus down the page, a new page falls down from the top, very cool!
After that they had a quick Lock note speak and gave out some prizes and stuff, they also announced the winners to the Imagine Cup. CONGRATS TEAM SOAK!
Then it was off to the long room for a few drinks and plenty of networking with all the experts and people from the conference.
All in all, great day! Thanks Microsoft!