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the second session immediately following the billg keynote was about ie7, here’s some key messages:

  • css/html compliance — working hard to comply with core web standards in these areas and more.  ie7 actually kinda breaks itself (ie6) when previous hacks were used to “fix” things in ie6.  check out the ie7 developer center on msdn for details on preparing for ie7
  • ie7 beta 2 preview “refresh” is available for download at http://microsoft.com/ie
  • rss – rss is built in to ie7 and brought to the surface a lot more…showed rss developer sample of the Feeds API
  • search providers — demonstrated how ie7 supports opensearch technologies for search providers.

ScottGu came out and did some great demos on atlas using the latest bits and showing the TODO list sample he has completed.  all good stuff and super easy.  he also toggled to a mac and showed the app working on safari all good and cool-like.

i spent the remaining time at the ie7 compat lab area talking with bleroy about some atlas stuff, etc.

Tags: MIX06

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keynote has started, billg is here in rare fashion: no powerpoint.  now clearly there is some powerpoint that *he* is reading from, but taking a step from the presentation zen, there is no visual slides that the audience is looking at — none.  none for billg.  rare.  i think he’s doing okay, but definitely getting used to it.  because there are no distracting informational slides, more attention is on bill.

the message here is clear: user experience matters.  bill’s comments are rife with that tone from all aspects of meda: browser, media center, mobility, origami, etc. — i think he is starting to mix too much technology speak into the user experience message.

he did announce atlas and go-live.  the atlas site was refreshed today: GO VISIT ATLAS.  if you want to implement atlas capabilities in an *existing* site, please also look at the install guide and the section that outlines how to do this: INSTALL ATLAS.

aber whitcomb (cto) of myspace is out now.  myspace.com has grown to 65 million users, 23 billion page views, and now surpasses msn.com as the #2 most viewed web site according to media metrix.  some quick stats: at 9M users, they converted to ASP.NET and saw immediate performance gains; at 17M users, they implemented a dynamic caching engine and achieved 92% cache hit ratio; at 26M users, sql2005 database was implemented.  their .net performance gains are pretty remarkable…CPU usage from 85% to 27%, and a reduction in servers from 246 to 150.

the myspace guys are now doing a demo of their site.  the url shows a lot of local file usage, not realtime demo…kinda disappointing i think, but there are probably reasons.  they showed a few new features they will be launching in the future.  the term “off the browser” seems to be hot.  myspace is showing a vista gadget they developed to interact with myspace.com features.  they also showed a new feature called atlas shuffler or profile 2.0, allowing the user to define what elements are implemented on their personal myspace.

ashley highfield (director of new media and technology) of the bbc is on stage now, showing their vista gadget (again, an “off the browser” experience) and this is VERY impressive…a HUGE use of avalon and all sorts of different features.  trying to write it here and describe it definitely doesn’t do it service at all…VERY VERY cool work, great job BBC!  almost an “itunes-ish” view of browsing media and sharing media contents, but the ability to share across users, send to media center, etc.  ashley is a pretty funny guy who made some humurous remarks aboout some english videos he is showing.

tim o’reilly is now coming out.  (he made a coment about safari running on sql 2005/asp as well as “having some books with monkeys on them”)

tim is aksing bill about the proliferation of the apis, making some good commnets/questions about api accessibility — pointing out that microsoft has a “sales” process in getting access to the apis (getting developer key, etc.).

i don’t think i’ll emit the entire conversation here (i’m sure the transcript will be available soon).

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conference hasn’t even started, but they are prepared this time.  sitting in the keynote area and wireless points are all over the keynote area.  i’m sure connectivity is important to ensure consistent blogging, etc. — this is something teched/pdc should take note of.

i’ve already seen the team from Squeet.com and hope to hear some cool things from them this week.  i’m also sitting behind lynda.com right now (which is a company that one of my friends helped build)

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what’s in the bag?

  • no bag.
  • Visual Studio 2005 Standard Edition — not an eval
  • IE7 Beta 2 Preview (build 53–something…i didn’t pay too close attention, but know it is a later build than the previous released build)
  • Vista February CTP with activation key
  • IIS7 Training docs
  • “and other stuff” — i don’t have a DVD on my tablet, so can’t verify the “other stuff” label on all the DVDs.
  • MIX06 Sandbox — a personal sandbox space to try some of the new technologies out, with SFTP access
  • sampler of Christian’s Atlas O’reilly book — note: i purchased this, it is pretty good overview to get on top of the client model

stay tuned for updates…

tomorrow: billg and tim o’reilly, followed by dean (IE7)

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i got the mail today and read this letter:

[snip] On behalf of US Airways, please accept [our] sincere apology for the invonvenience you encountered .. with the delay of Flight 74. ... We appreciate your patience and cooperation during this unexpected situation.  Please accept the enclosed transportation voucher as a token of our apology and an invitation for you to travel with us again.

now THAT is customer service.  this was in response to my recent trip where the plane was struck by lightening, leaving the next outgoing flight delayed with no options for about 7 hours.

what is important to note here is that i did nothing to initiate this.  i didn't even complain at the time of the incident, nor did i call or write to US Airways..the proactively responded with this.  that is awesome.  they know a satisfied customer is worthless and are going the extra mile to build loyalty on their customer base.  this definitely won me over.