I've been with Microsoft now for over 3 years and have loved every minute of my time here. For the time leading up to being hired at Microsoft, it was a professional goal of mine to work for the company. Fanboy? Sure, call me whatever you want. I prefer to just call it passion. I joined as a developer evangelist for my community (an area we call desert mountain which spans Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico, Colorado, Utah, Wyoming, and Montana). This was an easy thing to say yes to because everything I learned I learned from being a part of a community, whether that be online or offline. I've met a lot of great people along the way and made new really good friends. I hope that on some level I've been able to help the communities in my area progress a little better or learn something along the way. I know that there are some that still need some more help and I know that over time we will get there.
As of April 1, I'll be starting a new role on the Silverlight team, focusing on you...the developer and designer. 'Evangelism' is a funny word when used in the context of Microsoft. You would think (and in some cultures it doesn't translate well) that I'm a missionary of sorts. Well, whatever you want to call it I like to think I'm not moving to far away on the evang-o-meter. I'm just getting narrow focus and broader goals. My focus will be on Silverlight. My community: you.
I'm working in ScottGu's organization and will be joining forces with Jesse Liberty to help serve the developers of the world for Silverlight. I'll be much more visible on the Silverlight community site (I started out spending a lot of time there but for workload reasons couldn't sustain). I'll be helping out with the 'How Do I?' series of videos for Silverlight. And, if I'm lucky, I'll be able to show up at events across the globe (I hear there's one in Belgium coming up...hmmm, I've never been to Belgium) talking about Silverlight and sharing my passion.
I'm real excited about this opportunity and working with all you talented developers and designers. All my contact information stays the same and the virtual door is always open...keep the feedback and suggestions coming!
(And no, this isn't an April fools joke...unless my new manager Simon is an evil, evil person.)
one of the most asked questions i've been getting lately has to do with the silverlight streaming service provided by the windows live services. i think microsoft may have done ourselves a naming disservice with including "streaming" in the title. i think to most in the tech world, the "streaming" term implies a media file streaming like .asx files or streaming audio files, etc. that are consumed by some type of player.
well, silverlight streaming is a bit different in my opinion. first, the services hosts silverlight applications. the whole thing...xaml, media, etc. so it isn't streaming your media directly, versus streaming/hosting your entire silverlight application. sure, your application may include media, but it will also include xaml, etc. if you are hoping to upload a wmv or mp3 only to the service, you are in for a surprise...it isn't a youtube, soapbox, viddler thing.
let's say you have a wicked cool silverlight game you developed...you could put it up on silverlight streaming and enable people to embed it into their sites using the provided scripts. you can read an example about it on a previous blog post here.
one of microsoft's program manager's i think put it best...
Another major difference is that Silverlight Streaming is not designed nor tailored for end users. It is for web designers and Silverlight developers who wish to create 3rd party web sites taking benefit of the Silverlight capabilities on their site. They own the end user experience 100% (unlike Soapbox where whatever video uploaded to Soapbox has to be player in a Soapbox-branded wrapper/player). They create the end user interaction, the branding experience, the richness and interactivity, etc. You can also think of Silverlight Streaming as a platform to create end user-targeted services like Soapbox or MSN Video.
so take a look at the service and play around with it if you are a developer with silverlight applications.
a few users have reported some issues with silverlight plugins not working correctly on ie7 on windows...but working fine within firefox on windows, etc.
this is due to a previous ctp build of silverlight not being fully uninstalled (hey, it's ctp isn't it) and residual registry grout hanging around...
the silverlight community is live and well though over at www.silverlight.net where there are forums and an answer was posted: http://silverlight.net/forums/t/437.aspx.
hope this helps!