MIX Keynote

Just finished watching Bill and Tim O'Reilly do Q&A.; By Q&A; I mean that Tim asked questions that Bill answered. At first I was concerned that the questions had been scripted. Somehow they came off that way. It became clear quickly, however, that they were at least somewhat from the cuff because Bill clearly didn't like some of the questions.

It was interesting to see Bill and Tim spar about the future of software. The focus was on live/web2.0. Tim claims these are different names for the same thing. Not sure that Bill would go that far, but they do share an assumption of connectivity and the potential for collaboration.

Bill was on top of his game in terms of describing the technology. He presented a vision for connectivity and universal information sharing that was truly awesome. He proposed an end-to-end where everything from my computer to my car were able to share certain information about me. The obvious thing here is sharing something like contacts, but what if all of these devices knew my music preferences or my favorite TV shows.

That said, these apps were connected, but not necessarily web apps. I felt like Bill wasn't getting his head around the value of a web community. Tim brought up the example of searching ranking by the simple accumulation of links. As the community creates more copies of a link, they implicitly able to implicitly increase that link's search ranking (and arguably its value). The community-based spoofing detection in IE7 is another great example of implicitly leveraging the value of a connected community. Unfortunately, that was Tim's example. Bill's ideas about this were more explicit: community hosted templates, etc.

Nevertheless, Bill came off smart. So did Tim. They only left time for 3 or 4 audience questions, but those came off great as well. In fact, Darren David was sitting next to me and wondered if they had been plants.

Finally, it's worth mentioing that the BBC showed a demo that was clearly built using WPF. The demo was mostly really smooth, although there appeared to be some issues with the framerate on the 3D animations. The BBC has an amazing concept. They want to distribute DRMed content using p2p. The content would be free for the first week after broadcast and then available for purchase. It's like Tivo for your PC. The frontend was all written using WPF and was pretty nice. The had good integration of video and an amazing rolodex-like 3D contact picker which supported some level of drag-and-drop and maybe even some element interaction.

Can't wait to see what's in store tomorrow. I believe tomorrow's keynote has even more WPF demos, including some stuff that should be amazing.


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