by Victor Karamalis
Whoever said that what happens in Vegas has to stay in Vegas? Although Microsoft unveiled a lot of its offerings demonstrated earlier this year in Las Vegas at their Mix event, the deal makers over at Dealmaker Media convinced them to remix their presentations for Silicon Valley.
And that they did. Microsoft showcased its new services such as ‘Silverlight,’ ‘Windows Live’ , and a surprising show from ‘Popfly™’ (more on that later) at REMIX last week. Mix is an ongoing conversation between web designers, developers, and business decision makers.
As a consultant, I had to ask a question or two about their services and this up-close-and-personal event was the perfect opportunity to ask many a question. Specifically, I asked John Richards, Director of Windows Live™ Platform Product Management, about the issues that plagued Office Live when it first came out (for those of you who do not know, Office offered free domain hosting and registration with Hotmail email access). The issue was that they were bombarded with requests and users were unable to get to their Office Live and email accounts. It took months for Microsoft to scale up to the demands.
Mr. Richards said there were no SLA’s at the moment and that the formal launching of Windows Live™ would not be until Spring of 2008. Privacy-wise, they have addressed many issues in what information users would be allowed to hide. However, he did show a clip of one of its initial users, Match.com, and what they did to integrate Windows Live Messenger into their service. The integration was seamless if a user was logged into the Windows Live Messenger client. In addition, the way that people could connect and research one another was shown. This is one of the more articulate and specific areas that Microsoft has addressed coming to Web 2.0-based technologies.
The scene stealer, however, was in showing off ‘Popfly™,’ which was not even intended to be demonstrated. I watched as the Silverlight™ plugin was installed in a ridiculously fast manner (watch out Adobe). I then saw another Microsoft technologist, Anand Iyer, demonstrate the capabilities to mash-up multiple existing cross platform services such as Flickr™ in eye-popping methods that used revolving picture frames and globe-revolving views solely by using a MS Access-like relationship model but in 3D. Microsoft uses the invite method to spread the word of Popfly a la Google’s GMAIL™. This is what Microsoft brings to the table; it brings different services and melds them with little or no work and for a developer or business that is already overworked, making their lives simpler is what will make many entrepreneurs take a good look at this platform.