Mix 07 marked, at long last, a credible attempt by Microsoft to bridge the Mac-PC divide in the Web development arena.
Face it: It had to.
In the audience this show addresses--Web developers and designers—the Mac remains the tool of choice for creating graphics for ad agencies, video etc.
Stacy Cowley reports from Las Vegas, the company's new Silverlight will live in both Mac and Windows worlds and attempts to take on Macromedia/Adobe in their own wheelhouse.
Avenue A/Razorfish;s Darrin Brown demo'd a streaming video application developed for Netflix using Silverlight -- running on WIndows and then on a Mac running Firefox. Scott Guthrie, the Microsoft developer division general manager responsible relied on the Mac so much during his demos that at one point he quipped "and it also runs on Windows!"
Stacy also points out, however, that Microsoft's big Mac love has its limits: Silverlight applications will run on the beloved Macintosh, but the tools for building them will not. Expression Studio, how shipping, will remain Windows-only.
As for Linux support? Well, you'll have to go elsewhere.
Chief Software Architect Ray Ozzie, was on hand to bless all this. Some at Microsoft have quietly criticized Ozzie for his reticence thus far and that definitive talk about the company's Live game plan has been too long in coming. Suffice it also to say that Ozzie faces big institutional and political battles at a company known for fiefdoms.
"I'm having a blast," Ozzie told the crowd, referring to his last year in the belly of what was once his biggest competitor. "I'm enjoying the opportunity to help shape Microsoft's role in this next shift, as the pendulum has swing from software to pure services to software plus services."
For more out of the show, see Todd Bishop's interview with Ray Ozzie.