They showed lots of cross browser comparisons, with IE9 looking pretty good in most of them. The gpu features speed things up in most areas, but I’m sure there are similar improvements to the competition. Sub pixel text rendering using SVG looked good; it magnified text to any size with perfect rendering. Even talked abouit games produced in SVG (Did I hear that right?) Certainly the graphics will be able to take DirectX code into the browser space.
For those of you that would like to dip a toe in the water, there is a platform preview available and this will be updated every 8 weeks until release. They showed HTML5 video from youTube which looked pretty good and the demo on a netbook that had a video decoder chip showed impressive quality. I hadn’t seen that this was an option to look for. It even had two videos playing together in the same HTML page, with no noticable sturring of any kind. It uses the hardware acceleration facilities built in to Win7. The marketuing was – develop for IE8 now and it will work in IE9, but quicker. THe preview version is not the full version, but just for testing.
Development tools have also had a big release with Visual Studio 2010. The main event is coming next month, but the Release Candidates are there now for download. It has a host of new features; proper multiple monitor support, a new version of the MVC framework, search by object name, even a cool demo of being able to search and replace in selected part of the screen (ie vertical column selection).
There are also many improvements in the ASP area. ASP will produce much cleaner markup for CSS style use, better Ajax control, easy deployment (including database functionality), there is more intellisense within the jQuery code (John Resig of jQuery appeared on stage to give his approval.), dynamic module loading for better performance. The jQuery libraries are now loaded on CDNs worldwide similarly to Yahoos scrpts, so performance should be quicker. THere will also be some extra code contributions added to the base, including their templating library. Must have a look.
The Web Platform Installer has now passed 10m downloads. It has proved very popular and has been added to this year. The web app gallery has added the Orchard CMS system, which is a .Net open source CMS system which looks to have some quite modern facilities. I’d say a step forward from the dotNetNuke days. It’s based on MVC and all the code is on the codeplex site. THe WebSpark programme continues and gives small businesses a three year supply of software of every sort, which should be enough time to show whether you can make a profit.
Web APIs are proliferating and the Atom format is a normal choice. Microsoft are trying to help with the flexibility of searches by defining the new Open Data Protocol, ODATA. This will use the Atom format and needs hardly any code to drive it. Netflicks will use this protocol now and I’d imagine it will spread quite quickly.
It was an interesting session. I need to get into VS2010 to use the latest Silverlight4 facilities, but there seem confused reactions about it’s combination with the latest release candidate. I might download anyway and give it a try, as I need to start a project now. The Delfina restaurantwas a very pleasant place to do business. Find it here. Try the food, if you’re local to London Bridge.