Microsoft Silverlight 2.0 RC0

So it’s getting there.

Today Scott Guthrie announced the RC0 release, along with some commentary on what’s new in that.  The bet has to be that the final release (RTW) will be on or before PDC 2008 at the end of October.  You can get the goodies on the site.  Note that it’s only a release for developers (using VS2008) and includes the runtime, but it’s not intended for public deployment – it’s a pre-RTW testing opportunity for developers.  There’s also a Blend 2.0 SP1 preview to target RC0.

Anyone with the 2.0 Beta 2 or 2.0 RC0 runtimes should get an auto update to 2.0 RTW when it’s available.

SQL 2008 RTM

As I speculated, um just yesterday, SQL 2008 is now available through some channels, according to announcements apparently made at a TechEd conference in South Africa.

I was expecting this after Silverlight 2.0 so could 8/8/8 (August 8 2008) be not only a lucky day for the Chinese (and the opening ceremony of the Olympics in China), but also be Silverlight 2.0’s official release?

I haven’t checked to see if the VS 2008 tools for SQL 2008 are also being released.

Silverlight 2.0 RTW?

No it hasn’t happened, but I’m expecting it any day now.

Why?  Because if memory serves me well, Microsoft talked about the end of the summer for release but they also said at Mix this year that they’d be using Silverlight 2.0 for the MSNBC Olympic games.  There is Silverlight video content on the site right now, but it seems unlikely that they’d settle for a Beta 2 version.

The Olympic opening ceremony is this Friday and some notable Microsoft bloggers have been extremely quiet for the last few weeks, which I believe translates into either all out deadline slog or lots of holidays.

Alongside a Silverlight 2.0 RTW, roughly at the same time, there should at least also be Blend 2.5, .NET Framework 3.5 SP1 and final VS Tools.  A SQL Server 2008 RTM (currently at RC0) is also probably imminent…

A quick Google shows similar thoughts by others.

It’s about time, and given that this release is quite a while after Mix, I’d expect 2.0 to get lots of coverage at this year’s PDC.

Note that Microsoft is currently looking at starting a limited closed preview of Silverlight 2.0 for mobile.  Perhaps we’ll see 1.0 for mobile released shortly too.

Update on August 11 2008:

So no Silverlight 2.0 RTW yet, but with .NET 3.5 SP1 and VS 2008 SP1 just released today, it can’t be long now.

Update on September 28 2008:

It’s now gone to RC0, hopefully RTW by PDC at the end of October…

The Dark Knight

IMHO, the movie thankfully exceeds the hype.  Heath Ledger’s performance is impressive, but does not carry the movie.  The sheer endurance and onslaught of the story is magnificent in itself  Christian Bale’s raspy voice ‘behind’ the mask isn’t ideal.

Windows Mobile 8 = Windows 7 Lite?


Mary Jo Foley’s post speculating about Windows Mobile 7 coming in Q1 2009 says:

From recent executive remarks, it sounds like Microsoft is trying to get Windows and Windows Mobile to be more in sync.  Might this mean with Windows Mobile 8 — which Microsoft has told certain folks will be built from scratch — Microsoft might make Windows Mobile a “real” version of Windows, with the same core as Windows client?

I heard from someone at Microsoft probably 5 or 6 years ago that this was the plan.

Windows Mobile currently runs on top of Windows CE which essentially supports a subset of the full Win32, etc. APIs, so doing native (C++) development for Windows Mobile is similar to desktop development (just a little more ‘cramped’).  There is also the .NET Compact Framework, similarly a subset of the full .NET Framework.  There are also Windows Mobile specific APIs at the native and .net level.  Some of the internal sub-systems, for memory, processes, etc. are quite different.

To make Windows Mobile a ‘real’ version of Windows at the core is therefore a lot about how much Windows CE is API-wise (inc. .NET) and sub-system-wise, similar to the Vista kernel.  After that, we have the shell and applications.

The shell clearly cannot be Aero, and the UI experience expectations for mobile has been clearly set by the iPhone with everyone else playing catch-up.  The mobile device really needs a bigger or paper-like-expandable screen at some point – there’s only so far you can go with zooming.

Applications can be split between Office (and other productivity or line-of-business apps) and all the other software+services things that are required activities in this era.  No doubt Windows Live pieces need to be upgraded and combined with great UI.

Why not make Windows Mobile a .NET-only platform with WPF for the shell with add-ins for all MS and 3rd-party applications?  The mobile space is not big enough that breaking compatibility is such a big deal.  It truly can’t be long before Microsoft partners with nVidia and produces a Microsoft ‘mPhone’.  An investment in small WPF mobile versions of Office would be a re-usable investment allowing for web based Office running on Silverlight!