Silverlight RIP : allegorical thoughts from 2004 strategy presentation

With the announcements this week at Microsoft’s Build event (which I only fleetingly caught news of via twitter reposts), and the apparent complete end/unwind of Silverlight… i was nostalgic for my time working on it and associated initiatives at micrsoft for 6 years; i had a recollection of having written a email to friends talking about the profound experience of presenting on the strategy to the sr. leadership, and thanks to google mail search, was able to uncover the email and thought i would share it here. To the 1000 or so fellow employees and additional 10s of thousands of … Continue reading Silverlight RIP : allegorical thoughts from 2004 strategy presentation

China’s #1 Web company announces Silverlight plans

Tencent Corporation announced plans to use Silverlight for a series of services and media experiences on their portal and in their client apps.  Tencent is an amazing company, largely unheard of outside of China, but arguably the most potent brand here in China, in the form of "QQ", which is what they call their instant messaging application and a series of related social applications for blogging, media, shopping, etc.  The QQ brand touches over 300m unique users, more people than in all of the United States.  It’s been incredibly exciting for our team to be working with the Tencent team … Continue reading China’s #1 Web company announces Silverlight plans

China’s #1 Portal bringing Silverlight Music Experience

When it rains… Sina, another of China’s heavyweight web properties (they are the #1 portal, specializing in news and blogs), announced Silverlight plans and showed a kick ass music search/playback/browsing experience that took inspiration from the "deepzoom" catalog concept seen elsewhere (such as HardRock site) but took it to the next level with awesome interactions, dynamic results that come in from general web search, and integrated media playback.  What was particularly interesting was how quickly they build the app, with their product unit manager claiming that once the visual designs were done, they build the working prototype (with real web … Continue reading China’s #1 Portal bringing Silverlight Music Experience

Yahoo! Japan Silverlight Demo

Yahoo! Japan (Japan’s #1 website by unique users and brand impact) demoed a killer UX concept today using Silverlight, a visualization front end for search and tail content that otherwise is hard to navigate/discover across their massive content repository.  Very creative UI concepts, and great integration of some of Silverlight 2’s killer features such as DeepZoom and high def videos.  A video of the demo is posted online:  Continue reading Yahoo! Japan Silverlight Demo

VOD in Japan with “Gyao Station”

Continuing the theme of Silverlight wins in the region, the Gyao (Japan’s leading VOD portal, owned by USEN, a large film distributor in market) application that went up in February is a nifty mini-portal that culls media options available for playback into a subject/gallery with nice UX.  The app is data driven so Gyao has been very happy using it to program content from their "tail", "new arrival", or "promotion" inventory.  This app is only really viewable/consumable to its fullest when you are within Japan IP address, given the content protection/rights issues associated with a VOD app like this. Continue reading VOD in Japan with “Gyao Station”

Silverlight in Asia

Well life and work sure do take up a lot of time, but if there ever was a reason to make time for this work related blog effort, that time must be now!  The parade of amazing Silverlight applications coming online here in Asia is really heating up.  I want to give a shout out first to my favorite Silverlight 1.0 application anywhere in the world, Korea’s mNet music video gallery/mashup.  What’s so great about this particular app is that it has a database of over 1m music videos/clips from mNet’s long running inventory of Windows Media format media assets–great … Continue reading Silverlight in Asia

Surface… Minority Report type UX, today…

Wow, i can’t believe it has been over a month since I chimed in to this blog.  I had imagined the post vegas/Mix07 timeframe to be a really prolific one in terms of blogging, as there is so much joy/information to share given our announcements re: Silverlight, Expression, etc. et. all.  My excuses for my silence include, let’s see, (a) being completely wiped out emotionally and physically from the strain of the launch activities, (b) being completely wiped out emotionally and physically from the strain of the launch activities, and (c) oh yeah, as if that wasn’t enough, my whole family … Continue reading Surface… Minority Report type UX, today…


Ahh, back in vegas for pre-Mix event activities.  Hanging with the "UX Eco Team", our global v-team that comprisies User Experience Evangelists and the 20 or so product managers who look after the Expression Studio business.  The excitement is contagious, team is really fired up as we bring all of the planes in for landing Monday morning in the keynote at Mix… Fun to see the excitement building elsewhere… i keep getting sent little snippets from here and there with various prognostications re: what we will or won’t have to say monday.  Good news is that Monday is almost here… … Continue reading Vegas!!

Did I mention we are hiring?

So I’m sitting here at work late at night working on some of Mix content and announcements for next week (April 30th), and my thoughts keep coming back to “we need more people working on this stuff”. Well, the irony is that we actually have a over 30 open positions for marketing, product management, evangelism, business development, etc. roles related to our tools and platform… we’re just having a really hard time finding the right people. So in addition to talking to my friends in the industry and having positions posted on Linkedin and other community job boards, I guess … Continue reading Did I mention we are hiring?

Silverlight is a better name than “WPF/E”?

I’m in vegas!, and together with some colleagues I had the incredible experience of seeing Prince perform last night at the Rio Casino’s 3121 club.  Prince has definitely still got "it"–incredible presence, virtuouso guitar, and time perfected master showman skills that make everyone have a great time when he is in da house.  As I was contemplating at the end of the show, gazing at the spinning "symbol" that he famously changed his name to, I was reminded of my excitement at our "WPF/E"’s technology’s soon to be new identity. Yes, the "technology formerly known as" WPF/E can now be … Continue reading Silverlight is a better name than “WPF/E”?

Designers and Developers

Go to an interactive design or web conference and ask an audience to raise their hands if they are “designers”, then again if they are “developers”, and I am always surprised to see that as much as a third (and sometimes more) of the crowd will just stare back at you perplexed, annoyed, or with playful contempt.  Turns out the label “designer” and “developer” are pretty ill suited to describe many of the ranks of folks who build applications, interactive content, and websites.  More than two distinct populations, these folks form a continuum of personalities, training, passions, and skills that … Continue reading Designers and Developers

Springtime Events and the Marketplace of Ideas

Ahh, listening to the new "Arcade Fire" CD, catching up on email at 3am… (i have forgotten how nice it is to listen to rock music LOUD… with two youngins in the house, i rarely get to actually hear music; one of the benefits of late night email sessions as I have the headphones on!)  Great album–saw them in concert last year, amazing show, highly recommend.  It’s somewhat bittersweet to see them getting popular now… the secrets out so to speak.  My wife always complains about how REM got too big–she knew them when, got to hang with them backstage … Continue reading Springtime Events and the Marketplace of Ideas

My head is going to explode, and my toes hurt!

First my toes–I ran the LA marathon this last weekend.  It was an absolutely amazing, horrible, and wonderous experience all at once.  I have never run a marathon, but have come close to several times in the past–done the training, gotten into shape, but then fallen ill at the last minute and missing the race.  This time I made the race, was fit and charged, but boy did the experience work out very very differently than I expected.  One word — HEAT.  I’ve been training in my hometown of Seattle, where the temperature in the winter is in the low … Continue reading My head is going to explode, and my toes hurt!

Korea and Japan Customer Visits

My second week in Asia was packed with visits in Seoul Korea and Tokyo Japan.  It was my first time in Korea, which was just awesome to finally see in person–amazing food, sights, sounds, friendly people, and an incredible talent pool of great designers.  Beau Ambur, CEO of San Francisco design agency Metaliq, was with us on our visits to these countries which was a lot of fun for all of us–it was great having a US designer with us with practical experience in WPF and Expression tools, and it was also fun to see him (as a Flash god) interacting with the local … Continue reading Korea and Japan Customer Visits

China Visit to Beijing and Shanghai Design Agencies

For me this week was all about the "wow", but not the Windows Vista launch campaign kind (although i did see a ton of "wow" Vista ads all over town)–rather, it was my first visit to the amazing country of China, with visits to both Beijing and Shanghai. We started off our customer visits at the offices where we met with some of their editors and founder who’s nickname is "Byteart".  China Visual is an amazing online community that spans across many design disciplines including web and interactive.  I did an informal interview with some of their editors which will … Continue reading China Visit to Beijing and Shanghai Design Agencies

Expression Sessions and Asia

Ok, I think it’s time I learned to actually get some inline pictures into this blog thing—way too much text.  I think in colors and images, might as well have that reflected in these posts!    Oh, and I have to chime in on our ExpressionSession sessions… I was in SF and Chicago in the last week, lots of fun, great hanging out with over 600 designers and hearing feedback from the presentations and demos… NYC is this week and we also have “Designertopia” event in London coming up.  I’m off to China/Korea/Japan to meet with a bunch of design … Continue reading Expression Sessions and Asia

Behind the Scenes Part 3- The Studio

So what exactly goes into the thinking behind a creative suite of tools?  While the “office” suite of products is a well understood concept, there is less of a track record in creating conglomerations of tools for designers that really make sense.  Within many creative disciplines there is a tremendous focus on specific skillsets or mediums.  As a video editor myself back in the mid nineties, I had a need for motion graphics and titling software, but not sound sweetening.  Colleagues of mine who focus on “web design” may or may not have a need for a interactive tool like … Continue reading Behind the Scenes Part 3- The Studio

Behind the scenes Part 2 – UI

Ahh, what a nice winter break.  So nice in fact that I haven’t posted  the following which I wrote while skiing in Whistler (gorgeous, recommend to anyone who hasn’t been.  Great snow, nice people, and it’s oh-so close to seattle…) What role does UI play in pro creative tools? I first started with professional creative tools back in 1986 when I was using all the early era Mac graphics packages; Hypercard, Macromind’s VideoWorks, Pagemaker, and the first crop of digital photo tools such as Digital Darkroom.  I pulled up a screen shot of VideoWorks just now, and it’s actually shocking … Continue reading Behind the scenes Part 2 – UI

Behind the Scenes : Part 1 – Branding

Ahh.. Microsoft Expression Studio.  Today we announced our final availability, pricing, naming, and key UI innovations for the Expression family.  Expression Web is shipping now, with the rest of the family (Expression Blend, Design, Media, and Web) shipping together within Expression Studio in the second quarter of 2007 (springtime in northern hemisphere). As the original product manager for this project (there are now 20 or so of us globally) I have had the distinct pleasure of seeing some of the project issues through from the very beginning of the cycle.  As such I thought it might be of interest to … Continue reading Behind the Scenes : Part 1 – Branding

How did I get here?

Well I’ve been at Microsoft for almost three years, and now things are *really* getting fun!  Starting now I’m going to start talking about the experience, both so my friends and family that I left behind in the bay area can keep tabs, and so that I can share my excitement for what we are doing here with the broader design community of “UX professionals”—our own term to describe those creative and technical pros involved in the conception, design, and implementation of next generation end-user experiences on the web, the desktop, and beyond. As my friends and former colleagues know, … Continue reading How did I get here?