RealTime IT News

Ozzie Preaches Software + Services Vision

LAS VEGAS -- Microsoft Chief Software Architect Ray Ozzie began his keynote here at MIX07 by telling the audience that the future of the Internet wasn't software as a service, but "software and a service."

Ozzie said that many once predicted the Internet would mean the end of local software, and that the mantra for developers would become, "write it once, use it everywhere."

But Ozzie said such a position was always "extreme" and that he's not surprised things haven't ended up this way. "The best solutions end up being integrated solutions," he said.

So what did Ozzie suggest as the perfect integrated solution for the "software and a service" future's imminent arrival? Microsoft's recently announced Silverlight, of course.

Silverlight, announced at the National Association of Broadcasters conference two weeks ago, is a cross-browser, cross-platform plug-in for delivering rich Internet applications (RIAs), two- and three-dimensional graphics, text, animation and video to a wide variety of form factors and platforms.

For the rest of the morning, Ozzie and Scott Guthrie, general manager of Microsoft's developer platform, trotted out a series of guests to tout Silverlight's impact on their business.

First came Avenue A's Darin Brown and his client, Netflix Chief Product Officer Niel Hunt. Together, they demonstrated a service Netflix plans to roll out for broadband users to instantly stream rented movies. Jonathan Leess, president and general manager of CBS Television Stations Digital Media group, demonstrated how Silverlight can integrate user-generated videos into a local news broadcast.Beau Ambur, CEO and founder of Metaliq, demonstrated Top Banana, a Silverlight-powered video editing and publishing software. A demonstration of a new version of MLB.TV followed.

Ozzie and Guthrie also took time to announce the availability and shipment of a few Silverlight-related products. Microsoft Silverlight 1.0 beta is available for download; so is its alpha version 1.1. Expression Studio, Microsoft's software for designers is now shipping.