Last week saw the second Microsoft MIX event in the UK and this time it went to Brighton. I must admit I preferred this year's event to last year's possibly because it was in Brighton instead of London or possibly because it seemed somehow more relevant to me this year. There were some good sessions again. I enjoyed the design sessions as us developers don't often get much insight into this world. I especially enjoyed the Designing With Microsoft Expression session by Arturo Toledo - although this must have been a bit basic for designers it was a good tutorial into how to use Expression tools with more than the tragic plodding and fumbling around that developers such as myself can manage. I also attended the 20/20 talks (micro-presentations or Pecha Kucha) like last year and the bar was definately raised this year. They were all great and Richard Costall provided another classic performance but the outright winner had to be Sara Ford with her 20 Visual Studio Tips (that's one tip every 20 seconds). What an incredible performance. You can only do something like this if you've written a whole book on the subject and Sara's comes out shortly before PDC. No slides but worth every second. You should take 6 minutes 40 seconds out of your life to watch this when the videos are released.
Another highlight for me was Ready, Steady, Speak where I got to reprise my role as judge again. All of the 8 speakers were new to speaking and they gave great first time performances. Richie Allen (co-host of the Southampton Next Generation User Group) won with an excellent demonstration of how much you can improve in the space of just 24 hours with a few tips. Well done, Richie and well done to everyone who took part - I really hope we'll be seeing you guys again.
For my part I presented Internationalizing WPF And Silverlight for the first time and was quite happy with it considering it was the first outing for this one. Sadly I got the first session immediately after the event night again. Someone somewhere really hates me.
Other stuff to note: IE8, Silverlight 2 and ASP.NET MVC will all be released before the end of the year. Microsoft Surface will be available for purchase in the UK next year. There are no pricing details yet but it is $12,000 in the US at the moment. Sadly although the Surface SDK is free it is only available to purchasers of Surface so that puts it beyond most developers' reach. Still it is all WPF-based so that's a great place to start.
Roll on ReMix UK 09.