In case you missed the great Open Source and related Interop news that came out of Microsoft's annual MIX conference which was held in Las Vegas this week, here's a recap.
Scott Guthrie, a Corporate Vice President in the Microsoft Developer Division, used his MIX keynote to discuss the company's commitment to sponsoring open source projects, such as the Orchard project, a free CMS project in the Outercurve Foundation's ASP.NET Open Source Gallery.
Orchard 1.1 is now available, along with the new UserVoice and DISQUS modules that contribute to the growing number of community-authored extensions for Orchard.
Guthrie also announced an ASP.NET MVC 3 Tools Update, which enables Web developers to innovate quickly and easily via new HTML 5 markup support, Entity Framework 4.1 with Entity Code First now built in for easier database Web solution development, and expanded NuGet capabilities for finding and installing community components.
Guthrie also used his keynote to announce the immediate availability of the Microsoft Silverlight 5 beta, which provides advances in rich media and application development.
Silverlight is a free web-browser plug-in that enables interactive media experiences, rich business applications and immersive mobile apps. It works on all major Operating Systems plus all major browsers, including Firefox, Google Chrome, Safari, and Internet Explorer.
New capabilities in Silverlight 5 include Hardware Video Decode, for enhanced video quality and performance, and "Trickplay," which provides variable-rate video playback with audio pitch correction.
The beta also offers a new Microsoft XNA-based interface for delivering 3-D visualizations within applications, along with a host of new features that are designed to enhance developer productivity and end-user experiences.
In his MIX keynote Dean Hachamovitch, the Corporate Vice President for Internet Explorer, announced the addition to the HTML5 Labs site of a new prototype - FileAPI - as well as announcing plans for the MediaCapture API.
Microsoft launched HTML5 Labs last December as the place where it shares prototypes of early and unstable standards, and committed to regularly update these prototypes and add additional prototypes based on what will most help with the testing of the specifications.
Since then, we have updated the WebSockets prototype three times and we have analyzed a number of specifications, with three new areas currently under active investigation. We have also been working with, and listening to, the feedback from early users, and have updated the HTML5 Labs site and given it a new look and feel.
For more context on all this, read the blog by Walid Abu-Hadba, the Corporate Vice President for Developer Platform & Evangelism, Scott Guthrie, and Soma Somasegar, a Senior Vice President in the Developer Division, about Standards-based web, plug-ins, and Silverlight. In this blog they share their thoughts on the role of plug-ins in general, and Silverlight in particular, in the context of HTML5 and the future of the web.
A new production version of Windows Azure AppFabric Access Control service was also announced at MIX. This enables you to build Single-Sign-On experience into applications by integrating with standards-based identity providers, including enterprise directories such as Active Directory, and consumer-oriented web identities such as Windows Live ID, Google, Yahoo! and Facebook.
The Access Control service enables this experience through commonly used industry standards to facilitate interoperability with other software and services that support the same standards.