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Almost Famo.us

Posted by on Mar 5, 2013 in Flash, Flex, News, Silverlight, Technology, WPF | Comments Off

Famo.us My bad play on words aside, Famo.us really is almost famous. I say “almost” because it’s a closed beta and there are several things that might hold it back. It appears that it doesn’t work on any version of IE yet and it’s not clear if that’s in the plans or not. It also gets its performance from making an end-run around a lot of CSS, using matrix3D transforms to GPU-accelerate various operations. The end result is some code that is pretty obtuse looking and not very semantic. You can’t argue with the results though. I’m speaking in broad terms here but you can google for a preso they did late last year that delivers a good overview of what they’re up to. The other big question in my mind is how the more standards-focused folk will feel about this.

But what is Famo.us? It’s a javascript library that brings optimized performance to the types of apps that we were building in Flash, WPF, and Silverlight years ago. I was surprised by how excited I was to see this today. More than ten years ago, I was building some pretty advanced UIs in web pages using Flash that even now are impossible with pure HTML and CSS. Famo.us looks to be a way to bring UI innovation back into web browsers without plugins. If so, I’m pretty sure I won’t be the only one excited about the possibilities.

I’m curious how this will all play out with Responsive Design and Progressive Enhancement though. It’s still a beta so we’ll have to wait and see.

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Steven Sinofsky: Microsoft’s controversial Mr. Windows

Posted by on Oct 23, 2012 in News, Silverlight, WPF | Comments Off

This pretty much outlines why I didn’t blog for my last couple years at Microsoft…

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Leaving Microsoft

Posted by on Sep 7, 2011 in News, Silverlight | Comments Off

admiraltwin_redrocks.jpgToday, six years to the day that I started at Microsoft, I’m leaving. I wanted to take a moment to thank all of my friends from my time at Microsoft for the things that they’ve taught me and the assistance that they granted. I sent an internal email already but many key people are no longer at Microsoft so I’m putting this out there for those of you that left ahead of me. In fact, those who know me and know the strategic shifts Microsoft announced earlier this year shouldn’t be surprised to see me leave now. But it was actually over a year ago that I decided I was ready for the next thing. It just took me this long to figure out what that should be.
Most at Microsoft have only ever known me as a business/marketing guy but the rest of my last 20+ years have been as a developer, a product designer, and even a long run as a professional musician. (Attached is a picture of my band playing at red rocks–I’m on the left). I’ve never stopped writing and recording and I actually even considered cashing out from the corporate world and going back to my roots as a songwriter; moving to LA or Nashville. I may yet, but right now there are some opportunities in the tech startup space that were too good for me to pass up.
Starting next week, I’m going to join buuteeq as chief experience officer. This gets me back to my product design/user experience roots and throws me into the middle of the rapid innovation that is the modern startup experience. There’s a lot to do, but I’™ll be able to simply and directly impact the customers and the business. Being a startup focused on the global travel industry, it also encourages me to take my family to see the world a bit. I’ll be managing a design team in Santiago so we’ll be moving there for a few months in January. Luckily that’s summer in Chile (we’ll be thinking of you seattlites then). buuteeq also has a policy called Trotamundo where you get a personal budget for travel to exotic locations to check out the hotels there. I plan to hit my numbers on that. And of course, it will be my third time working with Forest Key, now the CEO at buuteeq. They’ve assembled a good team there and I’m looking forward to the work at hand.
Reflecting now, it feels a little as if everything I accomplished at Microsoft is sand in the desert and has been wiped clean already. It’s almost as if I was never there. It’s a great lesson on permanence. Ultimately, the lasting results are the things I learned and the relationships I made while at Microsoft. With that in mind, I want to thank all the folks I worked with over the years there again, and wish you all the best of luck in your endeavors. Special thanks to Brian Goldfarb, the Silverlight/.NET/Expression product teams, and the folks on my team (John, Pete, Chris, Chris, David, David, Mik, Tara)–if it wasn’t for the pleasure of working with you all, I wouldn’t have stayed two years too long at Microsoft. :)
My about.me page has links to my social media and you can find my email address on my site here.
-b

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Silverlight helps jobhunters

Posted by on Jun 11, 2009 in News, Silverlight | Comments Off

Found this article that says half of IT jobseekers still find work quickly. Favorite quote:

The survey found that the most in-demand skills are in software development and testing–in particular, those with experience of agile programming, Scrum methodology, and Microsoft’™s .Net, Silverlight and SharePoint tools. Business analysis and project management expertise are also proving popular.

Half of IT jobseekers still finding work quickly – vnunet.com

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Silverlight builds robots?!?

Posted by on Apr 9, 2009 in News, Silverlight | 1 comment

microsoft_silverlight_final_tiny

No, the robot in the new Silverlight 3 poster represents your next great idea that you can "bring to life" in Silverlight. There’s a lot packed into this poster—you’ll want to get a closer look. Some lucky folks got these at MIX. For the rest of you, we’ll be releasing some new desktop wallpapers based on these on the new team blog soon.

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Silverlight in the News

Posted by on Nov 11, 2008 in Flash, News, Silverlight | Comments Off

I had a few interviews recently which have started to show up in print/online. I point them out because I think this blog is mostly read by my mom and my sister. Actually, they probably don’t read this either but when my memory finally goes completely, I can meander over here and read about how I had an interesting time in the software industry. So back to the interviews: the best surprise was a story in USA Today that had started out as a piece prompted by Adobe about Flash video but ended up titled “Microsoft’s Silverlight heats up fight for online video players“. A thirty minute interview landed me the shortest quote I’ve ever had in an article but the title alone was well worth the time invested. Ironically, that little election thingie we had last week meant that I couldn’t find a single copy of the newspaper on a stand anywhere.

On a related note, a story in the UK Register mentioned that Adobe held a press conference in San Jose to tell the press that Silverlight is unsuccessful and they’re not worried about it. Holding a press conference is absolutely the best way to convince people that you’re not concerned about something, right? Mission accomplished! Hi fives all around! To be fair, I wasn’t there and maybe the point of the conference was about global warming or how great Adobe’s cafeterias are (the Macromedia cafeteria in SF was pretty darn good I say). Either way, I don’t think we’ll be adopting that sort of PR strategy any time soon.

Moving right along, we also have an article here that talks a bit about our recent launch and why developers should care: .NET Out of the Box

More to come soon…

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