MIX10: Liveblog from Amsterdam

March 15th, 2010 by Arjan Olsder Posted in Platforms: XNA | No Comments »

Windows-phone We just got seated at the Microsoft HQ in Amsterdam to watch a livestream of the MIX10 event in Las Vegas. During the session we will update this post with the latest news around Windows Phone 7 Series.

We are waiting for the presentation to start. Meanwhile there is a kid playing a yoyo. Yes, old school mobile gaming.

The presentation today will be mainly about Silverlight 4 being used with Windows Phone 7 Series. The penetration of Silverlight is increating over many more devices. Microsoft has also been working hard to extend functionality of Silverlight.

For those that own Expression Blend 3.0, there will be a free upgrade to Expression Blend 4.0.

17:35 (GMT+1) the Windows Phone 7 Series presentation starts now. The XBLA tile will actually show your avatar peeking at you.

The first app shown is a silverlight app for AP. The app has a similar navigation to the phone to bring the consumer a comfortable experience.

Silverlight will also be optimized for in-app advertising.

Apps will be placed in logical places. i.e. Photo manipulators are to be found in the Photo hub.


'The Harvest' is launched. It is an XBLA game that fully supports XBLA achievements. The graphics are really smooth. As expected, Windows Phone 7 Series will support the two screensizes we informed you about this morning.

Just like XNA, Silverlight allows you to reuse your existing Silverlight productions to output them for Windows Phone 7 Series. Of course, you might want to tweak it a bit for the new interface.

Microsoft is now showing how to build Windows Phone apps in Silverlight through Visual Studio and Expression Blend. Both are Hello World examples. By connecting a phone via USB, the code can be transferred directly to the actual device. The emulator in Visual Studio is a real virtual machine with real life problems like battery drainage. Another benefit is the possibility to test in a multi-touch environment which is still hard in a regular Windows environment.

I'm no developer, but developing apps in Visual Studio seems like childsplay. The guy on stage created a Twitter app in a few minutes…

It is nice to see how Microsoft uses Adobe products like Photohop and Illustrator in their presentations. Integration between Expression Blend and Illustrator is really smooth.

Expression Blend feels like drag & drop development. By introdusing such a simple system, Windows Phone 7 Series becomes even more accessible for development then rival iPhone OS. Something Microsoft needs to beef up the app portfolio quick enough.

Tools for phone development will be free and fully supported.

Silverlight will also be allowed to access content on Zune.


We now get a demo of Graphic.ly, a comic book app showing the possibility to also bring comic content onto the platform (Spiderman spends a lot of time on the web).

Silverlight will allow access to LBS including maps, microphones and other external input. Microsoft demo's Foursquare on Silverlight with support for Bing maps.


Shazam shows microphone access in Silverlight.


Windows Phone 7 Series will also have full push support. With this functionality, Microsoft takes on both BlackBerry and Apple.

A cannon rolls on stage, controlled from a phone with Silverlight on it. They fire T-shirts into the audience.

In Battle Punks, MS shows a game from Facebook, but created in XNA. It supports achievements, gamerscore and many more features from XBLA. The character as well as the environment are from 'the cloud'.

The Harvest is shown again, but now over mobile, PC and Xbox 360. Development time for The Harvest and Battle Punks was about three weeks. It seems like Xbox functionality is limited to XNA.

Marketplace is shown (again). No huge changes to what was shown at MWC, but now we do see more details. Via a single binary, Marketplace will also create a trial version for consumers.

Development can start now, because all tools are available directly from the developer site. Again, mobile development is free so tomorrow we expect 40 press releases from studios saying they will start working on this 😉

The stream has ended so we will now try to connect with people in Las Vegas to get more information.

We have connection with Las Vegas.

There are no annoucements yet in regards to revshares

XBLA will indeed be limited to XNA

There is a hardware shortage to it is unknown at this time who and when devices are available for testing.

The emulator should be good enough for QA

Embedded browsing will be possible

Silverlight and XNA can not be combined for the UI, but libraries can be mixed.

Just like with the iPhone, multitasking is limited to one custom app at a time.

Tiles can be fully modified.

Push messages will be free for developers.

MonoTouch will not be allowed to bring XBLA services to iPhone (yet).

No answer if Marketplace is the only location to get apps/games.

We can't get any new info on marketplace, have to wait for annoucements during this week.

There will be a monitizing & marketplace session at 18:30 on Wed. (GMT+1).

The virtual machine wil have no emulator for GPS yet and probably some other sensors are missing right now.

There will be demo's at Microsoft dev days (NL 30 & 31st of March)


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    Arjan Olsder is the Vice President of Pixalon Studios. Opinions expressed on this publication do not have to represent those of Pixalon Studios.


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