Mix n Mash: on Mix08, Feedsync, Silverlight, and an hour with Bill Gates

 LiveSide is an enthusiasts website.  We follow Windows Live because we’re intrigued by the promise of the software and services, and we’re honored to have developed a following and a reputation as a reliable source of news about Windows Live.  Most of the rewards we get are not monetary (by any means), but we’re excited to watch our traffic steadily grow, thankful for the links we get from influential tech sites, and amazed, really, that we recently climbed as high as #30 on the Techmeme Leaderboard.

However our invitation to today’s Mix n Mash event, held at the Executive Briefing Center on the Microsoft campus in Redmond, has been a highpoint, to say the least.  LiveSide was invited, along with 8 other bloggers and web developers, to spend the day talking about Microsoft and more, concluding with an hour long conversation with Bill Gates.

While much of the day was not Windows Live specific (Chris has already posted on Feedsync, which was the focus of one presentation), we spent a very interesting day, starting with a 2 hour conversation about Silverlight with Scott Guthrie, a hands on demo of Surface and a demo of Popfly, a brief conceptual talk about Feedsync, an overview of adCenter Gatineau with some early looks at Beta 2 (expected sometime in early 2008), and then on to our hour with Bill Gates.

Here’s the list of attendees:

Kip Kniskern – www.liveside.net  staff writer

Molly Holzschlag – www.molly.com IE Standards

Jesse Warden – www.jessewarden.com Flash developer

Jonathan Snook – www.snook.ca/jonathan  Web designer

Keith Peters – www.bit-101.com Flash developer

Kelly Goto – www.gotomobile.com Goto Media, Goto Mobile

Erik Natzke – http://jot.eriknatzke.com Flash developer

Julie Lerman – www.thedatafarm.com/blog Developer

Rob Howard – http://weblogs.asp.net/rhoward CEO, Telligent Systems (maker of Community Server)

We were not able to take individual pictures of Bill, or post recordings of the event, but a transcript of the conversation will be released tomorrow, along with a picture of us with the Chief Software Architect of Microsoft, which of course we will post with commentary.  I asked Bill how he thought Windows Live was doing, and while there were no surprises in his answer, LiveSide still asked Bill Gates a Windows Live question, and he answered, and how cool is that?

The event was planned as a way to get conversations started about Mix08.  We talked to Scott Guthrie about how Mix is becoming a platform for announcements, and when asked by Julie Lerman whether there would be anything at Mix08 that had never been disclosed before, any new technology, Scott said “yes”.  Later, during the Bill Gates question and answer period, when Molly Holzschlag asked Bill about Internet Explorer 8, one of the Microsoft employees clarified a discussion on when IE 8 would be discussed, saying “there will be disclosures on IE8 during the Mix08 timeframe”.  We were planning to go to Mix08 anyway (already booked hotel and airfare) but as each of the attendees was presented a pass to attend the conference in Las Vegas in March 2008, we might not need to wash dishes at the Las Vegas Convention Center to be able to afford the conference ;).

We’ll be posting more about some of these technologies, and more about Mix soon (want to have the official transcript in hand before attempting to quote anything Bill Gates said).  Been kind of a whirlwind of a day, but one that will be long remembered