Feeds

Gates' last act: frees IE 8 and Silverlight second betas

Robot Steve seizes the stage

Top three mobile application threats

TechEd 2008 Bill Gates has announced the next betas of Internet Explorer 8 and Silverlight 2 while outlining plans from Microsoft on development services. He also took the opportunity in his valedictory keynote at TechEd in Orlando, Florida today to unveil a Steve Ballmer 'bot.

The second beta of Microsoft Silverlight cross-browser media player and development platform will be released by the end of this week under a Go Live license. A Go Live license lets developers use pre-release code in real-world applications, but without the safety net of Microsoft support. The second beta had been promised for the second half of 2008, so it's... early!

The second beta for IE8 is released in August in 20 languages, so hitting the summer launch, that Microsoft had previously promised.

To promote Microsoft's work on robotics Gates demoed a Windows-powered robot with a monitor showing Steve Ballmer's face. On cue, the Robot Steve waved his arms up and down and began shouting "Developers! Developers! Developers!", after throwing an egg across the stage.

Gates with the Ballmerbot

Billg ponders Microsoft under Robot Steve

Gates today hosted his last TechEd before stepping down from day-to-day activities next month after 38 years with Microsoft.

It was a stoic affair, during which Gate's sole concession to emotion came when he credited Microsoft's success to its relationship with developers. Gates said next-month's transition to the new technology leadership at Microsoft was going very well.

Microsoft has tried the patience of developers many times. There was the transition from Visual Basic 6.0 to Visual Basic.NET. Then the ill-advised decision to stop serious work on IE, and fold it back into Windows. That was reversed once Firefox began nibbling away at IE's market share.

Gates noted his company had "a renewed effort to invest in Internet Explorer".

"We are hard at work on a new version of that: IE 8 - a very creative name we came up with," he said.

He also talked up Microsoft's plans for Oslo, which will feature a new modeling language, repository, storage mechanism and way to manipulate models. A Community Technology Preview (CTP) is due this fall. The next edition of Visual Studio, meanwhile, will support the Object Management Group's Unified Modeling Language (UML).

After years of industry talk on models and re-use, neither has quite fulfilled their potential. According to Gates, Oslo will get things right, and take the "richness" of distributed, online services and bring them together into "one rich framework".

According to Gates, Oslo will enable ambitious forms of development. This will coincide with the rollout of more services from Microsoft, similar to SQL Server Data Services and BizTalk Server Services. Gates promised Microsoft would run these on millions of servers in its data centers, up from just hundreds of thousands today.

He said Microsoft's SharePoint Server would become the first Microsoft product to use enterprise search from its Fast Search and Transfer acquisition. The delayed SQL Server will be next. "Think of it as SQL Server, but it's really Fast," he said.

For all the talk of data services, there was still no date on the next edition of SQL Server. Demonstrating SQL Server 2008, Dave Campbell, from Microsoft's data storage platform division said SQL Server 2008 would be available in the "next month or two".®

Maximizing your infrastructure through virtualization

More from The Register

next story
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
NO MORE ALL CAPS and other pleasures of Visual Studio 14
Unpicking a packed preview that breaks down ASP.NET
Captain Kirk sets phaser to SLAUGHTER after trying new Facebook app
William Shatner less-than-impressed by Zuck's celebrity-only app
Mozilla fixes CRITICAL security holes in Firefox, urges v31 upgrade
Misc memory hazards 'could be exploited' - and guess what, one's a Javascript vuln
Apple fanbois SCREAM as update BRICKS their Macbook Airs
Ragegasm spills over as firmware upgrade kills machines
Cheer up, Nokia fans. It can start making mobes again in 18 months
The real winner of the Nokia sale is *drumroll* ... Nokia
EU dons gloves, pokes Google's deals with Android mobe makers
El Reg cops a squint at investigatory letters
Chrome browser has been DRAINING PC batteries for YEARS
Google is only now fixing ancient, energy-sapping bug
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.