During the second day of Microsoft Corp.’s Professional Developers Conference 2009, Microsoft outlined new opportunities and resources for developers to create applications that take advantage of the power of Windows and the reach of the Web. Microsoft also invited developers to test new beta versions of Microsoft Silverlight 4, Microsoft Office 2010 and Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010.

Steven Sinofsky, president of the Windows and Windows Live Division, showcased how developers can take advantage of the unique software and hardware innovations fueled by Windows 7 and Internet Explorer 8 to build compelling computing experiences for customers.

“The tremendous support behind Windows 7 equates to tangible opportunity for developers on the Windows platform,” Sinofsky said. “We’re looking forward to the new ways that they will bring Windows and the Web to life for all of our customers.”

Looking ahead, Sinofsky also shared an early look at some of the work under way on Internet Explorer 9, highlighting advancements in performance and interoperable standards, as well as advancements such as using DirectX to bring the full power of the PC to the Web experience.

Scott Guthrie, corporate vice president of the .NET Developer Platform, showed how Silverlight provides rich cross-platform experiences that power three screens. He announced the public beta of Silverlight 4, only four months after delivering Silverlight 3, continuing Microsoft’s rapid pace of innovation to help companies design and develop experiences on the Web for both consumers and enterprises. The beta can be downloaded at http://www.silverlight.net/getstarted/silverlight-4-beta. Guthrie noted that the newest version of Silverlight includes features such as these:

— Extended out-of-browser capabilities to enable deeper desktop
experiences without additional code or runtimes

— Powerful enhancements for enterprise application developers, including
full support for Microsoft Visual Studio 2010, providing access to
Microsoft Office and Microsoft SharePoint Server, and improved
printing, networking, reporting and charting capabilities

— Richer Web experiences, including new webcam and microphone
capabilities, native multicast support for wide-scale media content
delivery, and more than 60 customizable controls to build compelling,
interactive applications

Silverlight is currently installed on more than 45 percent of Internet-connected devices worldwide and is powering high-profile customers such as NBC’s online broadcast of the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympic Games, Wimbledon and “NFL Sunday Night Football Extra,” as well as Continental Airlines Inc., the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show, and eBay Inc. Guthrie also announced new customers such as SnapFlow and Bloomberg L.P. that are making significant investments in Silverlight for their businesses.

“Silverlight 4 beta marks another significant step forward as Microsoft continues to rapidly innovate and enable developers to deliver rich applications across three screens,” Guthrie said. “Silverlight 4 provides developers with a full suite of capabilities to rapidly build high-quality, highly secure and engaging applications, on the Web or beyond the browser, affirming Silverlight’s position as a great choice for building business applications.”

Developing the Best Productivity Experiences
Kurt DelBene, senior vice president of the Office Business Productivity Group, closed the keynote session by announcing the release of the public betas of Microsoft Office 2010, Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010, Microsoft Visio 2010, Microsoft Project 2010, Microsoft Office Mobile 2010 and Office Web Apps for business customers. The 2010 release is designed to give people the best productivity experience across PCs, phones and browsers. The betas can be downloaded at http://www.microsoft.com/2010. New features in the betas include these:

— Outlook Social Connector. A new capability that brings communications
history and business and social networking feeds into the Outlook
experience. The Outlook Social Connector Software Development Kit
is available today for developers to build connectors to third-party
social networks. The Outlook Social Connector will enable both
and social networking by working with SharePoint Server 2010 at beta
and Windows Live at launch. LinkedIn, the world’s largest professional
network, is the first to commit to provide a connector early next

— Office Mobile 2010 public beta. Making the Office experience across
PC, phone and browser a reality, the public beta is available today at
the Windows Marketplace for Mobile for Windows Mobile 6.5-based

— Technology and design advancements. Advancements include a better
connected experience between Office 2010 and Office Web Apps, improved
navigation, visual design and icon updates, a new Office logo, and
increased performance and stability.

“Today marks the first time that millions of people can download and experience all the new innovation and capabilities we’re delivering as part of the Office 2010 and SharePoint Server 2010 release,” DelBene said. “As exciting as this milestone is for our customers, I also believe that there has never been a better time for developers to build on the Microsoft platform. With a wealth of features and a single, unified business platform, developers can build rich solutions that take advantage of familiar tools and utilize core features of Office and SharePoint both on-premises and in the cloud.”

Building on the strength and success of its ongoing partnership with SAP AG, Microsoft also announced plans to deliver a new product named Duet Enterprise for Microsoft SharePoint and SAP. With tens of thousands of joint customers around the world, bringing SAP applications and business processes together with Microsoft SharePoint creates the opportunity to release a new wave of productivity gains for end users. Duet Enterprise for Microsoft SharePoint and SAP will provide customers and partners with the opportunity to compose solutions based on Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010 and SAP, enable additional interoperability, and blend the worlds of process and collaboration. The solution is planned to be released in the second half of 2010.