Microsoft starts rolling out new Windows Live platform dev tools, services

One of Microsoft's mystery men behind the cloud, David Treadwell, has gone public with a number of updates coming to Microsoft's evolving Windows Live development platform.

One of Microsoft's mystery men behind the cloud, David Treadwell, has gone public with a number of updates coming to Microsoft's evolving Windows Live development platform.

(Treadwell, Corporate Vice President of Windows Live Platform Services, is one of the folks in charge of the four Live platform layers outlined by Chief Software Architect Ray Ozzie last year.)

Microsoft has shared bits and pieces of its Live development-platform strategy over the past year or two, but nothing much recently.

Treadwell -- in a February 27 entry on the Windows Live Dev blog -- said to expect Microsoft to unveil these Live platform updates at its Mix '08 conference next week a number of updates, including:

  • New services & existing services progress
  • Standardization of frameworks & protocols
  • New pre-release services/tools for experimentation and feedback
  • Windows Live Quick Applications (demo web sites) updates

Specifically, Microsoft is making available to developers a new Windows Live Messenger Library, which will enable third parties to make their wares interoperable with Microsoft's instant-messaging network. Microsoft's existing Contacs application programming interface (API) is now in beta, according to Treadwell's post. Silverlight Streaming, Microsoft's hosted storage for Silverlight, which company officials introduced at Mix '07 a year ago, is now in beta.

Meanwhile, Microsoft is going to be stepping up its Live services support for the Atom syndication protocol, Treadwell said. He blogged:

"Microsoft is making a large investment in unifying our developer platform protocols for services on the open, standards-based Atom format (RFC 4287) and the Atom Publishing Protocol (RFC 5023). At MIX we are enabling several new Live services with AtomPub endpoints which enable any HTTP-aware application to easily consume Atom feeds of photos and for unstructured application storage (see below for more details). Or you can use any Atom-aware public tools or libraries, such as .NET WCF (Windows Communication Foundation) Syndication to read or write these cloud service-based feeds."

Treadwell also made reference to a new "experimental API" known as "application based storage." This API will allow develoeprs to store "a small amount of state/configuration data in the Windows Live data centers on behalf of a user."

"The real value kicks in here if an application was to have hundreds of thousands of users as the storage is offloaded to Windows Live infrastructure," Treadwell explained.

Any of these new Live Dev platform enhancements of interest to any Web developers out there?

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