What's Microsoft's mysterious 'Technology X'?

Summary:Microsoft is working on some kind of secret Web-development-related tool/technology, known simply at this point as "Technology X." Anyone have any educated (or purely speculative) guesses as to what this might be, beyond my own meager attempts?

An eagle-eyed reader pointed me to a cryptic line on the just-launched Microsoft Mix '07 Web site.

Just below the "If you are a Web developer," there are some bullets suggesting reasons to attend the late-April developer conference, including one that promises attendees the ability to create "exciting new Web experiences with the still-secret 'Technology X'"

No VanishingPoint trail. No Origami videos. Just the letter X. And no other clues.

Given that Mix is all about rich-client apps, is it possible to hazard a guess as to what "X" might be?

Like my ZDNet blogging colleague Ryan Stewart, I first turned to the Mix '07 session list to seek out additional hints. Microsoft is promising a "first look" at the future of Internet Explorer at the confab. But it was the "Gazing into the Future of Web Development" session write up that caught my eye as the best possible candidate for something to do with X.

"Be one of the first to see the big advances planned for the next version of ASP.NET for building rich Web applications. Get a sneak peek at technology to help simplify rich content, data, services and more. Learn how to efficiently and effectively create data-driven applications that fully leverage the power of 'WPF/E' (Windows Presentation Foundation Everywhere) and AJAX on the client coupled with powerful server-side features provided by ASP.NET."

Hmmm. Could X be some kind of new tool for ASP.Net developers? Some Visual Studio "Orcas"-related spinoff? Maybe something to do with JSON, the new "rival" to XML that seemingly is becoming all the rage? Another member of the Acrylic/Sparke/Quartz family?

Anyone else have a guess (educated or not) about what Microsoft's "Technology X" might be?

Topics: Enterprise Software


Mary Jo Foley has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications, including ZDNet, eWeek and Baseline. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008). She also is the cohost of the "Windows Weekly" podcast on the TWiT network. Got a tip? Se... Full Bio

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