Microsoft is starting to turn the crank for the set of developer-focused announcements it is planning to make at next week's Mix '09 show.
On March 12, Microsoft made available for download the April Community Technology Preview (CTP) release of its Live Framework software development kit (SDK) and Live Framework Tools for Visual Studio.
The Live Framework CTP "includes everything you need in order to quickly build rich, connected, data-sharing applications using Live Services." The CTP is designed specifically to allow developers to "Live-Mesh-enable" their applications and services.
The April CTP adds support for Windows 7 and Internet Explorer 8 (IE 8), among other new features, according to the Live Framework blog.
Meanwhile, there's speculation that Microsoft might offer further details at next week's Mix show on how Mesh and Silverlight apps will be able to go offline.
At the Professional Developers Conference in October 2008, the Mesh team was talking up the idea that Web apps could "break free of the browser frame and go offline." This is how Microsoft execs explained the concept to me at the PDC:
"Developers are going to be able to wrap a Silverlight application with an 'invisible' Internet Explorer wrapper and publish an application to Mesh. Through the Mesh synchronization model, developers can enable their applications to run locally on any Mesh-enabled system or device. When users reconnect and go online, these local Silverlight apps will automatically synchronize."
Mix '09, which kicks off on March 18, should be interesting. Interesting enough to make me forget my distaste for casinos and all things Vegas-related? No... But still worth the trek.