Microsoft’s Web design and development conference, MIX09, is currently happening in Las Vegas, Nevada. As is tradition with major corporate-backed events such as this one, a slew of new products were released. Of note is the Silverlight 3 beta (available here, but it sounds like it is very much a preview). The new features are extensive and—for many of them—sound very Flash-esque (Ryan Christensen’s site provides a nice write up of the new features). Along with Silverlight, Internet Explorer 8 was released out of beta, and thankfully sounds to be the most standards-compliant Internet Explorer version to date. It is foreseeable that if Microsoft were able to bundle the Silverlight plugin with a standard’s compliant browser that gained broad support from developers—without raising the eyebrows of antitrust regulators—that Flash would be presented with its greatest obstacle in maintaining its present dominance in the interactive website space.
At any rate it’s exciting to see the explosion of possibilities all these projects will bring. More than ever the Web feels like the digital frontier.