Microsoft Chief Architect Ray Ozzie kicked-off their Mix 07 developer’s event today by highlighting their “software plus services” platform strategy that aims to blend online and offline worlds. And although he alluded to Live APIs, much of the keynote was focused on Silverlight, their cross-browser plugin competitor to Adobe Flash, and Microsoft Expression, the suite of tools for web designers that will compete with Adobe’s Creative Suite. Microsoft’s Scott Guthrie also covered their Dynamic Language Runtime, something Jon Udell wrote about today. For more on Mix see Dan Farber, Richard MacManus, and Ryan Stewart. The keynote session ended with a lively interview of Ray Ozzie and Scott Guthrie by TechCrunch’s Mike Arrington.
Closer to home on the platform front: Microsoft announced simplified terms of service for Windows Live Services as well as higher levels of free access. On the pricing side there are no fees for sites with fewer than one million unique users (UU), then above that you can choose either $0.25 per UU per year or ad revenue sharing with Microsoft. The services covered under these terms include Contacts, Photos, and Silverlight Streaming, Search, Virtual Earth, and Windows Live ID. Exceptions include: search is free up to 705K queries/month, Virtual Earth free up to 3 million map tiles/month, and Silverlight Streaming free up to 4GB storage and unlimited outbound streaming, and no limit on the number of users that can view those streams.
More on the news, and in particular, new APIs, from Mix coming shortly.