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Piero Sierra (and others) - Microsoft Max

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Marketing says: "Microsoft® Max is built on the next-generation WinFX Runtime Components technology that will drive the development of Windows Vista® applications."  Now, what is Max, exactly? We send Scoble to find out. He sits down with project Max Group Program Manager Piero Sierra and friends to find out more about Max (Max is a codename mind you).

Scoble's assessment? "Microsoft Max is a new kind of photo viewing and sharing application which might be remarkable enough by itself, but the team that developed Max is pretty remarkable themselves."


Enjoy.

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  • I tend to confuse the Max name with the Autodesk 3d program "3ds max"

  • milknmilkn Cows have 4 legs.
    I've liked the UI of Max. Very much Vista like indeed. However, maybe they should have a little word with the windows live messenger team to help with the UI there.
    Live Messenger could benfit from it so much.
  • does anybody know if these animations when you move a picture and the rest rearranges will be implemented in the new shell in vista as well? because at the pdc 2003, one of the concept videos showed a behaviour like this, and i was happy to see it in max. just wondering...
  • ZeoZeo Channel 9 :)
    Blackcomb is alive and well.....Good to know that the codename of "Blackcomb" hasn't changed! Thanks for the confirmation...hadn't heard that codename being used since early 2004 Smiley
  • moofishmoofish Living in Scotland, UK
    it doesnt even work I just spent about 1h trying to uninstall this and that to get it to work, why not just make it work with the most recent version of .net, come on

  • Aah, i really like the wide aspect ratio of the recent videos.. and their hdtv'ness. Very nice quality.

    Edit:
    Right, Zeo, i remember having seen a video demo (file) quite a few years ago that was said to be some blackcomb technology. turned out it was more of a strategy for msn and media integration into the desktop. it was really inspiring, though. (i don't have it anymore.. i can just remember that it was the first time i had seen the sidebar).

    Edit 2:
    dah... i dig the vista style UI so much... need ... to get..... hold.... of...

    Edit 3:
    To Robert: A video still cut in! ... i don't know how others feel about that.. personally i wouldn't need it. the quality of your camera when filming a (flat panel) screen is really good.
  • moofish wrote:
    it doesnt even work I just spent about 1h trying to uninstall this and that to get it to work, why not just make it work with the most recent version of .net, come on



    Every new WPF CTP brings in breaking changes. For a project the size of Max, it might be difficult to adjust to these every time.

    Yeah, it's annoying.
  • scobleizerscobleizer I'm the video guy
    Zeo wrote:
    Blackcomb is alive and well.....Good to know that the codename of "Blackcomb" hasn't changed! Thanks for the confirmation...hadn't heard that codename being used since early 2004


    Zeo: sssshhhhh, but since this video was shot the codename for Blackcomb has indeed changed to Vienna. I haven't gotten the story on this yet, though.
  • Cool video, the guys there explained really welll what this is about. I hear there are some problems getting this thing to work, but I'll try it out anyway on my WinXP back home.

    The quality of the video is great, but the aspect ratio seems a bit scewed. Looks like when you squeeze in a widescreen picture on a 4:3 tv screen... Big Smile
  • hehe. Vienna. Funny choice since the city of Vienna chose to move to linux (why, i don't really understand and it's not really a concern of mine) just funny to note Smiley

    Naaah. Keep the aspect ratio like it is in this video! love it.
  • scobleizerscobleizer I'm the video guy
    mwirth wrote:
    hehe. Vienna. Funny choice since the city of Vienna chose to move to linux (why, i don't really understand and it's not really a concern of mine) just funny to note

    Naaah. Keep the aspect ratio like it is in this video! love it.


    I think he's talking about the download. The stream is the correct ratio. The download is wrong. I keep messing that up.
  • Alexei PavlovBlackTiger If you stumbled and fell down, it doesn't mean yet, that you're going in the wrong direction.
    WMP10 has a bugs playing wide-screen WMV videos. For me this video isn't playable in WMP10, but playable in ZoomPlayer.


    Why WMP still doesn't supports dynamic ratio changing? Will WMP11 support this?

  • Christian Liensbergerlittleguru <3 Seattle

    Why does Max not work on a non-english version of Windows?? I can't understand that. I mean Max is in english and Windows in another language. Who cares?!

    Could somebody of the team, please remove that nasty messagebox and let me install the enligsh version of Max on an non-english Windows version.

  • Alexei PavlovBlackTiger If you stumbled and fell down, it doesn't mean yet, that you're going in the wrong direction.
    (I want Xbox 360 too!)

    Yes, quite strange, funny and stupid requirement!

  • Martin Ennemosermawcc Make it so
    littleguru wrote:

    Why does Max not work on a non-english version of Windows?? I can't understand that. I mean Max is in english and Windows in another language. Who cares?!

    Could somebody of the team, please remove that nasty messagebox and let me install the enligsh version of Max on an non-english Windows version.



    Seems to be an new trend. One Care Beta requires an English operating system and US English Regional Settings.

    Sometimes it hurts to be a non US citizen (although it shouldn't).
  • Christian Liensbergerlittleguru <3 Seattle
    mawcc wrote:
    littleguru wrote:

    Why does Max not work on a non-english version of Windows?? I can't understand that. I mean Max is in english and Windows in another language. Who cares?!

    Could somebody of the team, please remove that nasty messagebox and let me install the enligsh version of Max on an non-english Windows version.



    Seems to be an new trend. One Care Beta requires an English operating system and US English Regional Settings.

    Sometimes it hurts to be a non US citizen (although it shouldn't).


    Yep. Those are weird requirements. Each application should be programmend independent of it's culture.

    Since this is a managed app it requires only one line of code to set the culture to english...

    I can't understand this limitation. This is not an open beta, this seems to be an open-for-america beta Wink
  • This is a fairly old video, isn't? I believe I heard a reference to the Vista B2 release in December Wink

    I also think that the teams plan to connect with its customers and have a lively discussion failed. Just look at their blog. They have altogether 22 articles, most of them are just FAQ type of things. After the PDC they had 3 posts. Lame!

    Also, quite frankly, they are by now one of the last teams that has not released a CTP of their work that works with the .Net 2.0 RTM version. I think they just should take down the whole download project, because right now the experience is just way too frustrating. A lot of people have the RTM version of .Net 2.0 installed already via Windows Update (since November, or so). You really have to read the fine print on the homepage to realise that in this situation the install will fail. Bust most users just click "Download", and then this whole thing will get them mad because they wasted their time. Take it down until you have a version that works on top of the RTM CLR, guys!
  • I also have a more general point to make.

    I am quite confused about sharing items via Microsoft products over the internet. Here is a partial list of technologies available to share files from Microsoft: Good old Windows shares, Groove folder share, www.foldershare.com, Windows Messenger 8, you might also argue Sharepoint with offline support via 1) Groove 12 and 2) offline support within Outlook, then you can share stuff via Exchange folders and I am sure I have missed some. They are all named quite similiar, and unless two geeks want to share stuff it is almost certain that it will take a lot time to communicate which sharing technology should be used in a particular scenario. I think there should be ONE concept of sharing items in Windows that works across all those scenarios. One UI. Consolidation is required, I believe. Right now I have the impression that MS is creating more and more technologies, instead of unifying them, which would really be needed.

    Cheers,
    David

  • Andre Da CostaAndre Da Costa Created with PhotoDraw 2000 V2
    Windows Sausage???

    I think Robert is pulling our legs Ian. I was hoping for Windows Caliente.
  • warrenwarren atom heart mother
    scobleizer wrote:
    Zeo wrote: Blackcomb is alive and well.....Good to know that the codename of "Blackcomb" hasn't changed! Thanks for the confirmation...hadn't heard that codename being used since early 2004



    Zeo: sssshhhhh, but since this video was shot the codename for Blackcomb has indeed changed to Vienna. I haven't gotten the story on this yet, though.



    Eerrrrr... Robert, wasn't "Vienna" the code-name for Live Communications Server 2005?

     

  • Piero Sierra for Microsoft president!

    Finally a Microsoft team that gets it! What's 'it'? The importance of style and elegance (as well as usability) in software. And the need for a constant dialog between developers and users. And the need for regular updates rather than monolithic releases. And the recognition of Apple's design work...

    I used Max at PDC and I remember the demo during Allchin's talk. Cool stuff. Apple has gone on to copy some of your work in the new iPhoto.

    Oh and Piero could your team update Max for those of us using the latest version of WinFX. Wink Pretty please. Tongue Out

    Good interview Robert it got me energized about Vista again, (after a bad week) and I really like the widescreen ratio.
  • ZippyVZippyV Fired Up
    scobleizer wrote:
    Zeo wrote: Blackcomb is alive and well.....Good to know that the codename of "Blackcomb" hasn't changed! Thanks for the confirmation...hadn't heard that codename being used since early 2004


    Zeo: sssshhhhh, but since this video was shot the codename for Blackcomb has indeed changed to Vienna. I haven't gotten the story on this yet, though.


    That's why the server just went down.
  • ZeoZeo Channel 9 :)

    Everyone thinks that Microsoft only works on N+1 technologies…like Vista and 012. But when I was at Microsoft’s campus in summer for a job interview….one of the people I met was interviewing for an 0ffice 13 PM position.

    Microsoft always has incubation projects such as N+1, N+2, and N+3 for many of their larger products like (Windows, Server, Office, SQL server, and Dev Tools).

    Think about it Microsoft has to plan out 5-7 years out from now.  For staffing, resource allocation, investigative research technologies, and business development planning. That’s being responsible for a billion dollar business. 

    Let’s all calm down and not get excited about what Microsoft is working on for 5-7 years from now. Let’s instead focus on Vista and the WinFX CTP that was released today that we can ACTUALLY get our hands on. 

    Oh and for all of you thinking that Vienna is the last version of Windows Microsoft is working on, there are researchers working on post Vienna concepts...

  • Andre Da CostaAndre Da Costa Created with PhotoDraw 2000 V2
    Zeo wrote:

    Oh and for all of you thinking that Vienna is the last version of Windows Microsoft is working on, there are researchers working on post Vienna concepts...



    Tell that to Tom Warren
    http://www.neowin.net/index.php?act=view&id=32095
  • I was so glad to read your post..I've also been wondering about this exact same issue..I use all of the services you mentioned and was wondering too if they plan to unify them all as some Live service here eventually.
  • davida242 wrote:

    I also have a more general point to make.

    I am quite confused about sharing items via Microsoft products over the internet. Here is a partial list of technologies available to share files from Microsoft: Good old Windows shares, Groove folder share, www.foldershare.com, Windows Messenger 8, you might also argue Sharepoint with offline support via 1) Groove 12 and 2) offline support within Outlook, then you can share stuff via Exchange folders and I am sure I have missed some. They are all named quite similiar, and unless two geeks want to share stuff it is almost certain that it will take a lot time to communicate which sharing technology should be used in a particular scenario. I think there should be ONE concept of sharing items in Windows that works across all those scenarios. One UI. Consolidation is required, I believe. Right now I have the impression that MS is creating more and more technologies, instead of unifying them, which would really be needed.

    Cheers,
    David



    I was so glad to read your post..I've also been wondering about this exact same issue..I use all of the services you mentioned and was wondering too if they plan to unify them all as some Live service here eventually.

    Josh
  • Oi Bobinho-

    Firstly thank you for your suggestion that I run for MS President.  I can neither confirm nor deny my candidacy, but I can tell you I have been discussing this with my family and we are leaving all our options open.  I'm having campaign buttons made, just in case, and  I'll make sure you get one - if my team doesn't laugh me out of the building first.  Big Smile

    About your plea for us to run on the latest WinFX CTP, here's the deal:

    Our team is operating as a real product team / ISV.  That is, our goal is not to build a sample app for WinFX (useful as that may be) but rather to build a real application that actual end-users will enjoy.

    To us this means shipping high quality code on a very regular basis as we go from Alpha to Beta to RTM.  Our approach is to ship quarterly, that is we plan, take off, fly and land every three months.  At which point we update the publicly released software.  Which means we hit zero known bugs every three months (no snickers please.)  Lots of ISVs already operate along these lines, but you might be surprised how unusual this approach is within Microsoft.

    Which brings us to WinFX - In order to guarantee that we can ship the thing we work on every three months, we are very stringent about any dependencies we have on external code.  Our general rule (which we've bent a couple of times to help out WinFX) is to only take dependencies on publicly redistributable bits one month before we begin a quarter of coding.

    This means that we will always be a few CTPs behind WinFX.  This is of course an issue for developers self-hosting the latest WinFX.  It's also an issue for the WinFX team, because we can't get them feedback on the absolutely latest bits they have shipped.  But overall we've found that with quarterly releases we've been able to strike a decent balance between being on new bits of WinFX, getting WinFX feedback, and shipping high quality code.

    I really do appologize for the inconvenience this is causing MSDN folks, but for now this is the best we can do.  Expressionless

    Cheers!

    - Piero

  • See IE7 Beta 2 Preview Build 5296

    Link: http://www.nsorg.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=2217&Itemid=1
  • Iain Rae LennoxSkriker V1.0 Need more money...

    A question for these MAX guys, when they tried to show that it was not hitting on the CPU performance and only the GPU, as far as my understanding of it goes the CPU is still heavily involved creating the mesh for the 3D structures. And if you watch you can see that the CPU does hit 100%. So is this the case?

    Also when do we get to see the guys who actually write the code for this stuff?

  • leighswordleighsword LeighSword
    scobleizer wrote:
    Zeo wrote:Blackcomb is alive and well.....Good to know that the codename of "Blackcomb" hasn't changed! Thanks for the confirmation...hadn't heard that codename being used since early 2004


    Zeo: sssshhhhh, but since this video was shot the codename for Blackcomb has indeed changed to Vienna. I haven't gotten the story on this yet, though.

    haha, I have to say that, Scobleizer, you made an unforgivable mistake as an evangelist, the wrong market strategy is you are introduce the next next product when MS prepare to sell the current product - Vista. never mind, just kidding.Big Smile
  • scobleizerscobleizer I'm the video guy
    Zeo wrote:
    Everyone thinks that Microsoft only works on N+1 technologies…like Vista and 012. But when I was at Microsoft’s campus in summer for a job interview….one of the people I met was interviewing for an 0ffice 13 PM position.


    There is no such thing as Office 13. They are skipping that number and going straight to 14.
  • I wish Microsoft would dump the stupid product mascots.
  • Damn, I could not issue it due to :-

    http://blogs.msdn.com/max/archive/2005/11/29/497950.aspx
  • littleguru wrote:

    Why does Max not work on a non-english version of Windows?? I can't understand that. I mean Max is in english and Windows in another language. Who cares?!

    Could somebody of the team, please remove that nasty messagebox and let me install the enligsh version of Max on an non-english Windows version.



    i'm strongly agree...just less people are willing to install a seperat system just for playin around with new beta-tools?! :O

    whats the dealio about this language-restrictions...if you wanna tryin 2 find a wide group of using your products to establish them in the market you should think about it...even internet-related tools with share-functions, often used worldwide

    nevertheless i think MAX is a pretty good program based on some good ideas...Big Smile thats what i think after watching this short movie...but unfortunatly without tryin by myself Sad
  • Christian Liensbergerlittleguru <3 Seattle
    allAccess wrote:
    littleguru wrote:

    Why does Max not work on a non-english version of Windows?? I can't understand that. I mean Max is in english and Windows in another language. Who cares?!

    Could somebody of the team, please remove that nasty messagebox and let me install the enligsh version of Max on an non-english Windows version.



    i'm strongly agree...just less people are willing to install a seperat system just for playin around with new beta-tools?!

    whats the dealio about this language-restrictions...if you wanna tryin 2 find a wide group of using your products to establish them in the market you should think about it...even internet-related tools with share-functions, often used worldwide

    nevertheless i think MAX is a pretty good program based on some good ideas... thats what i think after watching this short movie...but unfortunatly without tryin by myself


    I guess we have to wait for the next 3 months until we get an international version. I'm wondering why nobody of the team answered my question... One of the guys posted something here, but did not mention my question... STRANGE! Wink
  • littleguru wrote:


    I'm wondering why nobody of the team answered my question... One of the guys posted something here, but did not mention my question... STRANGE!


    Just another evidence for my point that this team mostly talks about being different, i.e. in touch with their potential customers. Now the video is over a week old, has 35 postings in its thread and how many are from the team? One. Lame.

    If they don't want to engage in a conversation, fine. But please, then a) don't release prerelease versions that don't work with most systems and expect customers to give you feedback and b) don't go on video and claim that you are one of the most customer centric teams around, because you are not. I think most people here are willing to test out unfinished stuff in forms of CTPs, if at the same time they get to engage in a conversation with the people that build the products. But throwing out CTPs and then not engaging in a conversation with the customers is pretty rude, I think. I know there are a lot of answers in the forum, but most of them are in the form of "Sorry, wait for the next CTP, which is coming soon". That is NOT a conversation.

    Best,
    David
  • Sorry Littleguru, here you go.

    In shipping Max we were following a (new) MS policy not to release on languages we haven't tested fully on.  As you know machines configured for different languages are not identical, and historically MS has found odd occasional bugs shipping English UI on non-US English systems.

    At the time we put out our latest build we were test constrained on testing on different languages SKUs.  So we followed the policy to BLOCK setup on these systems (though it's still possible to xcopy Max into a folder and run it, our setup doesn't do anything funky with the registry etc.)  We explained why on our public website but still heard a fair amount of frustration from our users.  The prevailing feeling was that we should WARN users, but not block them.  But the trolls at the ship gates were adamant we block, so we did.

    We are currently re-evaluating our policy here and trying to get this loosened.  In the meantime, we have found test resources for Japanese and German.  So at least in M6 (ships circa 2/15) we should unblock folks on those SKUs.

    My appologies for the inconvenience, we'll keep trying to do better here.

    Thanks!

    - Piero


  • davida242 wrote:
    I think there should be ONE concept of sharing items in Windows that works across all those scenarios. One UI. Consolidation is required, I believe.

    You're right, that would certainly be simplest. Unfortunately, I don't think anyone has figured out the perfect sharing concept yet. Well, never mind perfect, but none of the existing methods are good enough that I would be comfortable consolidating on one of them at this point. I think we (and everyone else) need some more time to experiment. Also, I suspect there won't be just one concept--there are lots of different usage patterns and customer needs to deal with--but ideally there would only be a few obvious ones.

    - Walter
  • FYI

    I've asked our dev team to get more engaged on this thread and help answer dev questions.  Also for dev stuff you might want to check out

    Dan Crevier's blog:  http://blogs.msdn.com/dancre/

    Ben Constable's blog:  http://blogs.msdn.com/bencon/

    For other questions (such as how we make sausage, or WinFX setup issues etc), please consider checking out the Max Forums:

    http://forums.microsoft.com/max/default.aspx?siteid=4

    - Piero
  • FYI, Max is properly 'localized' from a development perspective.  We run fxcop to ensure all our string operations are done with localization in mind and we use resources to make the substitution of other language strings simple.

    As we all know, this is just one step in the process though.  We have to translate the strings & test on the different language OSes.  This is where we ran short on resource and had to make choices.

    You've made your point to the right place.  While Piero may not write code for a living, he is one of the key people on the team when it comes to arguing for and changing the policy on whether we block installation on untested languages.  Hopefully we'll do better in the future.

     - jcb (yes, I write code in Max for a living)

  • You make a good point here David, one that we're well aware of inside Microsoft.  Like any big company, sometimes you get a lot of people doing 'almost the same thing' in different ways.  It's always very easy to just justify to yourself (and your team) "but we have to do it ourself, because Foo just doesn't do what we need".

    That said, there are some good reasons and some legacy reasons why you end up with different ways to accomplish similar tasks.  Over time we should get these synchronized, but this isn't a simple problem.  Our team is constantly talking to other teams working in the same 'problem space' to see how we can 'split up the problem' and work better together.  For instance, in the past few months we've met multiple times with the Groove, MSN Messenger, and Foldershare teams among others to talk about each of our technologies, scenarios, and how we can work together.

    Some duplicate technologies will be there for legacy reasons.  For instance, you'll probably always have Windows File Sharing (a.k.a. SMB or CIFS sharing, \\Computer\Share) around because this is what shipped in Windows for Workgroups so long ago and people use this all the time.  That said, it doesn't work very well over the Internet, can't handle NATs and Firewalls, won't authenticate properly outside a domain, etc.  These legacy protocols tend to hang around a *long* time as they slowly go out of use.  It's not too long ago that we finally stopped loading NetBIOS and IPX (network protocols that were commonly used before the Internet and TCP/IP took over everything) in Windows.

    We are actively working on collapsing the 'Internet File Sharing' technologies together.  You see some of this in Max already such as using Passport to log in which is a choice we made to 'bring us closer' to how MSN Messenger does things.  That said, Max is built on top of WinFX and this gives us quite a bit more capability to create new features because it's so much easier to write code with Indigo (er, I mean the Windows Communications Foundation) than the tools that other teams are using.  Because it's easier, we're working on some pretty advanced scenarios that you won't see in other sharing products for some time to come.  Even as we do this advanced scenario work though, we're also working with other teams to share more technologies where we're all solving the same problems (like NAT/Firewall traversal, IP address registration, etc.)

    Does that make sense?  Give you a feeling about how (from our perspective) sometimes it's not so easy as 'we should just have one way to share'?
  • Well, a couple of us are here now.  Does it really surprise you that Piero had to walk down the hall and yell, "Hey programmer goobers.  Close Visual Studio for a second and, like, talk to your customers!"
  • Jay.Beavers wrote:
    Well, a couple of us are here now.  Does it really surprise you that Piero had to walk down the hall and yell, "Hey programmer goobers.  Close Visual Studio for a second and, like, talk to your customers!"


    That is great and much appreciated. I enjoyed the postings a lot, exactly what I was hoping to get! Sorry if my previous messages sounded unfriendly, I thought a little shaking wouldn't hurt Wink Keep it up that way!
  • davida242 wrote:


    That is great and much appreciated. I enjoyed the postings a lot, exactly what I was hoping to get! Sorry if my previous messages sounded unfriendly, I thought a little shaking wouldn't hurt Keep it up that way!


    No offense taken, David.  I've posted my own share of unfriendly messages to the Internet in the past, many of them far less polite than anything said here Expressionless

    Let me apologize for not getting to the forums sooner.  It's all too easy to get caught up in the 'I don't have time for that, I have code to write!' loop and get stuck there forever.  It's good to be reminded from time to time that there's far more to good software development than lines of code and unit tests...
  • God awful program.  WinFX + Max need to be abandoned now.  Picasa/Blogger/Flicker integration exceeds anything Microsoft Max will ever achieve.  And to be honest, the program itself accomplishes nothing practical - my grandmother in Taiwan won't be downloading Max, let alone the WinFX module, so what then?

    Rethink your investment of time and resources, M$.
  • Good:D
  • littleguru wrote:
    mawcc said:
    littleguru wrote:

    Why does Max not work on a non-english version of Windows?? I can't understand that. I mean Max is in english and Windows in another language. Who cares?!

    Could somebody of the team, please remove that nasty messagebox and let me install the enligsh version of Max on an non-english Windows version.



    Seems to be an new trend. One Care Beta requires an English operating system and US English Regional Settings.

    Sometimes it hurts to be a non US citizen (although it shouldn't).


    Yep. Those are weird requirements. Each application should be programmend independent of it's culture.

    Since this is a managed app it requires only one line of code to set the culture to english...

    I can't understand this limitation. This is not an open beta, this seems to be an open-for-america beta Wink
    Rolleyes. The US is the great satan, yadda yadda yadda. There is a German and Japanese version of Microsoft Max available for a while now. As your profile says, you're working for a german .NET magazine, so there you go, get your german version of it. HELLO MESS! (lol) WTF?!
  • littleguru wrote:

    Why does Max not work on a non-english version of Windows?? I can't understand that. I mean Max is in english and Windows in another language. Who cares?!

    Could somebody of the team, please remove that nasty messagebox and let me install the enligsh version of Max on an non-english Windows version.



    "Seems to be an new trend. One Care Beta requires an English operating system and US English Regional Settings.

    Sometimes it hurts to be a non US citizen (although it shouldn't)."


    hmmm
    trend...thats typical of most betas....
    iam happy to be from an non english  location...althougt it will bring atvantage



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