This Week C9: Revolution 9 - The Future of Channel 9

Play This Week C9: Revolution 9 - The Future of Channel 9
Sign in to queue


On a very special episode of This Week on Channel 9, Dan is joined by Jeff, Duncan, and Nishant to talk about the recent survey results, and the Revolution 9 project

- (0:00 - 1:00) Jeff Sandquist, Duncan Mackenzie, and Nishant Kothary
- (1:00 - 1:57) Survey results request by Minh
- (1:57 - 2:47) How we're working on being more transparent including content and our dev team and helping other organizations be more transparent
- (2:47 - 7:20) Jeff discusses the history of Channel 9
- (7:20 - 10:55) Survey Results - The Good
    - High satisfaction with Microsoft
    - Most Important site features: Video interviews, screencasts/podcasts
    - 50% visit daily, 75% visit at least weekly
    - 66% will try a new technology
    - 91% gave verbatim feedback
- (10:55 - 12:23) Channel 9 Traffic
    - 131 Terabytes/Monthly
    - 2.8 Million Minutes/Month
- (12:23 - 15:17) Survey Results - The Bad
    - Site reliability
    - Finding content through search/tags
    - Site organization
    - Satisfaction for non-developers was lower than developer satisfaction
- (15:17 - 16:48) Survey Results - Importance and Usage Graph
- (16:48 - 17:18) RossJ Coffeehouse comment on artificial classification of devs, students, and consumers
- (17:18 - 17:50) Long Zheng blog comment on Evangelism Network and the "dilemma of choosing a community"
- (17:50 - 19:20) Current State of the World - Channel 8, 9, 10, Coding4Fun, Edge, and MIX Online
- (19:20 - 24:00) Future State of the World
    - Channel 10 and Coding4Fun content will now be on Channel 9
    - Existing Channel 8 content moves to Channel 9, while the Microsoft Student site becomes the portal for students
    - Edge and MIX sites stay unchanged
- (24:00 - 25:28) The origins of the Revolution 9 name based on Jamie's PDC artwork and coming full circle to our roots
- (25:28 - 26:10) Revolution 9 is three things - Content, User Experience, and site reliability + features
- (26:10 - 29:00) Content - Common theme is more - Erik Meijer, Silverlight, real world examples, how-to training, Scoble/Rory style interviews, more history of Microsoft
- (29:00 - 40:10) Adding new content, not taking away existing, not one size fits all, different topics, formats, styles, length, continuous evolution.
   - New stuff
   - Learn - Going Deep, 10-4, MSR/Coding4Fun Projects
   - Opinions - Erik Meijer, Anders Hejlsberg, favorite Windows 7 apps
    - Culture - Old-school C9 videos, history of Microsoft
    - Community - Channel 9 Live - Live streaming town halls with leaders at Microsoft, online "bootcamp" for different technologies
    - Grow # of C9 authors
- (40:10 - 54:54) Nishant on User Experience
    - Jeff talks about the Bruce Williams podcast
    - Nishant's dog and how he is on Twitter (@yoweim)
    - How Channel 9 played a huge part in him joining the company
    - Discoverability - Can we help you find content you're searching for or content you find interesting that you weren't searching for. It's too hard to browse through through 1,300+ tags
    - Readability - How consumable is the content, both text and video, ensure the content is pleasing to look at
    - Interactivity - Don't over-complicate interaction model
    - Visual Design - Let the content shine through, design only begins when you launch, it will continue to evolve 
  - (54:54 - 58:38) Duncan on site reliability 
    - Duncan's request for comments
    - SQL Performance Tuning and de-normalization
    - Replacement of Editor control
    - Cross-Browser Compatibility with Chrome/Safari
  - (58:38 - 1:05) Duncan on new features
    - Improve video - Windows Media profile, smooth streaming, video bookmarks/chapters
    - Channel 9 Live - Live chat stream in some way (Twitter, uStream-style)
    - Misc - Anonymous comments, spam filtering, star-rating system so more people will use ratings (content recommendations like Netflix)
 - (1:05 - 1:07) Recap
  - Thank you for being members of the Channel 9 community



The Discussion

  • User profile image

    I'll be excited to watch the "Revolution" unfold. Time to go watch the video!


  • User profile image

    still watching, but are there any plans of a schedule of upcoming videos? that'd be really great Smiley

    also, where's charels? Smiley he'll still be a major part of the future c9 i hope?

  • User profile image

     - For upcoming videos yes, we'll be able to share them and get questions before, as well as get suggestions on future videos. As you can imagine, there will be times when we can't disclose upcoming videos (ex: a new technology or product).
     - No worries on Charles, he's still on the Channel 9 team Smiley He was actually going to drop by when we filmed yesterday but he was out of the office sick


  • User profile image

    No download links?

  • User profile image

    Sounds like great things.  Yes discoverability has become an issue, especially PDC videos etc.

    I personally would like to see more screen casts Especially with new areas, both in the realm of Dev but also in usability in areas such as Office and other programs. 

    It is good to hear that the different sites are coming under one platform. But in that light, PDC imo should get the treatment of Mix as a conference type site that bubbles into Channel 9. Perhaps even getting screen casts and feature reviews specific to the conference and as the stuff productizes more into the mainstream.

    Can also ask for More WPF content:Smiley especially moving into a MVVM with MEF point of view. perhaps a series of screen casts in architeching and implementing such an ap.

    Agree with the point of missing the Scoble/Rory type of interviews. although the Going Deep interviews are the most interesting for me.  Well those and the Tina history of MS have been simply amazing from a nostalgia point of view. 

    And yes I did watch the entire video, shame on those that don't:)  Shout out to Duncan.  He needs to be in more videos:)

  • User profile image

    Hey Duncan,

    It's true I probably wouldn't have watch 59m of the video, but I skipped straight to you to hear about SQL tuning and you totally let me down! 

    Weak sauce.


  • User profile image

    We wanted to put the video up as soon as possible but the video is large in terms of size (1 hour+ length) so some of the download videos aren't up yet. If you wait a few hours, all of them should finish FTP'ing up and the links will auto-magically upload.


  • User profile image

    A few tips on the dev end...

    1. AZURE! It should help your scalability and distribution issues.
    2. If you don't use Azure, perhaps a CDN??
    3. Cache videos... perhaps that could help some bandwidth costs. YouTube has recently added this feature


  • User profile image

    Screw cloud computing. C9 can do it without it, many sites do. If youtube can do it c9 can.

    The site has improved so much since 5 months ago. Using Firefox or Chrome used to make the site pretty snappy. Since then IE also feels snappy. No more hangs on javascript!

    Channel9 is a great resource. It has been since the beginning. It does not feel the same as the earlier years with Robert Scoble. Something is just not the same. Those times felt more exciting. The videos were more interesting from all aspects (end user, developer...). Channel9 should try to get back to that spark. I firmly believe it is not just because Channel9 was new, something was different.

    Oh and the community seems stagnant. Not sure why I get this impression. Keep trucking.

  • User profile image

    Thanks all!  This is the beginning for this project, but we wanted to start of on the right foot, by being open and honest. In the coming weeks we will share more and look forward to the comments.

    One thing I enjoyed about watching the video tonight was how many times we said "back to our roots". Its true, C9 Revolution is about trying some new things, but also hopefully a return to what made us successful in the early days.

  • User profile image

    You guys can do it. Just please do it Tongue Out

  • User profile image

    I hope you don't mine if I compare your content of Channel 9 to WolframAlpha blog posts, both are not afraid to admit & show your mistakes and interview the person behind the green curtain. On balance I prefer channel 9's as W.A. markets their product to much, like 4 times in the first minute. Does that make you bad at marketing or marketing geniuses?

    The most rememberable videos to me, cover what seem a first glance the most boring thing in the world, eg FONTS, Then finding out that the person behind it was passionate about the subject. This passion took the main thread content of the video on to interesting tanget converations. (Alphabet  & Tracking Animals).

    Thank you all at channel 9 & sibling sites, wishing you another successful 5 years.


    p.s Is it me or does this editor disable the Spelling Correction Suggestions of Firefox, as I don't believe I wrote this  much without a single mistake. (Dyslexic is I)

  • User profile image

    (reposting my reply from forums)

    Thanks for featuring my comment regarding the "dilemma of choosing a community" and look forward to all the changes you'll be implementing. Sounds like very much a big step in the right direction. Smiley

  • User profile image

    And I saw "the part" Duncan refers to Smiley

  • User profile image

    Looking forward to the links to times within videos. Would also like the comment on post button to not stop playing the video if you aren't logged in.

  • User profile image

    Yes, I watched it to the end.

    Some feedback too: I actually don't have time for watching all C9 videos (let alone C8, C10 and the others). That is why I really like This Week on C9, if you mention some interesting stuff I can take a look at it; all while doing actual work/studying during the week Smiley

    If This Week on C9 (or whatever you would call it) would also be This Week on C8, C10,, that would really be great.

  • User profile image

    The strange thing about the new post editor is that most of the buttons don't work anymore. All I see is the UNDO and ADD buttons and that drop down menu that says Paragraph. If I wait a while and hover my mouse over other posts sometimes they will all pop up randomly but most of the time they don't. It's really weird.

    I only have IE7 installed so I don't know about other browsers.

  • User profile image

    So that's why you guys switched to widescreen. Four guys in the frame at once.

    Re: Bruce Williams: Bob Ross. Enough said.

    Also: saw the part. I have to confess that I always watch the videos at 1.4 speed, though.

  • User profile image

    That happens for me too, in IE6! IE8 is fine though.

  • User profile image

    Aha! At least I know I'm not alone.

    So IE6 and 7 both do this.

  • User profile image

    It would be interesting to count the number of times the words "Go do" is used in this segment, especially by Jeff...chringe! Smiley

  • User profile image

    This video is another instance of a common recent problem on channel 9.  That is a video that is not usable over 700kbps DSL.  Generally, the quality of channel 9 usability is erratic at best.  Increasingly, I am finding it not worth making the effort to use it.  Certainly it has become a poor advertisement for Microsoft quality.

  • User profile image

    I'm not sure what's the new system exactly (from content poster perspective) but one observation from the tag system:

    Lets suppose several people posts videos about say Blend. Then you end up with tags like Blend 3, Expression Blend 3, Blend etc and then user clicks on one of them, it only picks up the stuff matching that tag exactly. Users should be able to create new ID's (or tags) but the UI should always enforce comprehensive search against the existing IDs with exact match date descending grouped edit distance results. Since same user is probably going to post many videos in same category, the previously used tags should be bubbled up.

    All very common sense basic stuff but for some reason there are million tag systems out there which failed the most basic requirement for any tagging system.



  • User profile image

    Interesting. I'm looking forward to see this coming live! The thing that interests me the most is to see how the Coffeehouse gets integrated again Smiley

    Btw. just a few thoughts/questions about the statistical data: is it really that most of the people watch the videos online? Because otherwise how can you say that most people don't watch the videos to the end? I'm most often downloading the videos and I'm curious whether I'm alone with that.

    I hope you guys find a way to unify the communities on the various sites. It would be nice to have one common place for people to chat other than the fragmented situation that we face today.

  • User profile image

    sure, i understand Smiley
    To bad charles wasnt feeling well but great to hear that he's still on Smiley

    all silverlight channel9 ftw Wink

  • User profile image

    does watch online mean stream the wmv hq version? i never download the videos from c9, i stream them in wmp Smiley the sl player is alright i guess but it somehow feels very SL1..

  • User profile image

    I almost always download the videos, because that way I can speed them up. Also when playing in the browser I often forget that I'm supposed to leave that tab alone and accidentally click some link, and then the video stops. When downloading, it plays in WMP and you don't have that problem.

  • User profile image

    looks good, ill keep an eye on it.


    talk about keeping things short and simple. Big Smile

  • User profile image

    brevity is the soul of wit. :-> eek.

  • User profile image

    Yes I watched the all the video. Sounds great, I'm looking forward to the changes!

  • User profile image
    el guero
    It’s a shame what's happening with Channel 8, but for all I can say it was a fun run.
    Now my only concern is what is going to happen with the HTPC contest max was doing since last year?
    pd good luck in channel 9
  • User profile image

    I also download almost every video instead of watching it online.
    The reason for that is, that most of the videos are posted when I am at work where I can't watch them. As soon as the RSS notifier pops up, a download order for the hq video file goes to my server back home. So when I get back home from work everything is ready for an evening full of interesting c9 content.
    The only thing missing is a solution for streaming the videos to the living room but that's work in progress, maybe the new popcorn hour ( will meet my expectations.

    Besides that, great video guys. I'm very curious about the upcoming changes. The "ask the gu" event was awesome so I especially looking forward to the live events. Hopefully they will be scheduled so I can watch them in the evening at home (CET).

  • User profile image

    The redesign sound really good, and especially the consolidation af sites Smiley


    (and I watched the whole video Wink

  • User profile image

    > Also: saw the part. I have to confess that I always watch the videos at 1.4 speed, though.

    I used to watch the videos at high speed in media player.  I now watch in silverlight and miss that functionality.  I wonder if C9 could bring in the micro-machines guy to make some super-dense videos.

  • User profile image

    Channel9 should be all about connecting with Microsoft leaders and common employees so that the interested public (i.e. developers, students and IT professionals) can discuss current ideas being work on in the company and general policy directions. In this regard Channel9 has failed. It is still mostly one-way. We watch videos, we say "very good" and we leave. Who reads the Coffee House from the Microsoft leaders and employees? I can much easier give feedback to the IE or WMP teams for example through their blogs, if they have one, than through any Channel9 method. The wiki has fallen into disuse. The Coffee House is read by no real Microsoft group. MS Connect is the only official site to give feedback. Its devoted users from outside Microsoft seem to love Channel9. But do the internal employees pay it any attention nowadays? Or do they spend their time write blog entries or Twitting or in other cases they do not even care for such Channels of communication?

     There should be:

    1. A Live Chat room. Like IRC or something web-based. Where Microsoft employees can hang out and where users can talk. Why should everything be forum-based on the Web. Live chat is abandoned everywhere on the Web. Make a difference and who know you might start a new trend inside the company and elsewhere. A Chatroom.

    2. Pick topic andinvite Microsoft managers/employees to give their opinions and also invite the Channel9 users to give their opinions, so that there would be a discussion. There are so many controversial and not so controversial topics on which Microsoft managers need the opinion of users. Turn Channel9 into a lab for user studies of sorts for them.

    3. Invite the users to submit their own videos. Why should everything come from you. Or, invite users to talk via phone or Webcam on some of your videos.

  • User profile image

    Sounds good! And yes, I watched the whole video.

  • User profile image

    +1 for making the PDC content much more discoverable. I think it's one of C9's crown jewels and it's hidden so well I kinda assumed it was done deliberately. 

  • User profile image

    I owe Channel 9 a heck of a lot. I got my first proper tech job as a direct result of watching early Channel 9. I applied for a job and somehow managed to get past the paper sift and get an interview.

    The interviewer threw in some normal questions but then asked "Can you write some pseudo code to detect a palindrome" Which by a wonderful coincidence was just what had been covered in this video I repeated what was in the video and comments and 4 hours later got the job offer at nearly 50% more than I was on. I have not looked back since.

    Thank you Channel 9.

    85% of the content goes 30,000 ft above my head but if  0.1% sticks then I am smarter than I would have been. Keep it up.


  • User profile image

    Quick feedback:

    1. When looking at merging the different communities, try to not overload the RSS feeds to much. Right now I get 2-3 posts a day, and most of them are Developer topics that I am interested in. If that becomes 10 or 20 posts a day, with the majority of them being topics that I am not interested in (design, student level material, etc) then I might have to drop the feed.

    2. Super stoked for HD quality and smooth streaming! This should help a lot when there are graphics or screen casts. For instance, the Usability/Importance graph was not readable in the WMV format video.

    3. Also very interested in the addition of bookmarks. I LOVED the .NET show because every episode had bookmarks and a full transcript. Makes it much easier to get to the important parts of a long video.

    4. Everyone else is mentioning that they download the videos, so I thought I would throw it out there that I stream them in Media Player instead of the browser for 1 crutial reason: Full Screen on a second monitor. Flash/Silverlight seem to think that everyone only uses one monitor, and full screen is useless if you are trying to get work done on a second monitor (it closes as soon as you click on another window). I know that isn't your problem to fix, but I would cry if you lost the download option and force me to use Silverlight's version of "full screen" Tongue Out

    5. Keep up the great work!

  • User profile image

    For the guy who wanted to know, I watched the whole thing. Smiley

  • User profile image

    What is the name of the song, that is that the begining of the video?

  • User profile image


    Artist: One Pump Chump
    Album: Funundrum
    Song: GDI

  • User profile image

    Here's the problem. C9 pays a LOT of money in bandwidth to be sent over to countries nowhere near the United States where their servers probably are. With Azure, C9 would have the ability to serve many more users and allow for better scaling on the data center side.

  • User profile image

    We'll keep your feedback about the RSS feeds in mind, definitely don't want to overload anyone's client!

    As far as "I would cry if you lost the download option" goes ... don't worry, we have absolutely no plans to remove downloading as an option!

  • User profile image

    I saw Duncan's section where he said, post to say you saw it Smiley So I did.

    I can't wait to see more cool behind the scenes videos. I am an 8er and old school 9er. Welcoming the change.

    Windows 7 Sounds and Themes interview are way over due btw

    Oh, more "why was this designed this way" video interviews in terms of UX in MS products. Loved those videos on Ch9. So I am guessing MIX-online interviewing MS itself...whoa!!

  • User profile image

    I love the hour-long videos from the trenches. Would it be possible to browse by video length?

    Keep up the good work guys!

  • User profile image

    I'm really excited to see all the stuff that is going to come out of this announcement.  There are couple of suggestions which would be great.

    1. Single Video portal.  It would be great if you could access all video from a single site.  Sometimes it's frustrating when you have to go hunting and pecking around for learning resources.  Maybe a highlights page which could summarize what's going on for what channel.

    2. Spell checking for the edtior.  For some reason, the Firefox spell checker doesn't catch misspellings.  I'm forced to load Word to check my writing before submitting.

    3. Improve search.  Searching for videos is a little painful.

    4. Thanks for doing channel 9.  This is the place i now check for updates and interview for Microsoft products.  I don't know any other company that does it to this extent.  Thanks for putting yourself out there, and not getting fired.


  • User profile image

    The site seems to be quite reliable now so that's a nice improvement.


    As a developer, I also have quite an interest in the Scoble-style interviews.


    Has there been any progress on merging 10 and C4F into C9?


    I haven't seen anything recently about Revolution 9.


    And I watched to the end. Smiley

  • User profile image
    Jocuri cu Printese

    Hey, the Silverlight player was fixed for widescreen videos. Awesome job.

  • User profile image
    Tori ODonnell

    I really do not know what I am signing up for, but it just looked interesting?

Add Your 2 Cents