Last year the Inspiration Tour kicked off and the first stop on tour was Manchester, however this initial outing was a little rocky due to some technical difficulties.
However the Inspiration Tour come back to Manchester Met with Ben Coley as the one man whilwind, presenting, gaming and coding after he has lost his wingman Ed Dunhil to sickness.
The Inspiration Tour covered Microsofts latest and greatest technologies ranging from the brower busting Silverlight, Windows Embedded, Popfly and the gamers fravourite XNA .
Starting out Ben showed why many are heralding Silverlight as "the Flash Killer", delivering HD video through the browser, quickly cooking up an app using Blend, and giving us an insight into your fravourite "Silverlight Airlines".
Silverlight is a great technology and with forthcoming release of Silverlight 2.0 (formerly 1.1) later in the year what better time than to start learning. Silverlight 2.0 will allow the development with .NET code within Silverlight along with the eagerly awaited control which will make creating a great app that much easier.
Windows Embedded went on to showcase that Windows is not just a PC OS but can be used on a number of different platforms and even in your parents washing machine. Using the Embedded development platform Ben showed us how easy it was to create an application for your Windows mobile phone. If I had on of these new fangled phones I would be pimping it out with a range of home made applications.
Popfly, a development enviroment for your mum, Ben showed off how simple it is to create a Flicker/Virtual Earth mashup creating a usable application in around 6 clicks of his Microsoft mouse.
Popfly is such a user friendly IDE that no programming knowledge is required, just use the provided blocks to wow other with your sophisticated apps. This block structure makes learning a sites API a thing of the past, now what would of taken you days to create can simply be done in a matter of seconds (bar the having to register with Flickr).
The grand finalae of the event was XNA, with a bevvy of brilliant but somewhat disturbing games demenstrating the power some of the great games that have bee developed using XNA. Not to mention the 1-on-1 shoot out between two spaceships,
Overall MMU's Inspiration Tour was an excellent event, some excellent content leaving me wising I had more time on my hands to learn all this great stuff.