This week for the Midweek Download, we’ve got news about a Silverlight 5 beta that will be unveiled at MIX 2011, a few bits and pieces on progress in Windows Phone and a great speech from Bing chief Qi Lu.

Silverlight 5 beta in the MIX. The Silverlight team announced via a blog post on Monday that it will introduce a beta version of Silverlight 5 – complete with demos – at the MIX show in Las Vegas. MIX runs from April 12 to April 14. The team also fleshed out its thoughts on the future of both Silverlight and HTML5. Check it out.

One year in: A few numbers for Windows Phone developers. It was around this time at MIX 2010 that Microsoft unveiled the application platform and tools developers would use to create compelling Windows Phone 7 apps. In this March 30th post on the Windows Phone Blog, blogger Brandon Watson takes stock of what the past year has produced.

“It’s time to reorganize the Web.” At last week’s Imagine 2011 conference on digital advertising, Qi Lu, president of Microsoft’s Online Services Division, gave what Next at Microsoft Blog Editor Steve Clayton describes as a “pretty punchy speech.” During his speech, Qi made the bold statement that “it’s time to reorganize the Web.” Check out the video snippet of Qi’s presentation below:

Is Windows XP good enough? Really?? The Windows team will hold a roundtable at 9 a.m. on April 14th that covers how the technology landscape has changed since Windows XP was first launched. According to Springboard Series Blog writer Stephen L. Rose, the roundtable will also “address questions and concerns around migration costs, application compatibility, and organization readiness. The panel will also cover the role of virtualization in the desktop environment as well as the migration tools available to manage application compatibility and better automate deployment.” Don’t miss it!

Push the limit and pin! Hey, developers! Want more bang for your developing buck? Then pin! Exploring IE Blog writer Ziad Ismail tells us how companies like Flixster have taken advantage of the pinning feature in IE9, leading to a larger audience that stays on its site longer. Check out this Q&A with Flixster lead developer Steve Nguyen and product manager Andrea Sharfin.

How to get the most from IE9 and your graphics card. IE9 is designed to work across a wide array of graphics processing units, or GPUs. In this April 1st post on the IE Blog, Frank Olivier, a program manager in Internet Explorer Graphics, blogs on what you can do to ensure you get the most out of IE9 and your GPU.

Tools for Azure developers. Windows Azure Code Quick Start Topics are now available on MSDN to take developers through samples of code that demonstrate basic ways of interfacing with Windows Azure. To work through the quick start topics completely, you will need an edition of Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 and the Windows Azure Tools for Microsoft Visual Studio.

Data alone is not enough. Data already plays a huge role in each and every one of our lives, and it will continue to do so from here on out. So, making sense of the billions of terabytes of data out there is vital to all of us. In this April 4th post on the Next at Microsoft Blog, blog editor Steve Clayton writes about new ways to visualize data so people can actually understand all those numbers in front of them.

IT admins, this one’s for you. The Trustworthy Computing team announced Monday that the second edition of the Microsoft Security Update Guide is now available. Fully revised and updated from the first edition, which was released in 2009, this edition focuses on best practices for prioritizing and testing security updates before deployment within your organization's IT environment.

Thanks for reading this edition of the Midweek Download. See you next Wednesday.

Posted by Jeff Meisner
Editor, The Official Microsoft Blog