Big Microsoft announcements due today from MIX 09: Silverlight 3, maybe IE8

At a two-hour keynote address to the MIX 09 conference in Las Vegas scheduled for noon EDT / 9:00 PDT today, engineers from Microsoft are expected to make this a very busy day for Web application developers. Attendees have been told to expect the first betas of Silverlight 3, the company's Web video and functionality platform, which in this edition may include support for three-dimensional controls and graphics.

There does appear to be a prominently veiled curtain in front of what will likely be the big news of the day, even if there's nothing behind it. If there is something behind it, it will very likely be the public release of Internet Explorer 8, which will introduce greater standards compliance, a private browsing mode, and a somewhat faster execution engine -- more than doubling the speed of IE7.

Also, developers at the conference are being told to expect the final "release" of something they've all been working on anyway, but which simply needs to now be made official: ASP.NET MVC, Microsoft's "alternate" model for for designing and deploying distributed Web applications. Let's not kid ourselves anymore: MVC will likely be the prominent distributed model from Microsoft, first and foremost because it makes the most sense. It creates a clear division of labor between code components that are responsible for implementing the database, creating safe views of that database that collect changes and transactions without corrupting it, and providing the user with a panel for manipulating the database (which creates a clear role for Silverlight).

Expect some real-world examples of MVC in action during today's keynote, which will be presented by the man now perceived as "the host of MIX," Corporate Vice President Scott Guthrie. Betanews will be presenting live commentary during the keynote.

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