Microsoft to deliver Silverlight 2 Beta 2 this week, Internet Explorer 8 Beta 2 in August

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In what he claims is his last keynote as a full-time employee of Microsoft, Bill Gates took a three-decade trip down Microsoft memory lane to remind its audience of the important role they’ve played in the software giant’s success. But the infamous Microsoft chairman also had a series of partnership and technology announcements to make at this year’s TechEd developers conference in Orlando, Florida.

Namely, he revealed timeframes for some highly anticipated updates to the betas of Internet Explorer 8 and their cross-browser, cross-platform and cross-device Silverlight 2 plug-in. According to Gates, Silverlight 2 Beta 2 will improve the overall video streaming experience and should be out later this week, whereas Internet Explorer 8 beta 2 is slated for an August release and will focus primarily on perking up the end-user experience. It’s probably safe to assume, then, that Microsoft will be showing off a few new features in the next beta of the world’s most popular yet controversial browser.

Gates had other announcements to make including a technical collaboration with IBM and the launch of the Microsoft project code-named “Velocity,” a distributed in-memory application cache platform. You can read more about it in their press release.

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