Of late, Microsoft seems to be doing some power packed events – Windows 7 at PDC08, Project Natal at E3, Windows Phone 7 Series (it’s so friggin’ long to type!) at MWC10, Augmented Reality in Bing Maps & Live Pivot at TED. Microsoft’s annual event for web developers seems to be no different. MIX10 has had quite a build up. Some of the expected highlights of this year’s event are:

Internet Explorer 9:

Internet Explorer’s user numbers have taken quite a beating, despite of IE8 being a fairly decent browser. The Browser Ballot screen hasn’t helped Microsoft either. Firefox has a wide user base that is steadily eroding courtesy Chrome. One of the biggest hassles with IE has been the so called standards incompliance. With IE9, Microsoft is determined to change that.

Steven Sinofsky showed a glimpse of IE9 at PDC09 and categorically stated that adhering to standards is a prime focus for them. With a Softie – Chris Wilson, as the co-chairman of the W3C group developing HTML5, IE9 was expected to support the new web standard. Some specs about Internet Explorer 9 as previously confirmed: IE 9 – What We Know. According to a patent application, IE9 is expected to enhance their Quick Tabs feature as well.

A list of HTML5 sessions

Windows Phone 7 Series:

Took everyone by surprise, like Project natal, no one knew what was coming till it was shown. Microsoft pulled off a successful unveiling of their new mobile operating system called – Windows Phone 7 Series, of course they could’ve chosen a smaller name. Anyway, the MWC event was more like a first-look of the features of the operating system and nothing regarding third party apps was mentioned. As MIX10 drew closer, information regarding what is expected started trickling. With iPhone games being ported to screen shots and demos of exclusive games.

What probably took the cake was the demo at Tech Ed Middle East where a game was started on the PC, continued on the Windows Phone 7 Series device and then finished on the Xbox 360. The basic point being, coding apps and games for all the three platforms has a lot of overlapping code thereby making it easy for the developers. Video of the demo:

List of WP7S sessions

Live Wave 4:

Microsoft’s bundle of essential software for Windows users known as Live Essentials will undergo it’s 4th major upgrade with Live Wave 4 being announced at MIX10. Screen shots have surfaced at regular intervals over the past several months and as such a public beta is expected to announced at MIX10. A quick round up of what is known about Windows Live Wave 4 with screen shots, is here – Windows Live Wave 4 – What’s Known So Far.

Update: It seems that there will be no Wave 4 at MIX10.

Windows Azure and Cloud Computing:

With Steve Ballmer kicking of a new campaign for Microsoft Cloud initiatives and the 3 screens and cloud demo of Windows Phone 7 Series, Microsoft is geared up to fight the likes of Google and Amazon in the cloud computing race. Windows Azure was launched in November and there are quite a few sessions scheduled.

Not sure but there will be some talk about Office Web Apps and possibly something on the release of Silverlight 4 final, maybe a bit about Bing and the new MSN homepage.

MIX10 begins March 15th, 9 AM PST (9:30 India) onwards. Like most events in the past year, MIX10 will also be covered by the Microsoft All Star group with a live blog starring: