Back from a great PDC conference

image As you could already read on this blog some 25 Belgians made the trip to PDC this year so I thought you’d appreciate a summary vs. the lengthy reports you might have seen elsewhere. I’ve also recapped day 1 you could already read about in that post. PDC added a 100% to the momentum: there is something happening at MS and its good J . We received that same feedback from journalists, customers and partners, they are sensing it too and that’s even better.

Day 1 Keynotes: Server

  • It’s 4 years since Ray Ozzie wrote his “Services Disruption” memo that introduced our software-plus-services strategy which will deliver the best experiences user experiences based on two core principles.
  • Ray further translated that into the “three screens and a cloud” message and laid out the call-to-action for developers that want to adopt the model. This slide should leave no doubt why Silverlight and IE adoption are high on our priority list

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  • The rest of Rays keynote was on Windows Azure (you’ll get more on that in the Azure newsletter).
    Next to the product aspect of Azure the most remarkable message was: Azure isn’t just about Microsoft products or development tools: we are open for a lot of other web products. Azure runs PHP, JAVA, MySQL and more. To make his point he had WordPress creator Matt Mullenweg on stage to announce that his company would begin using Azure in production asap. The openness popped out in a an almost shocking way.
  • Bob Muglia’s message was one of choice for our customers, the choice of running on-premise, hosted or in the cloud on Azure. An important announcement was that in the future Windows Azure will support Windows Server Virtual Machines.  This VM support will make it easy to move their existing applications onto Windows Azure. clip_image002
  • Bob also announced the beta release of Windows Server AppFabric. This new Application Server for Windows and Azure allows developers and IT Pros to easily build and manage composite web-applications cross server and cloud. This will allow customers to write an application once and then run it either on Windows Server or Windows Azure with minimal or no re-factoring. This is how the stack will look like in the future:

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  • System Center is the consistent environment to manage both the private, the hosted and public cloud.

Day 2 Keynotes: Client

  • Steven Sinofsky warmed the hearts of developers by exposing quite some details about the engineering aspects of Windows 7 and a lot of developers felt the connection with what they are doing themselves. But that was just the cherry the actual cake came when Steven showed the ultimate developers laptop and gave 1 away to every paying participant.
  • One of the highlights of his speech was when he showed IE9 (yes indeed)
  • Scott clip_image005Guthrie took the stage and stunned the audience with Silverlight 4. Not only with an amazing demo showing we’re about to leapfrog the competition in RIA development, but also by announcing immediate availability of Silverlight 4 beta for download. The demo’s where spectacular, you could feel the energy in the room as developers and architects almost stood up to get this in their hands. Silverlight has become widespread on internet connected PC’s with 45% penetration (for Belgium check out RiaStats.com).
    Scott showed a lot of new featured like webcam integration, RIA services, Media framework, print support, etc. 70% of the users requested features asked for are in this beta release, final release will be in the first half of CY10

    Scott will be in Belgium on 4/12/09

  • Kurt DelBene announced public availability of Office 2010 Beta 2 and trilled the audience by showing SharePoint and Office as a development platform. I was blown away myself by the Race Team demo that showed a hand-in-glove integration of Silverlight into SharePoint. Just amazing what you can do with this platform. clip_image006

At the end of the week I was tired, but o so happy I made the trip: fully reenergized.

3 Screens and a cloud, PDC reveals next steps in S+S

The weather is great here in LA at the PDC conference, 24 degrees, and yes Azure blue skies the perfect setting for the first day keynotes at this high tech event. Lots of very-very technical people around me and it’s clear I needed a hyperGeek submersion to get back on track with the latest trends in application Platform world. And I have to admit it was a bit hard from time to time, but I’ll survive.
Back at the conference It’s amazing to see what has been created in such a short timeframe. It’s only 4 years ago that we started talking about the services transition and that Ray Ozzie (small picture on the left, but huge brains and vision in IT) wrote his “Services Disruption” memo. And it looks that we’re executing on plan.
One year ago at PDC08, Ray introduced Windows Azure as a core component of our “three screens and a cloud” strategy and the technical preview was released to the developers community. Now 1 year later we’re announcing that the first Windows Azure customers are going into production, and that we’re initiating a phased roll-out plan for our cloud OS that leads to customer billing beginning on Feb. 1.
For me one of the most important things to remember from the keynote is that we’re not just going after Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) but are truly delivering on the Platform as a Service (PaaS) promise with Azure. The richness of the platform, the easiness with how it can extend on premise computing to the cloud, how it solves on demand capacity and has incredible elasticity are all components that are ready for business.
During today’s keynote Bob Muglia, President of the Servers and tools business emphasize how Windows Azure has been designed as a cloud OS for the future, yet made familiar for today and using the skills and tools developers are used too so that the learning curve stays low. For example SQL Azure, which has been transformed in the past year, provides customers a true “database in the cloud” or “database as a service” with incredible scale and the same easiness a the on-premise version.
For the real detailed news of today you can browse the press (like DataNews in Belgium) or check out this index of websites:

PDC09 Website that has the keynotes
Engineering Website for the Azure platform
Customer Website for the Windows Azure platform
MSDN Windows Azure Developer Center

Tomorrow is another exiting day here on PDC with a focus on the client side of the 3 screens and a cloud story.

7 Second Windows 7 Demos

It’s Alive, It’s Alive !!!

Are you ready for Windows 7?

There is so much to say today, but also so little. Windows 7 is commercially available in stores all over the world, an you’ll read tons about that elsewhere. And the product itself is just fantastic, I’m running 7 for more than 7 months (10 to be honest but I couldn’t resist the rhyme) on both my business an family PCs and its just perfect. My 5 year old home PC got a second live because of 7, and the entire family loves it. Not just because its working that good, but also becaclip_image001use of the great new features.

There are people however that love it even much more than I do, take these Japanese guys at burger king:. What a nice campaign 7 burgers LoL. And the opening of the first Microsoft store in the US, where the was a mall long line to get in and get to the products first http://www.youtube.com/user/microsoftstore    

To conclude its always better to let others speak for you “XP can finally retire” if your Dutch or French speaking this is a great article that explain it all in the Datanews weekly.

Architect Forum Online:

Architect Forum

Architectures for your Next Generation Business Applications

Last week 140 Architects took a deep dive into Architectures for your Next Generation Business Applications. We want to thank you for your presence! According to your feedback this was a valuable experience, that fulfilled your expectations. To have another look at the different sessions, please find the recordings below. For those who missed the event, you can take a look now!

The Future of User Experience and the Emotion Commotion

August de los Reyes (Microsoft) – The competitive environment for technology is changing, and its impact on user experience is deep: capabilities, features, and functions are no longer enough. Emotional engagement will distinguish successful consumer and enterprise experiences of the future. Designing in this world requires we change the way we think about people and products. This presentation provides a brief overview of a counter-intuitive emotional design approach and its application to things to come.
Watch this session

Next Generation LOB Applications

Simon Guest (Microsoft) – Many organizations have chosen the Microsoft platform as a standard for LOB (Line of Business) applications. What does this investment look like moving forward? What comes after MFC and Windows Forms? How do WPF and Silverlight 3 change things? What about exposing data and generating reports? This session will answer these questions and explore technologies such as the ADO.NET Entity Framework, .NET RIA Services, WPF, and Expression Blend, to show end-to-end examples, tips, and techniques to create a roadmap for your next generation LOB applications.
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Setting-up a WPF line-of-business software factory

Olivier Raulot, Cristovao Figueiredo, Augusta Guernier (Getronics) – This session explains how to concretely and pragmatically set up an efficient WPF Software Factory that enables you to quickly build high-quality, rich applications that will blow away the expectations of "the business". Learn how to integrate the "Interactive Designer" role into your development process including from a tools perspective (glimpse of VS2010), take advantage of a navigation framework and a components suite, as well as maximise re-use in a WPF world via Styles and control templates packaging and the concept of toolkits. You will dive into a couple of world-class Belux customer cases that were build using this WPF Software Factory. Note that these concepts/tools equally well apply to Silverlight applications.
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Building Business Centric Applications with Silverlight 3 and .NET RIA Services

Brad Abrahams (Microsoft) – Discover Microsoft .NET RIA Services and Silverlight 3 and how they simplify the traditional n-tier application architectures by integrating the ASP.NET and Silverlight platforms. The RIA Services provides patterns for writing application logic that runs on the mid-tier and controls access to data for queries, changes and custom operations. It also provides end-to-end support for common tasks such as data validation, authentication and roles. Learn also how Silverlight 3 improvements enable rapid development and make your development process more productive.
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Patterns for Cloud Computing

Simon Guest (Microsoft) – Everything that you read these days seems to suggest that you should be moving to the cloud. But where do you start? Which applications and services should you be moving? How do you build the bridge between on-premises and the cloud? What client architecture patterns does it enable. And more importantly, what should you be looking out for along the way? Based on real-world scenarios, this session explores a set of pattern for applications that best take advantage of the cloud, together with working examples on the Windows Azure platform. This session provides the tools and knowledge to determine whether cloud computing is right for you, and where to start.
Watch this session

REMIX in Brussels: it’s a wrap!

REMIX in Brussels was the opener for a mini Western European tour and did it with a big bang. The 3 track event aiming at Developers, designers, devigners and Architects attracted 800 attendees and filled each seat in the house. We achieved in getting a good mix of customers, partners, depth and breadth agencies and students. More than 500 unique companies attended of which 50 have already signed up for WebsiteSpark the new program for small Web agencies.
The Brussels REMIX keynote paid a lot of attention to local partners and their cases and showcased 12 of them on stage or video. Next to the focus on building the web we took the occasion to present 2 local Surface applications, the one that makes you thirsty can be found here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WakBmgdxDZg. All session where recorded and will be live in the coming weeks for off-line viewing.
The feedback we are getting on Silverlight 3 indicates we’re close to the tipping point, and Expression got raving reviews from the attendees, so we’re convinced this REMIX will help us further driving adoption.
It was that much fun we’re already thinking about next years version Open mond

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