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.