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Windows 7 Party

PDC 2009

What are my impressions of this year’s PDC? Last year's PDC was on completely new things. There's nothing completely new announced this year. No new Windows 8, nothing "after the cloud". Visual Studio 2010 is already Beta 2 and probably it's too early for Visual Studio next... Everything is growing together. And that's good - working on the foundation of last year and seeing how it gets better, more features that are heavily needed...

The first day was on the server side. Developing applications for Windows Server and Windows Azure are coming together. This will take some time. In the first steps it's the naming. The AppFabric for the server contains technologies previously known as Dublin and Velocity. The AppFabric for Windows Azure is the new name of Windows Azure .NET Services: service bus, access control, workflow services are part of this. Over time I expect them to come together. And there are great new features on Windows Azure: REST based management services API, different sizes of VMs, multiple roles (not just 2), communication between the roles, GEO replication of data, CDN support, x-drive… And “codename Dallas” is great - data, content that can be used - a uniform way for discovery, binding, and licensing of data. Dallas gives a REST-based API to access data that anyone can provide. The cloud is getting mature, and it starts on 1-January 2010 as public offering.

The second day was on the client side. No news on Windows after Windows 7 (Windows 7 is just too new). But there is a new IE in the works: IE 9 with HTML 5, hardware accelerated graphics and text (D2D instead of GDI), great JavaScript performance improvements… And the best is Silverlight 4! The major focus on Silverlight 4 is on the topics Media, business applications, and beyond the browser. This gives us new features such as Webcam and Microphone support, streaming, output protection, offline DRM, rich text, printing!, clipboard access, drag&drop, right mouse click, html hosting, commanding, data binding improvements, sharing of .NET assemblies between .NET applications and Silverlight, Silverlight to run elevated outside of the browser, many new controls…. Great!
A question I often hear is “what does this mean for WPF?” For me it doesn’t really matter if I’m doing WPF or Silverlight applications. Now there are more scenarios for doing Silverlight. However, I wouldn’t to an application such as Visual Studio with Silverlight. Not now :-)

Last year every attendee received a hard drive. With GBs of data that were not shared outside the PDC attendees. They didn't fit on a booklet of DVDs, so hard drives were distributed. This year there also were some new bits to share. It's not that much because so many Betas and CTPs already have been there for download. And all the new things are downloadable by the public. Instead of hard drives now every attendee receives an Acer Tablet PC with Multi-Touch. That's the reason I couldn't log into the network of the hotel: error - "too many subscribers are already logged on". At 4:30 AM! Did they just return from the party? Or downloading all the bits during the night? I expect the second ;-) I need to get to the conference center early to get into the network there. Not only for posting this, but also to connect to my two girls at home :-)

Next year's PDC? I think the tablet cannot be topped :-) I will be there as well!



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