Reflections on the PDC Day 1 Keynote

Bill Gates gave a pretty typical high level keynote to introduce the keynote this morning. He talked about the past, how far we've come, and how now is the most exciting time, and that we are in most exciting industry. Not that I don't disagree, but I swear I've heard this keynote before.

After Bill, a series of VP's and Architect's ran through more product details. Things started to get much more interesting at this point. Chris Capossela gave an end user run down of Windows Vista and Office 12 - which will be both released at the same time near the end of 2006.

The UI is just stunning (as it always is in these demos). It was also nice to see the QuickSearch text box integrated through both products. Not unlike Google Desktop Search, and using the same engine as MSN Desktop Search, the QuickSearch text box gives context sensitive searching through the application. If you're in a document explorer - you can search there for documents. If you are in the start menu, you can easily search for applications (and recent documents). If you are in outlook you can easily search your in-box, contacts, etc. Of course you can do broad computer searches too, but that context is nice.

Chris also showed off Sidebar which isn't really big news, but he also showed the audience Sideshow. Sideshow uses the same dock-able gadgets that Sidebar does, but re-use them on what I can only describe as a built in Pocket PC device that is built into the cabinetry of your laptop. This allows you to check real-time information (email, appointments, etc.) without turning on or booting up your laptop. Expedia had a nice gadget working in Sideshow that showed up to the minute flight status. Nice.

RSS is also taking a prominent position in Vista and Office. An RSS store was announced that would store subscribed RSS feed content. This content would be regularly downloaded automatically, and the content would be available to the Sidebar, Outlook, IE7, and your own applications. Cool.

Office 12 has a new user interface that hopes to make more of its features discoverable. At first glance I wasn't all too excited about this, but I'll reserve my judgment until I play around with it. The quick “wizard“ like features were absolutely stunning though.

The integration with Outlook and Sharepoint is quite impressive. We are all accustomed to having our email/contacts/appointments offline stored in our outlook store. With Office 12, you can keep in sync with any Sharepoint folder to keep those files on your local store. Sweet. Better yet, a special new Sharepoint List for sharing PowerPoint decks. When you upload a PowerPoint file, an item appears in the list for each slide. From within PowerPoint, I can create a new deck, and pull individual slides from the Sharepoint server. You can optionally have it keep that slide up to date so if a new version is uploaded to the server, you'll automatically get it. Corporate plagiarism has just become so much easier.

After Chris's “consumer“ demos, Jim Alchin came out with Don Box, Chris Anderson, Anders Hejlsberg and Scott Guthrie. Jim started by giving some demos of some interesting plumbing bits. One cool thing in Vista is Super Fetch. Super Fetch is a preloaded memory cache of things you'll likely need, but unlike typical hard drive caches, it basis it's decisions on analyzing your behavior over days, weeks, months to determine what an idle machine should be preloading. The second part of his demo tied in very nicely where he showed that any USB Memory Stick could be plugged into a Vista machine and it would automatically start using it for expanded virtual ram. That totally rocks for laptops which can quickly max out their ram capacities.

Don and Anders went on to talk about some big news, namely the Language Integrated Query (LINQ) project. Linq provides a query engine on top of XML, Object and Relational data stores using a common query language reminiscent of SQL. No, this isn't an O/R mapping tool, but you can see how they may have wanted to delay ObjectSpaces until they got Linq out the door. I'll have more on this in my blog in the coming days. Attendees at PDC are getting Linq bits to try out, and don't forget to stop by the track lounge to pick up a copy of a Linq whitepaper. 

Next Don and Chris messed around with Indigo, and they also created a goofy Avalon application. Scott Guthrie came out to show off the Atlas product which is a set of cross browser javascripts and server side ASP.NET 2 controls to make Ajax style programming a snap.

To close out the lengthy presentation, Jim brought out a few other people to demonstrate complete applications to bring up the wow factor, including Microsoft Max and a kiosk application created for the North Face.

UPDATE: Dinesh Kulkarni gives some inside scoop on how ObjectSpaces is dead, or rather morphed into DLinq. It would appear ObjectsSpaces is not something you'll see built down the road on top of Linq.

Download Avalon Indigo Peer to Peer Sample App Project Max

The MicrosoftMax application that was demoed today at PDC is now available for download here.

The application allows you to share and publish photo slide shows using an Indigo Peer to Peer channel. The beautiful presentation layer is provided by Avalon.

Download ATLAS Toolkit for AJAX development on ASP.NET 2.0

The community preview site for ATLAS is now available as announced by Scott Guthrie at today's keynote during the PDC Conference in LA.

Now availalable is:

  • Documentation
  • Hands-On-Lab
  • Quickstart Tutorials
  • Project add-in for Visual Studio 2005 Beta2 (with it's own hands on labs)

UPDATE: Scott Guthrie has code snippets posted from the keynote demo.

Canadian PDC Bloggers.

Bill Simser is a Sharepoint MVP in Calgary Alberta. I just stumbled on his blog today while checking out things at PDCBloggers. He's down at PDC and is blogging a lot about what's going on.

My fellow Canadian RD's Kate Gregory, Derek Hatchard, Richard Campbell, Guy Barrette, Joel Semeniuk.

Co-ObjectSharpie's Rob Windsor, and previously mentioned Dave Lloyd are also blogging about their trips to PDC.

Mark Relph from Microsoft is also blogging about his trip to PDC.

Another Canadian MVP Mario Cardinal is also down at PDC. I'm sure he'll be doing some French podcasting, and he also did a Birds of a Feather session on “Unifying Object-First and Data-First design” last night. I wish I was there for that one.

Bill Gates Key Note

It's day 1 of PDC. Well not counting the precon. I Caught the first bus from my hotel to the conference. Mostly because I'm still on Toronto time.

I got my name tag changed this morning. I of course filled out the form wrong and was walking around as Dave Lloyd Lloyd.

I'm looking forward to this morning it's the first Key note. I have yet to be dissapointed by Bill Gates telling us where MS is going. It's always full of the best demo's and is usually very entertaining.

If you want to watch it too you can, it's being broadcast live, check out Bill Gates KeyNote.

I wonder how Rob Windsor slept after stealing winning that phone last.

It's nice to be Rob Windsor

Rob Windsor steps off the plane checks into his hotel and heads down to The 64-Bit Question, a .NET Rocks! Quiz Show. They ask a multiple choice (with three choices) question about Garbage Collection and the contestant on stage gets it wrong so they ask someone from the audience and he gets it wrong. So they ask Rob.

So of course Rob wins an i-mate Jam. I got a t-shirt but then again so did 8000 other geeks at this conference.

All I can say is it's nice to be Rob. I'm not jealous, I'm very happy for Rob who was sitting right next to me, really I am. :)

Day 0 at PDC

For the first time in a few years, I won't be at PDC this year. Dave Lloyd however is our man on the street with play by play coverage. He's already blogging about registration and power outages in LA. Should be a busy blogging week.

The power was out in LA

After registering for PDC. I hopped on the bus back to the hotel the driver pointed out that one of the traffic lights was out. Then another and another. All of LA was out. When I got to the hotel the manager was in the lobby explaining that the power was out.

Without a computer and the internet what can you do? So I went for a walk, left my tooth brush at home so I had to get one. I passed by a wrap place and they were serving as long as you had cash. The lady in there told me it might be terrorists. She has worked in down town LA for many years the power has never gone out. :)

After I ate I noticed the lights on in the hotel lobby so I went up to my room and turned on the TV. Pretty much every channel had the LA Power Outage running across the banner at the bottom with Ariel shots of suburban LA.

Turns out someone at hydro cut the wrong cable. Accidents happen.

By the way if anyone from LA is reading this. When the traffic lights are out treat the intersection like a four way stop.

Tonight I'm heading back the the convention centre for the The 64-Bit Question, a .NET Rocks! Quiz Show

It's PDC time again

So here I am in a massive hall at the Los Angeles Convention Centre posting my first PDC Blog. The flight was long and cramped. But I am here all checked in and have my PDC05 bag full of goodies. The conference starts for me tomorrow. But I have avoided the rush of registration in the morning which will be crazy tomorrow morning.

There should be some good stuff at this PDC. Lets face it there always is. This is my third and I'm still waiting to see some of the stuff shown at the first one I went to 4 years ago. :)

At the moment I'm standing in Internet Alley. Behind me is the marketplace (a Microsoft store). In front thousands of people eating lunch. I'm going to wonder over to the exhibitors hall to see what is going on.

I'm going to be tired on Friday.

Visual Studio Team Suite 2005 - Release Candidate Now Available

The VS Team Suite Release Candidate is now available on MSDN Subscriber Downloads. I'm downloading now - I'm assuming you'll also need the Sql Server 2005 September CTP which was also released today. Happy downloading.