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LiveBlogging:Microsoft PDC – Reston

January 16, 2009

Today I am attending the Microsoft Programmer Development Conference in Reston, VA.

Keynote – Stephen Walthers

Software + Service platform is the topic. Microsoft has spent Billions developing services, sites, and data collection services.  Speaking about Windows Azure, the new Windows Operating System. Not Windows 7, but a Cloud operting system.  Built out of thousands of virtual instances of Server 2008, so that you can host applicaitons over the web.

  • Scalable hosting platform
  • Automated Service Management
  • Model-driven service lifecycle management
  • High Availability

No more reinvestment of servers and hardware, because you no longer need to build the infrastructure.  This should mean more an dbetter applications with lower cost and easier deployment.  This is called “Utility Computing”.  Azure takes advantage of existing skill sets: C#, .Net, Windows Server, Visual Studio, etc.  So for ASP.NET, you would simply publish it into the cloud.

Restriction: MS enforces programming paradigms that allow the software to scale up appropriately.

Azure is an open platform, so you can use Ruby, Python, etc.  Supports REST protocols, XML file formats, and of course Managed and native code.  It will even support unmanaged code in the future.

Users control and own their own identities.  “A single, federated identity platform” that you can take advantage of in your cloud applicatations.  But it is not mandatory, so you can still control all that information.

SQL Services – exposes SqlServer instances on the Cloud.  You can use ADO.NET Data Services, Entities, etc.  Data Sync allows you to replicate data across the cloud, and of course Sql Reporting services will be available.

Live Services – Identity, Communication and Presence, Directory, and Search and Geospatial.  Allows you to integrate with Microsoft identity, and potentially Open ID.  Opening up more directory services, so you have access to the client’s social information (like Facebook).  Geospatial is like integration of mapping etc.  Live service currently uses 11% of total Internet minutes and has over 460 million users. (Note to self: learn about MESH)  All this runs inside the Live Framework along with the Live Operating Environment and the Live Programming Model.

Online Applications – Microsoft is doing this so they can scale up to incredible numbers of users.  Now they are startin to apply this to Enterprise applications: you can push out Office, Exchange, SharePoint, CRM, etc.  Hosting these apps in house means maintaining servers, software, licenses, etc.  With Azure there is no investment in hardware, setup, deployment, etc.  Enterprise software will never completely leave the local sphere, but you can synchornize the Cloud with your local services.  Federated Identity allows you to push information from your organization to Microsoft Services Connector.  You can maintain the data at home and your customers can access it fro mthe cloud, and they stay synchronized.

The Front End Experience – Takes advantage of Silverlight, WPF, WCF, etc., and builds on the client .NET presence.

Visual Studio 2010 improvements:

  • Intellisense + jQuery
  • jQuery is a first class citizen in the .Net world – a first for an open source application
  • The Silverlight Toolkit, adds a bunch of controls (like Charting, DockPanel, TreeView, Expanders, and many more)
  • Integrated Silverlight Designer
  • ASP.NET 4.0 includes improvements to Web Forms, MVC, AJAX, and Distributed Caching (opens up the Cache APIs and includes “Velocity” a distributed cache provider)
  • VS2010 for Web Development: code focused improvements, JavaScript and AJAX tooling, Design View CSS2 support, publishing and deployment improvements

VS 2010 is being built with WPF, so I expect some serious user experience enhancements.

Windows 7 Fundamentals

  • Memory, reference sets, and graphics reduction
  • Disk I/O – registry reads and indexing reduction
  • Power reductions in DVD playback, Panel and Timers
  • Improved Spped for booting and Device readiness
  • Improved Responsiveness for things like the Start Up Menu and the Taskbar
  • Scalable to 256 processors (same Kernel as Windows Server 2008)

Windows 7 features:

  • has the ability to pin applications to the Taskbar.
  • You can also control what shows up in the Tool Tray.
  • You get application previews by hovering over the taskbar icon.
  • Jump list (which can be added to your own applications) allows you to jump to recent documents.
  • There is a new clock, you can have up to three clocks.
  • You can dock applications to the desktop.
  • You can “shake” an application and all the other windows will disappear (shake it again and they come back).
  • Library allows you to organize documents (outside of folders)  Opens document previews, and even allows cut and paste from the preview.
  • Multi-touch support for touch screens.

Developing for Windows 7:

  • Ribbon User Interface
  • Jump Lists
  • Libraries
  • Multi-touch, Ink, Speech support
  • DirectX Family
  • Pixel Shading
  • Multi-core application development
  • IDE support for very large code bases

.Net 3.5 SP1 Improvements:

  • Streamlined setup
  • Start up performance
  • Graphics improvements
  • DirectX/Direct3D Interoperability
  • More Controls
  • Built into Windows 7

Other Improvements:

  • In process side by side support
  • Managed and Native code interop
  • Dynamic Language support
  • Extensible Component model
  • Improved tooling with VS2010
  • WPF improvements – Deep Zoom, Multi-touch, VSM, Text, etc.

Conclusion – The overall theme of Microsoft’s vision is Software + Services.  Services communication, Cloud computing with Azure, etc.  Client/Server software will always be important, but connected devices are changing how we deliver the experience.  The vision is to unite all of these devices and scenarios in a unified and synchronized manner.

Categories: Miscellaneous
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