PDC Impressions

Here are some notes/snippets of this morning’s keynote marathon:


Bill Gates

  • They strive for equivalence of (on-premise) servers and (off-premise, 3rd party hosted) services.

  • Customers demanded to have WCF (“Indigo”) and WPF (“Avalon”) available on XP and 2003.

  • Office “12” features XML file formats that were described as “open” and “royalty free”. It will ship in the same timeframe as Windows Vista, which is “late in 2006”.

  • They were really emphasizing RSS as a premier technology to publish information and for use in notification scenarios. IE 7 will have an XSLT to render RSS neatly – some of the server products (SharePoint, CRM) will integrate RSS deeply.

  • SharePoint portal services were positioned to replace the file server for most practical purposes. It is really well integrated with the new Office release.

  • The user experience on Vista and Office “12” is quite different from XP/200x. I expect the end-user training for these products to be significant.


Jim Allchin and the four Clowns (Box, Anderson, Guthrie, Heijlsberg)

  • The Beta 2 (build 5221) was demoed during the keynote and is expected to ship “as soon as the features are fixed.”

  • From their perspective, the edge of the network (namely clients) is the place where innovation and changes are happening now. Allchin strongly emphasized user experience, P2P, etc. as key differentiators for competition. Consequently, Microsoft is putting a lot of energy into these areas in Vista.

  • “Atlas” is a new framework for AJAX development. It will be well integrated into ASP.NET and VS 2005. The (according to them) significant Jscript client library for Atlas is available from http://asp.net.

  • WPF/E (Windows Presentation Foundation/Everywhere – “Avalon” for mobile/compact devices) is currently being developed and will be available later for the .NET Compact Framework.

  • The “Data Pillar” of Longhorn (WinFS) was suspiciously de-emphasized.

  • WCF (“Indigo”) will be even more protocol/transport independent, with new features like REST/POX support, deep P2P and InfoCard PingID provider for UNIX. Interestingly enough, while internally everything is still represented as a SOAP message, the “SOAPishness” can be stripped by using e.g. POX.



  • The Sun booth is at 118 and they have two demos there (J2SE on Vista and WS Interoperability). Interest so far was not too bad, considering that they are in a far corner of the showcase.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *