PDC 08: Day 1 Highlights

Here are some of my highlights of PDC 08 – Day 1

  • Keynote (Ray Ozzie, Bob Muglia). Windows Azure and Azure Services Platform were announced. The technology is great. Ray‘s appearance was very good (he’s come long ways from the first time I saw him present) and Bob‘s was energetic. Unfortunately, Amitabh’s appearance needs improvement.

    Windows Azure and the Azure Services Platform are great and definitely a step towards the right direction for Microsoft. External Research is closely following the developments in this space and you’ll soon see some ideas of how we think Cloud Computing, and Windows Azure specifically, will support researchers worldwide, something that we term as “Cloud Services for Science”.
  • A lap around Windows Azure. Basic intro to Windows Azure. If you are new to the technology, you should check the video when it becomes available online.
  • Hugged Don Box again. It was nice to catch up with him even if it was only briefly. I am soooo excited to see him present again and also look forward to the Oslo stuff.
  • The future of C# (Anders Hejlsberg). That was the best session of the day. Some amazing new features coming in C#-land. Of particular note:

    – Dynamic typing

    – Co- and contra-variance for generic types… I can finally pass as an argument an object of type IEnumerable<string> to an IEnumerable<object>

    – Meta-programming (beyond C# 4.0). Now, this last part of the session was really really cool. Anders used the title “compiler as a service” for his last demo. One of the coolest things I’ve seen for a while. When the session is available online, you should definitely check it out!
  • A lap around the Azure Services Platform (John Shewchuk, Dennis Pilarinos). It’s great to see Dennis‘ stuff in action. Service bus, federated authentication, SQL Services, workflow in the cloud, etc. I know how hard he’s worked so I am really pleased for him and the entire team. We are going to be using the services for our “Cloud Services for Science” work. Stay tuned.
  • Developing and Deploying your first Windows Azure Service. Technical session on how to program against Windows Azure.
  • This must have been announced at a parallel talk to the ones I attended… Live ID is now an OpenID provider. This is great news for interoperability, especially for research/academic organizations, which use OpenID.

Going to socialize with people now. More tomorrow.