In talking with several of my other geek counterparts here at PDC ’05 there seems to be an overwhelming opinion that this year’s conference is definitely missing the "wow" factor that is generally typical of such events. The focus on this year’s event is primarily on Office 12, and the WinFX developer tool add-ins that will be a natural by-product of Windows Vista getting shipped late next year (Indigo, Avalon, etc). Don’t get me wrong, the content is very interesting and valuable, but there has Just been an utter and complete lack of "gee whiz" moments so far. This morning’s keynote was a good example too. I could empathize with the presenters though, I mean it had to be really tough to have been tasked with making Sharepoint Services, Info Path, and Access 12 try to seem sexy.
After the morning keynote I had a front row center seat for the Don and his code monkeys. They did an hour and a half or so on the present and future road map for applications and communications. Don’s presentations always rock and this one was no exception. The guy just has mad presentation skills, I can only wish that mine were anywhere close to as good. For instance, in today’s presentation he made all of his main points in the form of Haiku’s (and they were actually pretty good). It must really suck to be so smart, and talented to boot. Since Mark, Tim Walton, and I closed down the hotel bar after last night’s sponsor expo; it was a very good thing for me that he had his A-Game today, or I’d probably have nodded off big time. I really liked the way he defined the word "future: (n) An XML compatible world that supports the collaboration between developers and civilians."
The new WWF stuff they are cooking up seems pretty cool though (WWF == Windows Workflow Foundation, not World Wrestling Federation). Got another preview of it after lunch at a session that also included another free book. Getting the book is cool as it freed up my session schedule so that I can concentrate on the web services stuff we can do now, instead of going to the future products preso’s on a subject that we’ll definitely need eventually. By having this book I can now research all of the WWF stuff at my leisure. It was good to discover that it’s not just another lame attempt by Microsoft to foist BizTalk Server on everybody though.
The last session I attended today was presented by Anders Heijlsberg (sp??). He went over some of the new stuff they are putting into C# for version 3.0 (codename "Orcas"). He did a really good presentation on all the new features and how they have leveraged them to make the new Languange Independent Query (a.k.a. "LINQ") stuff possible. Anders is another guy who was blessed with a brain much bigger than mine. Anders says things like, "We put the quarks in place so you guys can build the atoms and molecules."
*sigh* Being around these dudes is really tough on my self esteem sometimes.
Tonight is the Attendee Party at Universal Studios. Microsoft has rented the place out for the evening so us geeks will have the run of the whole place. Should be a hoot, and, unfortunately for my liver, the beer will be free again…