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Ray Ozzie as Pitchman

Michael Desmond and Keith Ward, editor in chief of MSDN, are at PDC09 this week. Here's the scoop direct from L.A.

Ray Ozzie looked a bit nervous as he took the stage today at PDC, but he quickly settled into a cloud-heavy presentation that offered attending developers a 60,000-foot view of Microsoft's ongoing efforts around Windows Azure.

Ozzie fared well on stage, but I was honestly surprised at how marketing-driven his message was. The Microsoft chief software architect, widely lauded as a keen and innovative software mind, hammered out Microsoft's highest level messages. Target Windows 7 as the ultimate client target and extend Web experiences from there; focus on online services and Windows Azure on the Web; and use Microsoft's latest innovations to tap into the enormous potential of cloud-based data-intensive applications and services.

Ozzie enthused about the "Dallas" project, which promises to give Windows Azure developers the ability to uniquely explore, manipulate and present data stored on public and private sources. But even there, his articulation of the initiative was extremely high level for a dev community clearly looking for a glimpse at the bare metal.

Server and Tools Business President Bob Muglia hosted the more technical half of the keynote session, playing host to a series of code-level demos and diving into the new Microsoft Application Fabric and detailing capabilities in Windows Identity Foundation.

Overall, the session was a mix that initially looked like it might disappoint with its lack of new technical detail, but then took a hard right turn that should have pleased most of the PDC crowd.

Posted by Michael Desmond on 11/17/2009

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