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Get the Goods in La La Land

This year has been tough on live events, so I am happy to report that Microsoft has opened registration for PDC09 this week.

The major announcement at PDC will be the commercial release of the Windows Azure Platform, according to Microsoft, although Windows 7 will certainly get lots of attention. Could Visual Studio 2010 and .NET 4 get released? The show usually serves up some surprises but Windows Azure and Windows 7 require .NET 3.5 so the timing may be awkward.

Part of the fun is that attendees are given pre-release bits of upcoming technologies, a.k.a. “the goods.” Perhaps the goods will deliver VS 2010/.NET 4 beta 2, the latest Office 2010 bits and the first public bits of SharePoint 2010 for developers. The SharePoint 2010 technical preview started last month. Microsoft is highlighting new features in Visual Studio and SharePoint aimed at developers, notably a Solution Explorer that adds Features and Package Folders to the VS project menu, designers for VisualWebParts and Business Connectivity Service Entities, integration with VSTS, LINQ for SharePoint, a Developer Dashboard that provides up to date resource information after page refreshes and Silverlight integration.

Windows Mobile 6.5 – the first phones are expected in September--and the new Windows Marketplace for Mobile, Windows Mobile 7 and Silverlight for Mobile should also get some play. These technologies were largely absent from PDC08, but Microsoft needs to get developers on board their Marketplace effort, and provide a coherent vision for desktop, Web, services and devices. Microsoft has traditionally relied on business customers, but as more people use their smartphones for work and play, the company is realizing that it needs to address this convergence.

The Professional Developers Conference--held just one year after the 2008 confab--will again take place at the Los Angeles Convention Center, November 17-19th. The weather is warm in November so you can expect to sit outside at restaurants and rooftop bars. The Convention Center is in downtown LA, and neighbor to the Staples Center, home to the Lakers, and more recently, the Michael Jackson memorial.

The way we communicate information is changing, with brevity a growing trend as people text or tweet, although somehow it’s still TMI. Go figure. What does all this mean for annual live events that promise brain dumps on critical upcoming technologies along with unique opportunities to mingle with the Microsoft teams and other professional developers? Are you headed to PDC, or grounded from conferences by the economy and planning to attend virtually? Express your thoughts below or drop me a line at [email protected]

Posted by Kathleen Richards on 08/04/2009

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