The first day of Microsoft's 2009 Professional Developer Conference kicked off with a 2-hour keynote address led by Ray Ozzie. Ozzie enumerated various new features and launch dates for the Windows Azure Platform, including project "Dallas," a platform for open data feeds based on OData, an opened flavor of ADO.NET Data Services/Astoria. Ozzie also brought on customers and partners, including Automatic/WordPress, Kelley Blue Book, Seesmic and even US Federal CIO Vivek Kundra (via video link) to discuss interesting applications of Azure technologies. We also heard how Windows Azure's open source development support will include not just vanilla PHP, but also the Zend Framework and even MySQL and Memcached. That's a big deal. And this is not an exhaustive list of the announcements.
Bob Muglia's component of the keynote was good as well. We learned about things like SQL Server Modeling Services (formerly Oslo), AppFabric (in Windows Server and Windows Azure versions) and numerous new features in Visual Studio 2010.
However (and with apologies to Yogi Berra), this PDC was deja vu all over again. We had the same headline speaker as last year, leading a discussion of stuff first introduced last year, in the very same venue as last year. The more strategic (and more distant) futures I was hoping for, as discussed in my last post, did not materialize. It was exciting to see that many of last year's more abstract promises are becoming far more concrete, and sophisticated. But that alone doesn't make this show feel like a true PDC to me; it really makes it seem like a status update on last year's show. Don't get me wrong: I want a status update. I just wouldn't brand it PDC.
Along with other Microsoft Regional Directors, I have been promised that today's keynote will be juicier and more to my liking. If that's true, then I'll wonder why Microsoft didn't headline with it, while their Chief Software Architect was addressing the faithful. And if it turns out to be more update than groundbreaking "reveals" I won't be surprised. But I will probably be disappointed at the forfeit of an opportunity, to provide more insight on Redmond's plans for the next three years. I come to PDC for that insight and I doubt I'm the only one for whom that's true.
Posted by Andrew J. Brust on 11/18/2009 at 1:15 PM
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