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New Technologies and Applications announced at the Microsoft Professional Developers Conference 2008

Last week (10/2008), I attended the Microsoft Professional Developers Conference (PDC) in Los Angeles, California.  Today, I gave an overview of some of the technologies and applications that Microsoft announced at the PDC. 

Windows 7, the next version of Windows (after Vista) due in 2009 was
announced at the Microsoft Professional Developers Conference 2008

In this screencast you'll learn about Windows Azure, Windows 7 (the version coming up after Windows Vista), Office 14 on the Web, Visual Studio 2010, the .NET Framework 4.0 and more. 

See below for the screencast, links and more information.


Note: during the screencast I talk about the 160 GB hard drive that Microsoft gave PDC attendees. These PDC 2008 materials are only available to my co-workers; I have not made them available online.

Screencast Notes

Here are the notes I used during the screencast -



Microsoft Professional Developers Conference 2008
Los Angeles, CA - 10/26/2008 - 10/30/2008

High Level Overview

  • Windows Azure
    • Marketing: a Windows Operating System "in the cloud".
    • Really: advanced hosting services for scalable apps written in .NET.
    • Greatly integrated with Microsoft development tools
      • Run a simulated local "Azure" on your laptop - works in a plane.
      • Advanced tools to deploy to Staging/Production


  • Windows 7


Demo: build 6801 from PDC running in Virtual PC 2007

  • Smaller footprint
    • About 500 MB RAM
    • Hidden Windows do not use video memory.
  • Better windows management: Superbar
  • Aero Enhancements
    • Transparent windows on hover
  • Easy home networking: Homegroup
  • Easier to find data: Jump Lists and Libraries
  • Unified search: e.g. search for picture will search across computers in Homegroup/Domain
  • Better UAC control: less annoying pop-ups
  • Applications updated (after 15 years)
    • Paint: now with Ribbon.
    • Wordpad: now with Ribbon
    • Calculator
    • Notepad
    • Etc...
  • Virtual Disk partitioning: mount virtual machines (VHD) natively
  • Bitlocker on external drives.
  • Centralized device manager
    • See battery status for MP3 player or camera directly in device manager
  • Built-in Multi-Touch, affordable (e.g. HP Touchsmart)
  • Built-in Sensor APIs - light sensor, accelerometer, and touch sensor
    • Control a game by moving the board
    • Changethe view in a text reader depending on the brightness of the environment
  • Windows key + P to change display mode
  • Improvements in Multimonitor: even via RDP!
  • Improved Firewall - more options
  • Media streaming: you can stream any media from/to any computer, including digital picture frames.
  • Windows Explorer: new navigation page integrated with Libraries and Homegroup
  • Software + Services
    • Windows Live and IE8
    • Office 14 now on the web!
    • Microsoft "eats its own dog food" Office on the Web using Windows Azure and Live Services.
  • Much more for Developers
    • Visual Studio 2010
      • Now 100% WPF - no more COM.
    • .NET Framework 4.0
    • Advances in VB.NET and C#
      • Parallel/Multi core features - easy to use, but be careful
    • Silverlight:
      • New toolkit - datagrid, datepicker, calendar, and ribbon
      • Will soon work on mobile phones
    • WPF: new controls (ribbon, datagrid
    • ASP.NET MVC Framework
    • Open XML SDK
    • Enhancements in XML Paper Specification (XPS) documents.
    • Live Mesh OS
      • SDK available
      • -OR- direct REST through WCF helper classes.
    • Virtual Earth Web Services


A few links mentioned at the beginning of the screencast -

Microsoft Professional Developers Conference 2008

Visual Studio Developer Conference

Windows Azure Services Platform

A couple of items I mentioned during the screencast -


The government of Ethiopia data center before
the teacher application was deployed on Windows Azure


Web and Worker services running on sample application on local
machine ( - simulating a load balanced Production system

I took the screenshots above from this session - check it out it's very interesting -

"ES16 A Lap Around Windows Azure" from day 1

I mentioned this application in the screencast -

Taskbar Shuffle (Works on XP and Vista)

Taskbar Shuffle is a simple, small, free utility that lets you drag and drop your Windows taskbar buttons to rearrange them. Here’s a full feature list:

  • Reorder your taskbar buttons by dragging and dropping them
  • Reorder your tray icons in the same way
  • Reorder tasks in a grouped button's popup menu in the same way
  • Middle-click to close programs on your taskbar
  • Works with UltraMon taskbars
  • Tweak taskbar button grouping

If you run more than a few applications at a time, you'll definitely find Taskbar Shuffle useful, so give it a try!

For a great Windows 7 demo, check out Keynote on day 2, look for the demo from Julie Larson Green

KYN02 Day Two Keynote - Ray Ozzie,
Steven Sinofsky, Scott Guthrie and David Treadwell

Another great session I mentioned is the day 2 keynote with Don Box:

KYN03 Day Two Keynote - Chris Anderson and Don Box

A good article on why it's exciting that Visual Studio 2010 is written in WPF:

Writing Visual Studio 2010 Shell In WPF Reflects Confidence

I mentioned the Firefox "Download Them All" add-on and how to download all of the PDC 2008 videos:

How to download PDC Sessions using DownThemAll! Firefox addon

Firefox 3.0 - free open-source Browser

Download Them All - free Firefox Add-On

At the end of my screencast, my employer Calyx Software (www.CalyxSoftware.com) was kind enough to pay for lunch (excellent Chinese food from Mandarin Gourmet - the Mongolian beef is very tasty!) and we watched the day 1 keynote:

KYN01 Day One Keynote - Ray Ozzie,
Amitabh Srivastava, Bob Muglia and David Thompson


Additional Links

I collected these links during the PDC and in the last few weeks as I watched the Twitter stream of PDC tagged tweets (see this article if you don't know what Twitter is).

    Sessions - includes description and link to stream

    PDC 2008 Session List by Mike Swanson

    Quick Video List, sort by Title

    How to download PDC Sessions using DownThemAll! Firefox addon

    Channel 9 RSS feed of all sessions

    Windows Azure - Links and Resources

    Azure Coding .NET - Wiki, Forums and shared blogs

    Windows Azure overview

    Windows Azure from a Developer's Perspective

    Flashy Windows 7 bits protected by elaborate scheme, workaround
(turns on Windows 7 Superbar in PDC bits)

    PDC Resources from Scoble

    Exposing Connected Home Services to the Internet via Windows Home Server

    Second Light for Surface

    "Not at PDC" group - all sessions

It's a great time to be a Microsoft developer - good times!

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on November 7, 2008 9:29 PM.

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