Day Two

So today was the day of exec speeches. Actually based on last year’s feedback, they decided to limit the exec talks to only half a day. The afternoon was reserved for more technology related sessions. The event is under NDA and during the morning we weren’t even allowed to have any recording device with us. To be honest, I wouldn’t know what I should have recorded anyway. Maybe it was the mildly humorous movie staring BillG. Steve Ballmer’s talk was energetic as was to be expected (I wonder about his blood pressure sometimes). Kevin Johnson had a talk about customer feedback including another movie on an employee program where the developers really feel the customers pain. His request/response on MVP feedback was a bit dissappointing (‘we hear you…’). Jim Allchin did a nice walk around Windows Vista showing off the newest features. Basically it was the same as at the PDC.

In the afternoon, S. Somasegar showed the line up for developer tools, telling about plans on Orcas, the version after Whidbey. It suprised me that there was very little mention on the strategy or featureset for this version. In my opinion, Orcas will mostly have features that were killed during the development of Whidbey, aka VS.NET 2005. The notion that you need dual or perhaps triple design/development tracks and not dedicate all available resources on just the next release is beginning to take shape. I do hope they will have some resources left to work on 2005 issues when they arise. Don Box and Dharma Shukla demoed Windows Workflow Foundation (WWF), the replacement for … Powerpoint. At least, that’s how they used it. WWF is cool technology were we’ve only seen the surface.

In the evening we had a chance to chat a bit with the product teams, though I hope we get to do more of that on day three. I made a comment, backed by others standing around the new Expressions tools, on the lack of obvious integration with VS.NET.  I don’t need to have it coupled strictly with VS.NET, but a similiar UI would make it a lot simpler to have developers work together with UI designers using the Expression tools. And I know quite a few developers that do everything from UI design to backend implementation. It’s like with the System Designer tools in VS.NET 2005. In order to communicate with other people in the IT lifecycle, you need a common model. The Graphic, Interactive and Web designer seem to lack that in relation to the developer tools.