Soma spent most of his keynote highlighting the momentum of .NET Framework
development over the past three years. He highlighted a number of partners,
including the Zurich Airport, Baylor Health Care Systems, and 3M.
He was also quick to point out developer adoption. The numbers speak volumes
on Microsoft's success in the field. When .NET was announced at VSLive! on
February 14, 2002, there were 300 listings for .NET developers on Monster.com.
As of this morning, there are over 10,000 listings for jobs on the
site. Some other interesting statistics:
120 Million framework downloads
2.5 million copies of VS.NET
VSIP - 225
partners, 450 products
Community - 5M
To build on that momentum, Soma announced that a company called MicroFocus
will be bringing development to support legacy platforms on the .NET Framework.
I'm sure there will be more details on that soon. He then mentioned the
Connected Systems Business Kit - http://www.microsoft.com/connectedsystems It
contains presentations, samples, and training on SOA and interoperability, and
the already announced but formally recognized Enterprise Library - http://www.microsoft.com/practices,
which is the next generation of Application Blocks.
Soma then spent a good deal of his presentation on the power of the Smart
Client. Microsoft is really pushing the Smart Client line lately, putting a lot
more focus on building Windows applications that can handle mobility
requirements while having a rich UI. It is interesting to see Microsoft's focus
shift over the past several years. Web development has had a huge emphasis for
building applications that you could access anywhere, and now it seems they are
backing away from that tance. Avalon got so little coverage, (less than 1
minute) that it's hard to see what the strategy is post-Whidbey.
Soma then took a minute to announce the Tablet PC Game SDK, built by our
friends over at 3 Leaf
Development. The first game built on it, Arcs of Fire (www.arcsoffire.com) comes with the source
code. Also, Agilix has built drag-and-drop WinForms controls for taking notes in
ink. Microsoft and Agilix are making a version of that control available for
free to Visual Studio customers. I haven't been through the press kit yet, but
I'll check it out and talk about it more later.
In a demo, they showed an ASP.NET application that displayed data in a
DataGrid server control. They then showed the same application accessed by a
machine with the .NET Framework 2.0. ASP.NET detected the newer version, and
instead of the ASP.NET DataGrid, it hosted the WinForms DataGrid control. As in
any Microsoft demo, they didn't say a lot about how that works, but I'll be
finding out more about that later. At any rate, it was a very good demo, and
fortunately for him, error free.
The final piece of the keynote was a demo of Visual Studio Team System. The
Microsoft employee doing the demo kinda sounded like a radio announcer though.
Soma made a point to emphasize the fact that VSTS has the same testing and
analysis tools that Microsoft uses to its own code. That might scare some
of the AntiMicrosofties, but you can bet Microsoft will be working to improve
those tools, now that they are public.
Express, Standard, Pro, Team System
Novices & Students, web
developers, small teams, enterprise
To close out, "I really want to think about you as an extension of our
product development organization." "The steps we took last year are just the
beginning." "Every build we make, I want to share with you." That's an
interesting promise to make. Microsoft has been delivering builds to close
partners for some time. They only recently expanded that to include CTPs to
everyone. While people like Joe Wilcox would be upset that there are so many
"beta" builds, Soma wants to have even more. I hope Joe is here. I bet he passed
out when he heard that.
All and all, nothing really big was
announced. I was lead to believe otherwise, so I'm holding out hope for later.
the next Avalon CTP was almost an afterthought, and should have had a lot more
attention. That would have detracted from the "Smart Client" party-line that has
been so prevalent today. Either way, I wish Microsoft talked about Windows as
much as it talks about developer stuff. I'll ask John about that when I talk to
him in a few minutes.