PDC09 : Day 2 Keynote
The PDC has been an amazing place to be today, the buzz and excitement generated from the keynote this morning has permeated the entire convention centre and understandably so – this is primarily a conference for IT people and of course what is the best way to get IT folk on board? give them some hardware, usb sticks, usb drives, t-shirts – but Steve Sinofksy and Microsoft went one better this morning in the PDC keynote.
You could sense something was coming in that they were going through a number of netbook/ laptop devices talking about how they have learnt more about how the hardware is constructed and used. This led them to the creation of a kind of reference laptop device with it all built-in, so it became an ultimate development platform. I was half expecting something along the lines ‘and we are offering this to you today for a discount of… ‘ – since it is was clearly a very nice device that was being shown to the crowd, the spec we now know is:
- Acer Laptop
- Dual core Celeron U2300 chip
- 2 Gig of ram,
- 250 gig hard disk,
- win 7 ultimate 64 bit, preinstalled with office 2010 beta.
- Tablet style PC with touch screen
- 1366×768 resolution, Intel GMA 4500 MHD graphics
- Webcam, 3G Sim Card support, HDMI output, built-in memory card reader.
It manages to score 3.2 on the Windows Experience Index, which is pretty impressive for a semi netbook style laptop, the score is understandably pegged by the graphics performance.
What I did not expect and the hordes went wild at, was the fact that he said – “today we are giving you one of these laptops, for free” – queue complete madness.
But to be fair, there is a considerable amount of buzz from the announcements and features being demonstrated, I have to confess that they are not SQL / Data related which is of course my passion , but they are worth mentioning:
- Silverlight 4 – Entered beta today, and can be downloaded, release expected first half of 2010, so expect Mix010 to contain the release announcements on that.
- Silverlight 4 feature set for has been pumped up in all the key areas the technology was lacking, print support, context menus, access to media devices such as webcams and audio, drag / drop, rich text support, clipboard access,…. the list goes on.
- Office 2010 beta is now available and can be download, powerpivot (what was codenamed ‘Gemini’) is now available to all.
- Visual Studio 2010 beta is now available, which brings along a whole host of templates for all these new features.
- Sharepoint 2010 beta was released today and the integration between the development surface and the Sharepoint site looks to be a consistent story and got cheers from the Sharepoint developers in the audience. (I kind of feel sorry for the Sharepoint presenters and demos, they followed on the heels of Steve and then Scott, who had just made the most significant announcements for the conference and given away the best ‘goodie’ you could get, how can you follow that?
So did this leave anything for the database side of my passion?
Well yes, in a round about way, what is interesting is that the Silverlight is extending to include a trusted model which gives you a far wider access to the underlying OS and this starts bringing it into the realms of local data consumption. They have also allowed calls into the older COM object models to be made from within Silverlight when running in a full trusted mode, this means that technically, Silverlight can make direct calls into the database via the COM ADO libraries, instead of using the system.data namespace and using ADO.Net. Up until now there has been no availability for the platform to connect to a SQL server directly, but this provides a very round about way in which to do it.
That seems puzzling as to why you would allow that scenario but not give SL some form of direct access into the database itself – at the ask the experts session later in the day we posed the question as to whether a proper data access technology for connecting to SQL Server was being included and the answer indicated there would be something there to do it, but no specifics were mentioned. Also managed to spend some time in the big room and chat to some of the SQL guys at the booth as well as the patterns and practices team. I want to get a chance to go chat more to the SQL Azure team but will have to wait until tomorrow to fit that in.