The blog of Eric Sibly; focusing on mountain biking, .NET development for the Desktop, Smartphone and PocketPC.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

PDC2008 - Day 2...

An improvement over Day 1. The Keynote was much more about the UX today. It kicked off with Windows 7 which was much more incremental versus radical in terms of change - possibly a good thing. The main UI change demonstrated was around the Start/Task bar and how that operates - looks good. Will it be the compelling reason for everyone to upgrade, probably not. They demonstrated the touch capability, first showing how non-touch aware application were able to function and secondly an application designed to take advantage of the platform. Will it be enough to warrant an upgrade, maybe, I think I want it!

The development platform changes look interesting; Visual Studio 2010 is being rewritten in WPF and looks to offer some really cool extensibility. (As an aside the C# compiler is also being rewritten in .NET so that it can be more extensible). Further enhancements to WPF include the Ribbon, DataGrid, Calendar and DateTimePicker (about time). So really impressive WPF applications were demonstrated.

Live Services (which builds on Azure) includes stuff like the Mesh, Contacts, etc. will have an API exposed which looks to offer some interesting possibilities. Some of the Office 14 applications were demonstrated which leverage these services; interesting to note that their also appears to be Web Versions of the Office applications.

The sessions I attended today were:

  • PC24 - Windows 7 Desktop: not too bad, a bit more detail than the keynote.
  • PC46 - WPF roadmap: absolutely terrible session - the presenters sucked. The content was more looking at the past and current versus future roadmap.
  • ES02 - Oslo the language: good presentation skills from Don Box; although I am not sure I fully get Oslo yet?!?

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

PDC2008 - Day 1...

I went to an Expression session where the presenter said "first impressions count". If I were to apply that to Day 1 I would say Microsoft missed the mark.

The Keynote this morning by Ray Ozzie just missed the mark completely - it was the opportunity to wow the crowd and set the tone for the week. He was a pretty good presenter but seemed to lack emotion and enthusiasm which was needed to help sell the vision for Microsoft Azure - the OS for the cloud. I think the platform/OS sounds promising; however, a services based OS with no UI is difficult to wow and that is what today needed to set the tone for the week. The demos were weak and the additional presentations added little.

Tomorrow they are set to announce Windows 7 and UX - that had better be something else to make up for today.

Also, I do hope they have something for Windows Mobile 7 as there were iPhones galore amongst the attendees. Microsoft are going to get smashed in the mobile space if they don't do something quick smart - Windows Mobile is old, stale and boring. I asked the Windows Mobile team why I should not buy an iPhone and the response was pretty weak. Something along the lines of Windows Mobile has a more open development platform and there are more devices. When quizzed about Mobile 7 it was a big no comment. Zzzzz.

The sessions I attended today were (not going to cover in any detail as I am sure there a heaps of other blogs that will, and most sessions have been recorded anyway):

  • ES16 - A lap around cloud services part 1: not good; less information than the keynote.
  • PC47 - Microsoft Expression Blend tips and tricks: ok, nothing startling.
  • TL16 - The future of c#: awesome, Anders is a great speaker. The theme for C# 4.0 is the melding of Dynamic Programming - new keyword "dynamic".
  • PC21 - ASP.NET MVC: not bad content, a good presenter.
  • BB15 - SQL Server Database to data platform: awesome content and speaker - very interesting stuff.

Monday, October 27, 2008

The $10 fridge...

This is not the worst hotel I have stayed in by any stretch – but it is still a pretty crappy rundown hotel. Anyway, when I stay at a hotel I like to have my own cereal so I keep the milk and other drinks in the fridge ensuring they remain nice and cold. So when I arrive I open the fridge cavity door and am greeted with:

Thank you for choosing to stay at the Marriott. The in-room cooler is currently out of service. We would be pleased to offer a refrigerator for your convenience. Simply touch "0" and our At Your Service team will have one delivered to your room. Based on availability. A $10.00 charge applies for the length of your stay.

So I am clearly delusional as I had always thought that a hotel room had a standard set of amenities, such as a bed, television, shower, toilet and fridge. Clearly I am mistaken; thankfully the remainder of the items in my list have remained. PDC08 049

I just love how they apologise and admit the fridge is out of service. So instead of fixing and returning to the room they rip it out and offer a new fridge only if you are willing to pay a further $10. Should they not have offered my room rate at $10 less to start with given the lack of fridge?

Anyway, I got the stupid $10 fridge – some dude just wheels it in and dumps it on the floor - classy :-) 

American taxi-head...

What is up with taxis in the US. We jump in a cab at the airport, travel to the hotel and hand over a credit card to pay – I would consider this standard practice. We are then informed that because we had not indicated we would pay using a CC when we got in that he could not accept it; so we were then forced to pay cash?!? There was no reason given and certainly no flexibility shown by the driver in helping tourists – what a w*****! So next time you are in the US and want a cab remember to declare your payment method before getting in – dumb!