Why do I Love the PDC? Let me count the ways…

I really shouldn’t be taken by surprise every time we have a PDC.  i have been going to the PDC for years and every time I go I get super excited about the future of software development.  and this year’s PDC has really got me excited, so it’s no difference.  Here is a random smattering of thoughts on this last 3 days:

· ScottGu talking about WPF?!!! Are you kidding me?! I have been on the smart client jihad for years now and I never thought I’d see the day. At InterKnowlogy we do a lot of projects for Microsoft, but I don’t believe we have ever done a project for Scott Guthrie. And I have known him for years… since he was a plain old dev guy. Since we are one of, if not the leader in WPF I totally see us doing a project for Scott soon. I can’t wait to tease him about turning to the “dark side of the client”. J

· Scott Guthrie also showed some of the amazingly cool stuff in Win7 for developers:

o Native VHD support! …mounting, restoring VHDs to their original state to do dev work,

o VS 2010 features: extensibility framework to show your own WPF content inside the VS editor. He did a little demo on how to format comments in XAML within the IDE that was incredible!

o support for multiple config files, one for each deployment scenario (dev, staging, config)

o WPF toolkit finally was released; it has DataGrid, DatePicker, some previews of Ribbon and VSM for WPF.

· While writing this i’m sitting within 10 feet of Steven Sinofsky, sr. vp of msft who literally walked from the keynote to do an “open spaces” session – a q&a with anyone who cares.  He was just fantastic in the keynote and clearly he’s a great guy too.  win 7 has got me really fired up.  I can’t wait to get a new computer to install the m3 on it. 

· I hosted a pre-PDC party at our house…which started out as a bbq for 2 Germans and 2 Austrians…and ended up as a wild party for over 150 of the most influential Microsoft, InterKnowlogy and 3rd party dev evangelists on the platform…planet.  i am still shocked two bus loads of people came all the way down from LA to our house in Carlsbad.  numerous folks have demanded InterKnowlogy do this again the next time a Microsoft Conference is close and i have to agree…teched 2009 in may in LA?  see you at our house.  check out the highlight video from the party on Channel 9 here: http://channel9.msdn.com/posts/briankel/Microsoft-Regional-Directors-make-PDC-Predictions/

· Windows 7 looks great! people are going to whine about it, but not me. I was one of those who defended Vista for a long time….as it got slower and slower as it was patched. I still love a lot of the functionality of Vista, but it has got problems. Microsoft has laid the gauntlet on the bold promise of Windows 7. Clearly, these usability features demoed should be in Vista…but, they are not. So, for that I am excited about win7.

· The Surface is everywhere at the PDC. It’s flattering that our Surface applications are running on the Surface Computers all over the PDC. InterKnowlogy is getting a ton of PR because of that. But, what is really cool is that the Surface team has “opened the kimono” at the PDC. They are officially shipping and even had a dev session at the PDC…which was fantastic! I’m told it’s the highest rated session at the conf so farI am very critical on break out sessions (because I know exactly how much work and how hard it is to do a good one). In fact, Robert Levy of the Surface team did a demo I am definitely stealing from them. Hopefully for the vslive keynote in san Francisco in February…stay tuned….. I cannot wait to go on stage with these guys at VSLive.

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