If not at the opening address, PDC wreaked tangible excitement by the end of Day 4. Developers left upbeat and charged, ready to start grappling with the new concepts and tools at home. Though there was much pre-release content, we can expect to see more tools emerging in the next 6-12 months around these.
Windows Azure, interesting if not quite new, left me begging for an answer... What will they charge for it? Will it prove valuable and worth the cost no matter what they decide? The market will determine the value – but which market? The price, in fact, will determine the market.
The overall opinion of the Microsoft Directors seems to be that Windows 7 is a strong offering. While Vista was a nice change and brought many enhancements to Windows, I agree that there are definitely places for improvement. Windows 7 looks like it will do at least one trick by reducing the drag on system resources.
Microsoft Surface will have people creating a business need for it where there wasn’t one before, if only because it is so cool. The Day 3 Keynote (absolutely magical) demonstrated some research technology transporting Surface into the 3D world. Amazing.
By the way, nsquared built the labs for Surface which were well received at the conference. nsquared also contributed by acting as the technical advisors for the Windows Live Framework and Windows Live Services, 2-sided poster, and working on the Visual Studio Tools for Windows Azure.
All in all, the conference delivered on its promise and reputation, that of being the champion gathering of developers and architects worldwide...on the surface... and in the clouds.