Well, I guess I'm yet another Microsoftie to start a blog.  I've only just recently joined Microsoft and have been lurking for the past couple of months.

Let me start by letting you know what I do at Microsoft.  My name is Ben Riga.  I'm a Platform Evangelist on a team called Lodestar which is part of the Developer and Platform Evangelism group.  Our mission is to evangelize the roadmap to upcoming new technologies.  At the moment we're all on the road to Longhorn.  As you might imagine, since Longhorn so far out it doesn't make sense to be out encouraging developers to be developing for it today.  Their customers and end-users are just not asking for them for it and they have many other projects to deliver between now and when we ship Longhorn.  Our job is to make sure that developers understand which direction they should be going in so that eventually they will get to Longhorn with as little effort as possible.  What that means is that we help with guidance in the many areas that developers are working in.  Microsoft has many different technologies in many different areas and it's our job to make sure that it is crystal clear which one you should use depending on what it is you're trying to accomplish.  Whether you're trying to figure out which technology to use in the area of databases (should I use MSDE, SQL Express, ObjectSpaces, Yukon, or WinFS?) or communications ( Enterprise Services, .NET Remoting, ASMX, WSE, or Indigo?) we'll try to help you make the right decision.

The interesting twist to all this is that the work we do is all centered around the many vertical industries that Microsoft has specific interests in.  I'm currently working in Retail, Telecommunications and Manufacturing.  I'll post here as I get further into all this. 

A couple of others in my group already have blogs:

You can already see some of our work over on MSDN.  Drop me a note and let me know what you're thinking.