The team had been at the Microsoft technical readiness conference last week. The conferences are great opportunities to talk with our technical field and talk through what's happening, and converse between corporate and the field. I, personally, always enjoy these events when I have the opportunity to attend these - to listen and to learn from the speakers, to meet new folks from the field and learn about issues on the ground, and to meet with Microsoft folks I hadn't seen in a while.

This time around, I saw a gaggle of things that woke the inner-geek up. These are a few of my favorite things:

  • I got to see Ron and Rob's REST sample application, walking through how to make WCF more and more RESTful. They will be doing a series of screencasts on this; if you haven't checked out their first screencast in the series (Ron mentioned this in his post last week), I would recommend it.
  • Watching Matt Winkler present will always make one's week.
  • A couple Microsoft folks (and Christian Weyer) walked through using WF and WCF within "BizTalk Services." This was the first time I had seen the services in action, and - in fact - I signed up on Wednesday to play with it further.
    One of the more interesting items with "BizTalk Services" is the fact that they added the capability to use XOML-only workflows a couple weeks ago. While their activity pool is a bit limited at the moment, I really like the promise in the system.
  • I love watching people write code on stage. I picked up a couple new tricks that I was unaware VS2008 could do and some additional dev tools that can be used to aid in WCF service development, but will become part of my toolbelt.
  • Matt Winkler and Kirk Evans each did a 400-level session covering patterns in WF; these may evolve into articles in the future.

This week, I'm in Chicago in training. We're working through publishing a few documents, but otherwise it's a lighter week on the product management front.