It's good to be back in LA for the Microsoft Professional Developers Conference (PDC). When I was here 2 years ago for PDC 03 I remember Whidbey (Visual Studio 2005) and an early build of Longhorn (Windows Vista) were the talk of the show. We - the mobile devices team - were getting developers going with Smartphone 2003 and were merely hinting at the innovation coming in Magneto. If I recall, I lost my shirt in a "bet" with Ori Amiga during his session ... I challenged him to get his Smartphone Developer Kit up and running for one of his demos, he accepted, succeeded and I lost my shirt. I was fortunate to be wearing a T-shirt under my shirt.
2 years on and PDC 2005 is less than two days away. In the mean time, we've shipped Windows Mobile 5.0 including many of the features we talked about at PDC 03 have come to fruition (managed APIs for messaging, telephony and calendar as well as the Stat and Notification Broker). Already this year, there's already quite a buzz here in the LA Convention Center. PDC attracts a very specific kind of person and that's someone who is DYING to find out about new technology. And they're arriving early and in numbers. I was sat in the Network Operations Center this afternoon having a meeting and you could hear the noise around CommNet go up a couple of decibels every 10 minutes.
And as for technology, there's quite a feast on offer. Attendees will be getting hands on with Windows Vista, there are Office 12 banners all over the place so I assume they'll be learning about that. I'm sat right now in the GIANT hands on lab area containing hundreds of PCs as far as the eye can see ... well, my short sighted eyes at least.
And what of Windows Mobile? We're focussing on 5.0 for this show although we have a nod to the future with our "Future Directions in Mobile Hardware Panel". We've tried to provide some more "practical" content so we have Marc Brown talking about how he built and got rolled out the internal Microsoft Pocket Expense application. We have Andy Sjostrom coming in to share his top ten tips for business solutions built with mobile devices. And ... we have a little something special to share with attendees but you'll have to wait until the conference starts to find out about that :)