Happy Chinese New Year!  (well, a couple of days late).

As a part of my Chinese New Year resolutions, I'm going to write more in this blog, so look for an entry at least weekly. 

I spent last week down at VSLive and had a chance to catch up with a bunch of folks even if I wasn't speaking.  I actually had a small talk for the theatre prepared, but the plasma screen was busted.  One of the things that I was most looking forward to demoing was RegFree COM.  This is a technology that Stephanie Saad demonstrated in Soma's keynote at VSLive Orlando but hasn't gotten much discussion yet.  If you have COM components that you want to use with your VB 2005 applications (and we know you do), this provides a way to deploy the component to a user's machine along with a manifest.  This means that you don't need to register it on the user's machine, so you avoid the problems of "DLL Hell" and can actually have multiple versions running on the same machine.  If you select a COM component in a Visual Studio 2005 project, there's a new property "Isolated".  If you set this to true, the component can be deployed through ClickOnce and VS will automatically generate the manifest.  There's a few caveats including the fact that you have to be running on Windows XP or higher, can't do this to out-of-process server EXEs and can't be used as an add-in or snap-in.  

Speaking of conferences, how many of you have registered for TechEd yet?  We're going to have a pretty big VB presence from the team and will actually have a PreCon before the event.  The Precon's going to be focused on taking your skills from VB6 to VB2005, so all of you VB6 developers who don't know if you'd appreciate the .NET code at TechEd, this is your chance.  If you can spend the extra day down in Orlando before the show, you'll definitely have a head start.  Also, if you register for the show by April 15th and you can save 15% <-- not a bad deal if you're trying to sell it to your manager.

Hope all's well,