Brian Goldfab (Product Manager for the Web features of Visual Studio .NET) took a field trip to PHPCon. Much fun had by all, by the sounds of things. Perhaps I should join him next year -- lots to learn from those good folk...

Before I came down I was worried about how I would be accepted by this crowd as a Microsoft representative.  Would it be hostile?  Would it be open?  I was pleasantly surprised by how well I was received.  Everyone has been open, understanding, and engaging.  We've talked about the negatives and positives of Microsoft, we've looked at ways that Microsoft and the PHP Community can work together and form a "symbiotic" relationship.  We've explored avenues for making PHP run better on windows and even discussed the complexities of having dynamic languages compile to IL.  The best part has been that most of the conversation has been relegated to the world of academic thought and I experienced no outright zealouts. 

This is more of rant considering the time, but I am happy with what I've learned.  I'm going to come away from here with a very new perspective on their community and I hope many of the people that I've been fortunate enough to touch will come away with a different perspective on Microsoft.   If you are from PHPCon and we talked, I'd love to hear from you more.  I hope your experience with me was as good as my experience with you. 

TTFN - Kent