~Whew~ that was fun! Everyone at MSDN has been working like crazy, and last night, concurrent with the announcement of VS2005 Express Beta in Amsterdam, we launched the Product Feedback Center, the new personalized Visual Studio Developer Center, online and CodeWise search integration into Visual Studio and a host of ancillary functionality.

I pulled the early morning shift, since many of my friends and coworkers were here into the wee hours of the morning (and beyond). It was strange to be pulling into the parking garage just before 6am this morning, and pass Reshma, one of our star testers, on her way out. I reluctantly left MSDN last night around 8:30 -- it was hard to leave when everyone was either working hard to do a last verification of our releases, or walking the halls, looking for somewhere to pitch in and help. But people kept reminding me that I had promised to be in at 6am, so off I went. When I got home I checked in on email, but everything seemed to be going smoothly, and I *was* exhausted, so I mindlessly watched The Daily Show and then hit the sack. The dogs woke me up at 1am, and my first thought, after shuffling to the door to let them out, was of the site. I logged into mail again, read and responded to a few, and was amazed when Newsgator popped up the message that it had downloaded 452 new posts! I guess that's not surprising since not only was the Beta announced and MSDN functionality released, but Channel 9 also released an upgrade yesterday. Oh how I wanted to read through at least some of those posts, but 5am was fast approaching and my co-workers were chiding me over IM to get back to sleep, so that's what I did.

I am so proud of everything we've done, and honored to work with such a fine bunch of folks. So who's still here at 6:21 in the morning? Kathy, who was tireless and amazing in driving our release activities, Allan, our acting Dev Manager, who's been here going on 24 hours now and just strolled down the hall whistling "Oh when the Saints, Oh when the Saints", and Manish the Magnificent (and tester extraordinaire) who just sent me stats on new users, bugs and suggestions for the Product Feedback Center. Lots of other people where here most of the night. It's bad to start calling out names, because I invariably miss someone, but I absolutely have to mention JohnS, who was the driving force behind the new Whidbey Developer Center, and Kent Sharkey, who did everything from writing code and working with the product team on content, to cheerleading (and boy does he look good with those pom-poms!) And Bill, gosh, what to say about Bill? Bill was amazing... propping, troubleshooting, suggesting, repropping, coordinating, tracking, rerepropping and propping again, all with a patience and good humor that was quite amazing. He was really our lynchpin. I sit across from Bill, and saw the steady stream of people in and out of his office for the last couple of days. One of my favorite quotes of the evening last night was when Bill was sitting with Reshma in his office, verifying a fix. "Want to make a small wager on that?" I hear Bill ask Reshma. I can't hear her response, but a few minutes later I hear Bill say somewhat gleefully "See?" followed by Reshma, "Yeah, I know, that's why I didn't bet!" in her best "Duh" tone. Bill has got it going on, that's for sure. Reshma, as always, was a huge contributor to our success -- amazingly cheerful in the face of having to retest the same application after the umpteenth "minor change". Not to be forgotten are Hua, Priya, Jin, Sergey, Larry, Lowell, Rahul, Rangan, Tina, Sean, Andy, Sean, Jason, Darren, Garrett, Rob, Christina, Tommy, Khairun, Ethan, Duncan and Justin -- all who had amazing contributions.

The Channel9 guys did a video of Sara Williams giving a tour of the new product feedback center or you could just sign in and check it out for yourselves!

I guess I better get to work now, but please be sure to let us know what you think, either in the Product Feedback Center by logging a bug or suggestion under MSDN Online or on Channel 9. Now that we've made our first small steps into the personalization arena, I'm especially interested in hearing what new personalized modules you'd like to see on MSDN, either in the developer centers or other places.

Updated the spelling of Rangan's name (sorry Rangan!) 6/29 8:20pm