On top of Bill Gates announcements at the Microsoft Tech·Ed North America 2008 Developers conference, we just announced a few more technologies and releases that are important in the Academic world:

Parallel Extensions to the .NET Framework 3.5

Parallel Extensions simplifies development by providing library-based support for introducing concurrency into applications written with any .NET language, including C# and Visual Basic. It includes the Task Parallel Library (TPL), which provides imperative data and task parallelism; Parallel LINQ (PLINQ), which provides declarative data parallelism; and all new Coordination Data Structures (CDS), which provide support for work coordination and managing shared state.

In addition to CDS, this upgrade provides several improvements, including a new scheduler that is more robust, efficient, and scalable. TPL also exposes new functionality, including methods for continuations. PLINQ now runs on top of TPL, clarifies order-preservation, and provides several new operators.

This download works with the .NET Framework 3.5 as a simple, small-footprint installation that drops a single DLL, documentation, samples, and registers the DLL with Visual Studio 2008.

Check out these blog posts to learn more:

Beta 1 release of Word 2007 add-in for scholarly/technical publishing audience

At the annual meeting of the Society for Scholarly Publishing in Boston, Microsoft announced the wide availability of the Beta 1 release of the Article Authoring Add-in for Microsoft Word 2007. In addition to enabling Word users to open and save documents using the National Library of Medicine’s XML Journal Publishing format, used for the authoring of scientific articles, the Beta 1 release adds support for the NCBI Book format, used for authoring book chapters for digital books.

You can find additional information on this blog post.

Visual Studio Team System 2008 Database Edition GDR June CTP

This update includes a number of significant new features (check this blog for the full list) and one of the most significant is that IBM and Microsoft have agreed to work together to integrate IBM DB2 database access with Visual Studio Team System Database Edition.

Microsoft Sync Framework CTP 2

Microsoft Sync Framework is a comprehensive synchronization platform that enables collaboration and offline access for applications, services and devices. Using Microsoft Sync Framework runtime, developers can build sync ecosystems that integrate any application, with any data from any store using any protocol over any network.

A CTP of the Microsoft Sync Framework for Windows Mobile is now available as is full support for the FeedSync open protocol format.

CTP of Microsoft Project Codename “Velocity”

“Velocity” is the codename for a distributed in-memory application cache platform that makes it easier to develop scalable, high-performance applications needing frequent access to disparate data sources. Large clusters of machines can be seamlessly integrated into a single cache providing high availability to data. 

I have not found any links yet, but as soon as I do, I will post them.

Visual Studio 2008 extensions for Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 v1.2

One of Microsoft most successful technologies in the last few years is Sharepoint.

Today we announced that in a few days VSeWSS will be released. In a nutshell, VSeWSS “is an add-on to Visual Studio that makes it easier to code-up solutions for SharePoint (e.g. Web Parts, List Definitions, Site Definitions, etc)”.

Find more about in this blog post.

I believe Sharepoint is a very relevant technology for Universities because thanks to the success of the technology, more and more employers will be looking for skilled Sharepoint developers in the future.