It has been a fun experience for me this morning.


I am at TechEd in Orlando, Florida and was able to join Bill Gates on stage during his keynote to talk to the audience about the paradigm shift in client application development and the user experience.  It has been a while since I have been the guy who is demoing the cool and exciting technology during a keynote.  Other people usually get to have that fun, and I now hold a new appreciation for what it takes to pull off a seamless demo experience.  I got to show a very cool demo of a new social networking site for sharing rich media content that was built in Silverlight and also talked about and showed some examples of WPF and the continuum of tools and platforms for client applications that spans devices, the browser and the Windows client


Here is a summary of the announcements that were made during the keynote:

·         Silverlight 2 beta 2 – This is going to be available later in the week with a commercial Go Live license.  Silverlight 2 beta 2 will be used to power the unprecedented online experience NBC Universal is creating for the 2008 Beijing Olympics. To help developers take full advantage of Silverlight, we are also making available Expression Blend 2.5 June 2008 Preview and Microsoft Silverlight Tools Beta 2 for Visual Studio 2008.

·         Working with IBM, we will further simplify application development for enterprise teams working in heterogeneous environments. IBM and Microsoft have agreed to work together to integrate IBM DB2 database access with Visual Studio Team System Database Edition. 

·         Latest CTP of the Microsoft Sync Framework - a comprehensive synchronization platform that enables collaboration and offline scenarios for applications, services and devices. 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” - 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. 

·         Visual Studio 2008 extensions for Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 v1.2 – this allows developers to use Visual Studio 2008 to extend the value of Windows SharePoint Services and Microsoft Office SharePoint Server by providing a simplified development environment.


I am looking forward to the rest of the day where I get a chance to engage (talk and listen) to some of the community leaders (MVPs, RDs, INETA leaders) here at TechEd.