Last week I attended TechEd 2011, which was held in Atlanta, Georgia at the World Congress Center. It was quite the conference, with over 10,000 attendees and 465 sessions. In true content-blasting fashion, C9 has done an amazing job at very quickly getting the sessions online for your perusal and learning. If you could not get there, grab a coffee and wander through the offerings here: http://channel9.msdn.com/Events/TechEd/NorthAmerica.

One of my key ramblings of late has been the integration of SharePoint and Windows Azure, and of course TechEd provided me with an opportunity to talk a little more about this growing area. I say growing because there’s a lot of interest in Windows Azure but people are still getting started with the development side of things when applied to SharePoint 2010. So, when you put these two together you’re at the beginning of a steep tipping point. With that in mind, I’m continuing to work with more companies that are building across these two technologies (e.g. Commvault and Nintex) and am continuing to see a growing interest from people as these two technologies come closer together.

To help with this, last week MSPress (via O’Reilly) released 2,000 free  3-chapter teasers of the forthcoming Developing Microsoft SharePoint Applications using Windows Azure. What was great last week was that I actually got a chance to meet a bucket-load of folks who picked up a copy at the MSPress booth while there. A shout-out to all of you who came by and chatted with us at the booth. We’re in final production, and with MSPress’s new publishing process the final book should be ready for you in mid- to late June, so I’m really looking forward to getting it out there for you to read and use.

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As a complement to the book, we also published a SharePoint and Windows Azure developer kit. The goal of the kit was to help supplement the book and give you even more code samples and walkthrough guidance to get started developing with these two technologies.You can download the kit here. We’ll be revving the kit and releasing another version at the Worldwide Partner Conference in July.

The cloud is an important part of our future at Microsoft, and this was loud and clear at TechEd 2011. From the keynote to the foundation sessions through to the break-out sessions and beyond, the cloud was an important theme that cut through the week. And while you can browse the session list above for your favorite sessions, here are a few that focus on IW and cloud that I thought you might be interested in:

The above represent just a handful of sessions that had something to do with SharePoint/Office and the cloud. There are obviously a ton more, so you’ll want to review the C9 sessions online on your own.

One interactive session we did, but was not recorded, was one that talked to integrating Windows Phone 7, SharePoint and Windows Azure. (We even discussed how the patterns could apply to other devices such as iPad, iPhone, Android, and any WCF-conversant language/device.) I’ve embedded the deck here, so you can at least see what Paul, Donovan and I covered (which were 5 different patterns that show how to integrate these technologies). Expect more to come soon, and expect to hear about developer kits and sample code to get you started.

Well, I think that’s about it for now. I have more information and code samples I want to get up on my blog, and given it’s a long weekend there’s a good chance that they’ll finally make it up there.

Happy coding, and have a great Memorial Day weekend.

Steve