There were plenty more thought provoking sessions today at the PDC. I've uploaded slightly fewer session notes than on previous days; I attended one really poor session that wasn't worth taking notes for, and one session that was entirely spent in code demos and was therefore impossible to write up. I can't remember a conference with so many good sessions, though - internal or external. The DVDs are going to be worth watching, too - chatting to a number of customers, we've all agreed that we could attend the conference at least twice over again and still find plenty of interesting sessions that are worth attending.

Probably the most innovative part of the day was inevitably the demonstrations from Microsoft Research. The demo of MathPad^2 was particularly compelling - demonstrating how a Tablet PC could be used to create formulas, graph and animate them. The demo probably didn't show anything that couldn't have been accomplished with MATLAB, but it was the use of ink to graphically design and manipulate the resulting graphs that was particularly attractive. If only this had been around when I was doing maths at school - it looked like it would take all the tedious bits out of learning without dumbing the process down.

It's easy to forget the impact that Microsoft Research has had on the company's commercial software. Innovations from ClearType (research link), Photo Story (research link), generics (research link), Smart Personal Object Technologies (research link) and even the Longhorn sidebar have all originated at MSR. It's worth visiting their site every now and again to uncover some of the ideas that might well make their way into future versions of the platform at future PDCs!