Hans VB's WebLog - For FREE!!!

About me (Hans Verbeeck). About my work (Partner Evangelist for Microsoft Belgium). Think big, start smal
Der deutsche Education Blog

March, 2006

  • Hans VB's WebLog - For FREE!!!

    To my dearest European Government



    Gladly I’ll pay more than a few euros to support the great society we will live in.  I’m sure what I’ve been reading is a wrong interpretation of a valid concern in which case I suggest the journalists to do some better homework.


    I hear you’re concerned about the integrated search in Vista and about Microsoft knocking Google out of the search ring. I assume you aren’t allowed to use any beta software within the EU firewalls so I’ll try to give you a preview here.


    Search in IE7 will work with search providers. Every site can be one and every user can configure his/her own defaults.

    Like this:



    This feature makes it much easier to search for the same keywords on more than one search site if the one of them doesn’t produce the expected results. Google, Yahoo, MSN and many more will be there. I hope you will like it.


    Also Office 2007 producing PDF’s seems to be worrying. Although PDF is a proprietary file format, many see it as an open standard because (quoting Wikipedia) ‘anyone may create applications that read and write PDF files without having to pay royalties to Adobe Systems’. Now I know Microsoft and the EU are on the same page here; so again this must be some journalist’s misinterpretation probably triggered by the ignorance of the fact that the Office 2007 default file formats will be the Open XML file formats (supported by a wide range of players in the industry). Besides that, Office 2007 will allow users to save Office Documents as PDF or XPS. The file format space will be more open and Microsoft Office users will be able to share more easily with non-Microsoft Office users – nothing wrong about that.


    I guess I haven’t really told anything new but I surely hope this will trigger those journalists to do some homework in order to avoid some of those concerning misinterpretations.


    This post represents my personal opinion and desire to make Europe a better place to live and work in. Topics included: Microsoft, Office 2007, IE7, Vista

  • Hans VB's WebLog - For FREE!!!

    2006 Developer and IT Pro Days Belgium & DevDays Netherlands are over…


    thank God!!!! Both events were fantastic but also a lot of work!

    Developer & IT Pro Days Belgium

    I signed up to deliver a Vista and Windows Live demo during the keynote as well as a session on Office 12 (Office 2007) UI Development opportunities.  If you wonder which is more work: 25 minutes of demo during the keynote or  a regular 1:15 session? I can tell you, it’s the keynote demos that are more work. By far.

    I started a couple of weeks ago installing Vista December CTP and looking for some nice demo applications. The Active Directory 3D application was nice but needed some work. I got some help from Corp and made some changes myself so I felt quite comfortable about that one from early on. It was the ITPro demos that caused me more headache. Probably because I have a developer background. 

    So about a week ago, I started to work from the Belgian office  and got great support from both David Boschmans  (Developer Evangelist) and  Arlindo Alves (IT Pro Evangelist). These guys really do everything they possibly can to put together a great event.

    David (left) and Arlindo

    If you need to find out about available Dev demos on the latest technologies, David knows to find them all. I have a feeling he reads every MS Blog and is on all of the technical aliases.  Arlindo was just fantastic in supporting me getting to understand the things about Vista that really matter to IT Pros. I’m convinced that next year no one will bother asking me again for the keynote demos as Arlindo will be doing them himself.

    Even though, those guys had to deal with things like last minute cancellations from speakers, dry runs for the regular sessions, etc… they were always ready to help out with getting the demos ready.

    At the same, there were many meetings with Wilfried Grommen, the keynote speaker, where we would agree on what we would demo and which would be the speaking points. The goal was to keep this keynote as low on marketing as possible and I hope we succeeded in that. Here you see Ritchie Houtmeyers (left with Wilfried Grommen). Very likely they’re debating which would be the next slide to cut.


    On Friday morning  of the week before the keynote, we started downloading a new build – the February CTP with some preinstalled demos. By the time we had downloaded the gigabytes of goodness, it was 15:00 on the Friday. We kept working on an earlier build but knew that our weekend would be spent installing the newest on the Acer Ferrari’s we had on loan.


    Then Monday evening, T-12 hours. We arrived at the venue and entered hell for a couple of hours. Putting machines on a projector has been painful before but this time,  it was hell.  I guess this is normal because the video card producers aren’t really keeping up with their drivers for every Vista build we might use. Arlindo was fantastic, he got all of our machines working.

    While we were struggling Ritchie and Tom Mertens were prepping their bit - you can see them shine:


    At 23:00 we left the  ICC and headed for the hotel in the center of Ghent. I looked out my Window took a picture of the Vista outside my window and ran through my demos back to back for the first time. Obviously, I wouldn't normally stay in  a hotel in Ghent since I leave only 45 minutes away (by car). The hotel was nice and located right in the center.  


    After I went through the demos, I spend some time at the bar with David, Arlindo, Lut, Ritchie and Tom and that was it. It was past 1:00 by the time I got to bed. Only to get up again at 5:30.

    By 7:00 we were again in the keynote room and Arlindo was once more getting our machines to project properly . Can you tell those guys didn’t sleep much either?


    When keynote time was there, things went without a glitch and I hope that people appreciated our efforts to keep the keynote heavy on demos and light on slides.

    In the afternoon, I had a session on Office 2007 UI. Thank God I had Jan Tielens to assist me with the developer demos.  He really knows that stuff. I already read one good review about that session which really makes me happy and gives me the feeling that all those efforts were well worth it.

  • Hans VB's WebLog - For FREE!!!

    WPF/E - Windows Presentation Foundation Everywhere at MIX06


    Just attended a session on WPF/E delivered by Joe Stegman. I must say, I'm really impressed. Atlas experiences impress me too but the WPF/E model just knocks it right out of the ring - that's just my opinion.

    Two things that impressed me most:

    1. The WPF/E engine has a IL scripting engine embedded. This allows you to run IL (C# or VB) code everywhere. Obviously the class library will be limited but still...
    2. The WPF/E engine will come with a media stack built by the media player team that will allow you to play video everywhere. This means playing video isn't dependant on the player installed on the machine on which the browser runs.
    3. (I know I said two) Microsoft will support [IE, Firefox, Safari, Mozilla], [Windows, Apple, (Linux, Solaris through 3rd parties)]
    4. Just kidding :-)
  • Hans VB's WebLog - For FREE!!!

    Moppie, where is my floppie...


    In dutch it is: Moppie waar is mijn floppie...

    After driving for 2:30 from Antwerp to Amsterdam, I was completely exhausted when I arrived around 9am in the RAI to present at the Developer Days 2006 in Holland. Soon I was going to be in a happy mood. The dutch guys (Arie Leeuwensteijn) had hired this fantastic hoempapa type of guy to host the event with silly songs etc... I love it. I watched the guy for a couple of minutes and couldn't stop smiling anymore while preparing for the talk. Here he is with some volunteers.

    Unfortunately the tune he was singing stuck in my mind. Oh no, it's back. Moppie waar is mijn floppie...

    The Office 2007 UI session was nice. I like the Dutch audience very much, they are a good crowd happy to participate and to laugh when you tell something funny. Again, I could see the new UI really made sense to them. Many folks want to get their hands on the beta. Please register on the Beta Experience for that: http://www.microsoft.com/betaexperience/default.aspx

    Apparently one guy liked my picture from Zurich I have as a background enough to ask me to send it, so here it is:

  • Hans VB's WebLog - For FREE!!!

    Live.com and Office 2007 UI


    I wonder how long after my keynote demo at DevDays Belgium the changes to www.live.com went live. Jeez, it's even nicer now than before. Here you can find out what changed.


    Also, I'm happy that some pictures on the new UI for Word, Powerpoint, Excel and Access 2007 can be seen here: http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/presskits/2007office/default.mspx and here: http://www.microsoft.com/office/preview/uioverview.mspx

    The changes to the UI feel so right. I always get that feeling when I show them to people and discuss why these changes where made. People really get it. If you are as passionate about this as I am, then Jensen Harris' blog is a must read for you:



  • Hans VB's WebLog - For FREE!!!

    DevConnections Europe: Speaking about Visual Basic


    Once again, I’ll be doing what I’m born for…speak about  Visual Basic. The language of all languages, the one that looks ahead and not backwards like those C-like monster languages that seem to have gotten some traction again… Yes, that’s right, why use a language that leans closer to the machine than to the human language? Why????

    This time I get the change to speak at the DevConnections Europe event in Nice, France (24-27 April).  My presentation will be on Tuesday the 25th.





    Hans Verbeeck

    Take an advanced look at the benefits and

    features of VB 2005 development such as

    namespaces, ADO.NET 2.0 enhancements,

    datasets and many others. Further details on

    the future of VB will be discussed, with an

    overview of current planned features and

    scenarios for the next version of VB codenamed



    As you can see, I’m getting all fired up for it. Will you be there?


    Technorati Tags: Visual Basic, DevConnections

  • Hans VB's WebLog - For FREE!!!

    MIX06 annoucements


    Conferences in Las Vegas, what can you say? Vegas is like Disney for Adults, 36/7.

    The MIX conference is going really well. It's smaller (1500-2000 people) than many other conferences I've been to but still large enough to have a real buzz about this.

    There have been many highlights like Tim O'Reilly's interview with Bill Gates, some great sessions on WPF and the Expression Web Designer, IE...

    Besides that some interesting announcements like the Live developer center on MSDN http://msdn.microsoft.com/live (but for now keep checking out http://msdn.microsoft.com/msn as well), June CTP for the Web Designer.

    Today also the Office Developer Conference kicks off and also there there's some big news like the Open XML Formats Developer Group (www.openxmldeveloper.org.).

    It's a good day.  


  • Hans VB's WebLog - For FREE!!!

    Naked Conversations


    <a href="http://technorati.com/claim/2gur57qfb"> Technorati Profile</a>


    David Boschmans and I had a conversation about Naked Conversations. Hence I'm exploring some other blogosphere tools now like Technorati.

    I'm not sure why I would use these unless I want to conquer the world. Hmmm, that's a thought.

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