Back at the hotel and watching some Monday Night Football (which I could do that in Sweden!). Here is a summary and some reflections on my day.

Woke up early and walked down to LA Convention Center and got me some breakfast (tomorrow I’ll eat at the hotel). I tried to get to the keynote hall as early as possible for some good seating. I ended up in 6th row and had a good overview of the stage and the huge screens. As this is my first PDC and first conference of this magnitude I’m really impressed with the size and organization of it all.

Ray Ozzie, Microsoft Chief Architect, hit the stage and did after an introduction introduce Windows Azure – Microsoft’s new cloud server and offering. Windows Azure and the Windows Azure Platform is Microsoft’s way of hosting your services in the cloud. Microsoft will also have a set of services ready; such as Exchange Online, SharePoint Online, Dynamics CRM Online etc. Windows Azure pricing will be based on subscriptions and SLA’s and competitive.

Windows Azure

I think the Windows Azure Platform can be really interesting. The thing that really made me interested was that you can federate your Active Directory (and/or your customers) and use that as authentication on your services in the cloud. I really like what Patrik Löwendahl calls it (article in Swedish): “Outsourcing 2.0”.

After the keynote I went to a session on which I had big expectations: SharePoint Online extending your service. This session was about the SharePoint Online service hosted on Windows Azure. Small summary: SharePoint is hosted by Microsoft and you pay per user! The session and the content was really bad – from several perspectives. First of all we in the audience, several SharePoint MVPs were there, expected more stuff for developers than just SharePoint Designer editing. The only way to add code that makes something real is to host it in a Silverlight application. And then the presenter had a rough mission presenting this non-interesting material for a demanding crowd, especially since this session was an Advanced session! I’ll try to ignore I was there…

Then I headed over the the Big Room and got stuck when Chris Anderson made a spontaneous demo of the new M-language. It looked really cool when he on-the-fly showed the small crowd how to create a schema from a text and then validate your input and create structured data. Got a book with the draft specification of the language and I will browse it through until tomorrow when Chris and Don Box will have their keynote. After this I tried on some Hands-On Labs with the Windows Azure federated authentication – sweet!

Chris Anderson demonstrating M

Then I, and a lot of people, headed over to listen to Anders Hejlsberg (Anders was really the one who made me interested in programming with Turbo Pascal in the 80’s) talk about the future of C#. Anders presented some new stuff that will be in C# 4.0 such as the dynamic keyword, which will combine the features of dynamic languages with C#. Anders made some really nice demos of this, and he actually copied some JavaScript code and pasted it in the C# file, compiled it (just a few small changes) and run it. His demos did receive more applauses than Rays keynote this morning. Some other nice stuff Anders presented was optional and named parameters. He also gave us some hints on what will happen after C# 4.0 – “Eval” in C#! This is what I really look forward to, but that’s long down the road…

I had hard then deciding which session to attend and I finally selected ASP.NET MVC. Really good session with really good presenters. I like lean and neat HTML code and the MVC model. I hope to get to do some nice projects with this in the future. Unfortunately I’m very bound to SharePoint now so that will likely not happen so soon, if not SharePoint “14” will use this…say no more!?!

Verne Troyer at PDC 2008

Last session for today became WF 4.0 – first look which was about the new stuff in Workflow Foundation. Good session and good speakers here too. Tools, persistence and performance was the mantra for this session. WF sounds so cool in English – dub-F, can’t really say that at home in Swedish…

Then it was freebie time with food and beer in the sponsor area. I now have a set of t-shirts to wear when painting the house. Some interesting sponsors and some interesting give-aways. Did have some time to play with Surface a little more, if I win on lottery I’ll order one right away!

More keynotes tomorrow, more focused on the client side, the bits is distributed and then there is the attendee party at Universal Studios…

Technorati tags: PDC, PDC2008, PDC08, Azure, M, Chris Anderson, Don Box, SharePoint, MVC