PDC Day 2 – Windows 7, Windows Live, Mesh and Office Online

Today’s big announcements at PDC were around Windows 7, .NET 4/VS2010, Windows Live Mesh and Microsoft Office futures.

livemeshWindows 7

  • Both Windows Server 2008 R@ and Windows 7 will have the ability to boot from a VHD as well as mount a VHD like a normal drive or create a VHD on the fly – all from the built-in disk manager.  I’d love to see them expand this to ISOs, but maybe that’s feedback we can all supply to get them to put it in the product!
  • Multi-touch is a huge game-changer.  Not only will Windows come with some great touch features, the .NET APIs will make it easy for you to build your own multi-touch interfaces.
  • Enhanced multi-monitor support – this is also a big deal – especially for developers.  Multi-monitor support includes projectors (WIN-P key to toggle) as well as support for applications that can take advantage of more than one monitor.
  • Built-in magnifier for accessibility concerns, as well as us demo-monkeys!

.NET 4 and VS10

  • VS2010 written in WPF – this allows for some very cool UI capabilities.  ScottGu showed off the built-in support for the Managed Extensibility Framework by making an IDE extension that did an incredible visualization over the top of some code.  I can see add-in vendors drooling over this new capability for future addins and extensions…
  • They announced intellisense support for jQuery – you can download the new intellisense file from https://jquery.com
  • Not sure if he meant to, but he said that the MVC framework would be released “in the next few months”.  Apparently “when it’s done” means soon!
  • The Windows Live team announced today that they’re officially supporting OpenID and becoming a provider.  That means that I’ll soon be able to use my Windows Live ID anywhere OpenIDs are requested.  This is a FANTASTIC step towards building a better internet.

Silverlight 2

  • Silverlight 2 is out in the wild, and a couple of big customers have released products utilizing Silverlight 2:
    • Netflix is releasing a new version of their Instant Watch player that’s written entirely in Silverlight 2.  This means a much higher level of playback and streaming quality than the previous version.  Beta testing has already started with new Netflix subscribers, so if you don’t already have an account – now is a good time to get one.
    • AOL is also releasing a new version of their Web Mail client that was written in Silverlight 2.  Lots of new features including a completely new look and feel.
  • The much anticipated Silverlight Toolkit is also now available where you can a bunch of excellent *free* controls for your next Silverlight 2 application – all available as a free download from CodePlex.
  • ScottGu also mentioned that there will be a WPF-like Silverlight designer included in Visual Studio 2010.  This is great considering that the VS08 designer is “read only”.
  • Although it was only mentioned in passing, there has been work done around taking advantage of Silverlight as an Application Platform to include Silverlight running “inside and outside of the browser”.  The sessions at PDC have not been released yet, so there’s not much I can talk about here, but I do have a few public references that you can check out now.  Watch this blog in the near future for a more thorough discussion and code example of mesh-enabling your application and deploying your app into the Mesh.

Office Web Applications

Office Web Applications are light-weight versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote that are designed to be accessed through a browser running on any computer or mobile device with collaboration designed in instead of bolted on.  I loved Ray’s comment at the end of this morning’s keynote “It’s about more than just delivering docs and spreadsheets to the web…”, what we’re trying to do, as evidenced by all the work Ray has done over the past several years and his time at Microsoft, is enable a new level of collaboration through best-of-breed tooling.

More to come after I’ve had a chance to install Windows 7, Visual Studio 2010 and write myself some Mesh applications!

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