What's hot from day 1 at the PDC?

Day 1 of the PDC is done (apart from a meal with the Press tonight) - what's the scoop on features and announcements? The problem I have is there is just too much - if I list it all this will turn into a marathon posting. So I've decided instead to post "Ian's totally subjective list of what's hot from the PDC day 1", a completely arbitrary list of things that appealed to me. There may well be plenty of hot features and products that aren't in this list, but these are the ones that stuck with me.

I've chosen just 10 things to talk about. There are hundreds more but you've got to draw the line somewhere. I'm using a ranking system of "hot", "sizzling" and "on fire!" to give you an indication of how I feel about each one - this is just a personal view of course, don't take it as anything else.

In no particular order here goes:

Number Headline Feature "Hot" Rating Comment
1 Taking sharepoint offline You can mark documents on sharepoint as "use offline" and it will sync them with Outlook so you can access them when you aren't connected to the network Hot One of the things stopping me from storing everything on my sharepoint sites was not being able to access them offline - now I can. Great!
2 Superfetch Vista watches which applications you tend to use when you fire up your PC (or wake up from hibernation) and intelligently loads them into memory when it can. Result = a much faster windows! Sizzling Brilliant idea! So Vista will have all of your dlls and applications ready in memory, meaning everything runs quicker. And it knows what applications you tend to use so it can do all this intelligently.
3 Superfetch USB If you have a USB stick plugged into your machine Vista can use the memory on it for superfetch On Fire! Incredibly smart! So if I have a laptop with limited memory, I can get 512MB more for superfetch by plugging in my USB stick
4 WPF/E Windows Presentation Foundation - Everywhere! A scaled down version of WPF will be released for devices like PocketPCs and SmartPhones Sizzling Avalon on a SmartPhone? You know it makes sense
5 LINQ Language Integrated Query - you don't need to use complex SQL connections or XQuery in your app for simple lookups Sizzling Use VB or C# to do your data binding - great news for developer productivity
6 Office 12 UI Big overhaul for the UI of Office 12 means this is the best Office release in years On Fire! Hard to put into words just how good this is - it's one of those cases where it is obvious in hindsight
7 Office 12 Extensibility in new doc format Your extensions to Office 12 - such as new toolbars or features  - can now be shipped as part of the new XML document format. So you have a single Word file for example that contains not just your document but the extensibility code too Sizzling This is made easy because the code extensions are just XML files
8 Atlas Fantastic new technology for that makes AJAX-style development easy in .NET Hot Easy to write great web apps, and deploys in just about any browser (we saw it on an Apple running Safari) - and the new Hotmail will use it too
9 Virtual Folders You've probably heard about, or seen, virtual folders in Vista. What you may not realise is that they're defined in XML files, which means that developers can create their own virtual folders in Vista Hot Application-specific virtual folders, created on the fly in your app, make perfect sense
10 Thumbnail Tabs in IE7 Obviously IE7 supports tab - but a really nice little feature is that you can display thumbnails of all of your tabs, which gives you a nice way of navigating between them Hot Another of those features that's obvious in hindsight and just makes your browsing experience that much more useful


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