Links for Azure, Visual Studio and other experiences from PDC 2008

After a jetlag, a few days of e-mail immersion and inbox cleaning, finally some time to get into the real stuff and get you a summary of the event.
For some non-technical experiences about the event, scroll to the bottom.

First things first, getting into the PDC information is really easy: you can follow ALL sessions online on Microsoft PDC site: There are downloads to the PPT presentations, some have mp4 downloads and all of them can be watched online on Channel9. This is an extremely good resource to keep close.

Tip: Greg Duncan has put together the list of all sessions on a single page, with links to each of the video formats and PPT. All in one page, really handy! Thanks Daniel for this tip.

A second tip for a more Belgian insight into the conference is to check out the blogs of Gregory Renard (French) and Gill Cleeren (English), both Regional Directors. They were blogging quite a lot before, during and after the conference.

Hereunder you can find the links to the most important downloads and info pages related to PDC 2008.

Azure Services Platform

The Azure Services Platform was announced during the opening keynote, this is Microsoft’s cloud computing and services platform. Now announced as a CTP you can already download the SDKs and play with the technology locally on your own computer. At this stage the number of developer accounts is restricted though. Sign-up at the Azure site and you might get lucky.


  • SDKs for Windows Azure, .NET services, SQL Data Services (SDS), Tools for Visual Studio, all can be found on the Azure Developer SDKs page.
  • Live Framework SDK and tools – the Live Framework CTP is limited at this stage. So I’m afraid that even to play with it you will need to register and get lucky…
    You need the Live Framework SDK in order to be able to play with the Live Services SDK and Mesh applications.
  • Get your hands on the Live Mesh client, the beta program has been extended with now support for Mobile and Mac.

If you are using Java or Ruby you can also start experimenting with Azure as we have released alpha versions for:

On a funny note, I know people are wondering how to pronounce Azure. Even after watching this I still don’t know :-)

Windows 7

Windows 7 has been unveiled at PDC, however this does not mean it’s available for end-users. This is a first preview and at this stage pre-beta bits were given to the PDC attendees.
Windows 7 Developer Guide available at MSDN Code Gallery


We saw Surface tables all over the conference. I think this was the first “coming out” of the Surface team as they are preparing for wider commercial launch. The SDK is currently not widely available. In the meantime, check out there two sessions:

Visual Studio 2010 and .NET Framework 4.0 CTP

CTP for the next version of Visual Studio and the .NET Framework was also announced.

And lots of other releases

  • WPF Toolkit, October release - WPF DataGrid, DatePicker/Calendar, preview of VisualStateManager (VSM)
  • CCR and DDS Toolkit, Concurrency and Coordination Runtime (CCR) and Decentralized Software Services (DSS) were originally released as part of Microsoft Robotics Developer Studio.
  • Silverlight Toolkit – new controls and themes for Silverlight
  • Microsoft “Geneva” Framework roadmap and beta bits: documentation on MSDN and download from the connect site.
  • XNA Game Studio 3.0

And I’m forgetting lots of other stuff that was released during the PDC week… should update this post as I see them.

People and fun at PDC

On a non-technical level, I had the pleasure to meet with lots of people during PDC, many of them Belgian. We had a drink at the Hard Rock Café with about 30 Belgians at PDC. I would like to thank U2U for sponsoring this drink together with us. It was a perfect time to meet Belgian peers at the also at the conference.


The party at Universal Studios on Tuesday was also lots of fun. The whole park was reserved for the PDC attendees, so no lines anywhere! I had lots of fun in the Simpsons ride (don’t remember the actual name of the ride).


And of course, weather in Los Angeles was just wonderful: 30 to 35 degrees Celsius. Almost too hot but as we didn’t see much of the daylight just great for a few moments outside between sessions.

See you next year for PDC 2009.