November 2009

Volume 24 Number 11

Editor’s Note - Beginnings and Endings

By Howard Dierking | November 2009

As the title indicates, this month’s Editor’s Note is about beginnings and endings. To begin with, I want to share with you just a few of the myriad changes that we have recently implemented across both the MSDN Web sites and the MSDN Subscriptions program. Starting with the Web sites, you can see that we have made some tremendous updates to the user experience not just with respect to aesthetics but also to some of the more fundamental metaphors for navigating and interacting with the site itself, the content and the people behind the content. Even the MSDN Library has been overhauled to include a more understandable and more responsive user experience option called “scriptless.” Over time, expect to see many more improvements and innovations made in this arena.

The MSDN Subscriptions program is also going to have some really cool new benefits added to it. The benefit that I’m most excited about: Your MSDN Subscription will include a cloud computing sandbox environment on Microsoft Azure. This sandbox includes everything from the Azure computing platform to SQL Azure to the various elements of the .NET Services stack. For example, for MSDN Premium subscribers who sign up by June 30, 2010, your Azure sandbox would include the following for eight months:

Like I said, I am excited to see this particular benefit added to the MSDN subscription program because I believe giving cloud computing tools equal visibility and access as their more established desktop and Web counterparts is an essential element in bringing the cloud into the mainstream of thinking about not just application deployment, but design and development as well.

Finally, in order to help you be successful with all of these new tools that you will have access to, the MSDN subscription will now also include a collection of Microsoft e-learning, which is about 20 hours worth of instruction. And naturally, you’ll also continue to have access to MSDN Magazine!

And there’s one more change to tell you about. I have greatly enjoyed my tenure as editor in chief for MSDN Magazine. I feel as though we’ve continued to make some forward progress in improving the way that people think about designing and constructing software. However, over the last several months, I have felt the pull to get back to my roots and get closer to the software development process, so I recently accepted a position in a more engineering-focused role.

Fortunately, Diego Dagum from The Architecture Journal is stepping up to run MSDN Magazine, and I’m confident that he will do a fantastic job. I wish both him and you all the best. I have been a huge fan of MSDN Magazine since long before I stepped into this role and will continue to be a fan long afterward.

So, in the tradition of my predecessor and friend Stephen Toub, I’ll close with the following:

public static void UntilNextTime() {
    System.Environment.FailFast("Thanks for the memories!");

Correction: In the October 2009 issue, John Papa’s Data Points column had a disclaimer that the content was based on pre-release versions of the technology when it was actually based on RTM.