Atlas Released!

Atlas has now been released! ScottGu talks about it in his blog as well. Outstanding product from Microsoft!

Jim Allchin's PDC 2005 Keynote Highlights

After Bill Gates spoke, Jim Allchin came out and gave a presentation geared at developers with the promise of showing lots of code (which was done by Don Box and company). Here are some of the highlights from Jim's presentation:

  • First Jim showed everyone an IBM computer from the Microsoft museum with Windows 1.03 loaded. He then showed us the OS booting up and then pulled up the game of Reversi. Funny, I remember all those screens he showed ... I must be getting old. The point of showing that is that he was focusing on the fact that Windows was entering into its 3rd decade. Wow! Then he showed a game (video of it really) that was being built by a company called Crytex and how outstanding (or SUPER as Microsoft people would say) it was with graphics. It was rather spectacular.
  • Jim announced that we are all getting Build 5219 of Vista today.
  • The Windows platform consists of Presentation, Data, Communications, and Base Operating System Services.
  • Vista will include hardware monitoring.
  • Vista will require 50% less reboots.
  • Vista will allow for fast on/off cycles.
  • There will be a reboot manager in Vista.
  • There will not be a defrag available in Vista as this is something that should automatically be done by the OS. Therefore, Vista will be defragging in the background on its own.
  • Introducing SuperFetch - knows what you work with the most (such as Outlook) and loads it into memory for you in anticipation of you working with it and therefore will have a SUPER fast launch process.
  • Using a USB memory stick will allow Vista to add it to the larger pool of available memory for the computer! Wow.
  • Hotmail will be changed soon so that it is more like Windows Outlook Web Access.
  • Introducing Atlas - an AJAX style (I was surprised he used this word actually) web development.
  • Introducing WPF/E “Everywhere“ - a slimmed down version of WPF that will work everywhere (devices).

Then Jim mentioned to the crowd that he had a “limited” number of these great devices that he used in a demo which were normally $1000 and that we would get it for $149 from ComNet. Once he said that, 1,500 people got up and ran for the door - it was rather funny! I would have kept that news till the end if I were him. Oh well - lesson learned.

The Goods!

After Bill Gates keynote, Microsoft allowed us to go down to the distribution center and receive “The Goods” as they call it.

This is a five disc set which includes a mass amount of software including:

  • Windows Vista Beta 1
  • Visual Studio 2005 Team System Beta 2
  • SQL Server 2005 June CTP
  • Virtual PC 2004
  • Virtual Server 2005 R2 Beta
  • WinFX & Other Stuff
  • Windows Vista CTP: PDC 2005

There is a spot for a sixth disc, but it is empty in my set. I am unsure if that is intentional or if there wasn't even a sixth disc. Hmmm.

Bill Gates PDC 2005 Keynote Highlights

It was interesting that they only allowed photography of Bill Gates for the first minute of his presentation. Also, you weren’t allowed to use your laptops in the crowd as well – so I ended up taking my notes on paper instead of doing it with Microsoft Word like I normally do. Oh well.

So, there was a lot said at the Bill Gates keynote, so I will only go through what I think were the highlights of the presentation.

  • Video – Bill started off with a bit of humor and presented a video of him and some young guy where they got into fights hitting each other and danced together and did a bunch of crazy stuff you wouldn’t expect the leader of the technology world to do. My rating – it was just okay.
  • The Tablet PC is entering the mainstream – is it? Bill was saying that the Tablet PC use doubled in the last year. What?, from 200 to 400? I don’t see this comment as being too true myself.
  • Microsoft keeps bringing XML lower and lower down the stack. Everything in Microsoft is now based upon XML. Microsoft has brought XML down to the core.
  • Microsoft is investing in the platform at record levels.
  • Microsoft is focusing on the user experience. This is called the Windows Presentation Foundation and includes Windows Vista, Office “12”, and Atlas. The term Windows Presentation Foundation is a new name for the code name “Avalon”.
  • WinFX includes the Windows Presentation Foundation and the Windows Communication Foundation (Indigo).
  • Microsoft’s customers really pushed that these items shouldn’t be for Windows Vista only, therefore these items will also install on Windows XP.
  • WinFS is in beta now.
  • Office “12” allows for an extensible user interface as well as open XML file formats.
  • Office “12” will release in the “same time frame” as Windows Vista.
  • Windows Vista provides clarity. Windows Vista provides a new level of confidence.
  • Virtual folders in Vista can be controlled and manipulated via a built-in XML file.
  • One thing I found interesting is that the sidebar in Longhorn was introduced a while back and then it was pulled from later builds. I was under the assumption that it was pulled completely from the product, but the sidebar is back! And it looks better than ever! Awesome!
  • Sidebar – you can use DHTML and script and Avalon to build your own gadgets for the sidebar.
  • Sidebar developers should check out
  • Vista includes parental controls so parents can control games kids can play and things they can look at based upon ratings.
  • Website viewers will be able to see more information on the SSL certificate of the site they are visiting with just a click of the button.
  • IE7 will report to you if it thinks the webpage you are viewing is a fake site (phishing). Microsoft is using something called the Dynamic Protection Service and this will even highlight the address bar of IE to yellow or red depending on the safety of the site.
  • IE7 includes tabs (like Firefox).
  • One COOL feature displayed was “shrink to fit” printing of webpages. Oh so nice! Worth the upgrade for this one feature alone!
  • IE7 will list all the feeds contained on a page and you can then easily subscribe to one of the RSS feeds.
  • OFFICE DEMO: From Microsoft Word, you can now easily remove hidden text, comments and other things with a click of the button – scrubbing clean.
  • Outlook allows you to view images, PPTs, and more directly in the document pane instead of needing to open the document from the email. VERY NICE!
  • RSS reader is built directly in Outlook! When this was introduced, Devin then leaned to me and said, “Well, there wipes out one whole software market!”
  • All of this is coming in the second half of 2006.