Last week I attended the Microsoft Professional Developer’s Conference in Los Angeles. Definitely a neat opportunity to learn about some new interesting Microsoft technologies. Overall, I’m not terribly impressed with how far Microsoft has come. The biggest improvements I think are in the area of the .NET languages (specifically C#). With regards to their operating system (specifically the new Windows Vista and Windows “Longhorn” Server) and some of their new concepts for OS integrated 3D graphical user interfaces I’m more worried than impressed. Almost everything that I saw I’ve seen before. The only thing “new” about is that Microsoft has put all the pieces together. Some of it looks neat, but I don’t feel that overall it’s that great. The demos that they ran during the presentations were SLOW. I have a funny feeling that Microsoft will bring a nice slick new desktop environment (that rivals the look of Mac OS X) and before long people will hate it because of how slow it is and because it crashes half the time. The stability and security of the operating system still seems attrocious. There was some neat stuff in reference to the new Communication Foundation (called “Indigo”) but I’m not sure how revolutionary it really is. It seems like Web Services are easier than before to run but I still have a hard time trusting a 24/7 Web Service to run well on any Windows platform.
All in all — a fun time — I came in 12th out of 400+ gamers in a Farcry tournament that was held one evening. I didn’t win anything, but I came close!