Back from an intensive week at Microsoft PDC08. It's been a great week with lots of interesting keynotes and sessions and bit different PDC than the others I've been at.
I was mainly coming to the PDC to get all the latest news about Visual Studio Team System and the Software + Services platform. I'm got more than I was asking for... I'm really impressed of the breadth of products we were shown! I mean, all the new stuff in VSTS 2010 would easily fill a week of content. But that was just a part of the puzzle... The big topic this time - Windows Azure, or the "cloud" OS, shows what powerful solutions a big player like Microsoft can come up with. Not just is it a new OS for the cloud space, it IS the cloud as well. With Microsoft backing up a platform with a hosting environment, the S+S vision may now be closer than I'd expected. As a PDC attendee we can now all go and create services in Azure and start getting familiar with the idea of having our software running outside of our own datacenters. A both compelling and somewhat scaring possibility.
As for VSTS 2010; much of the new stuff had already been revealed by Brian Harry and others a few weeks back. It's great to have some time to listen to the product team present their solutions. The 2010 is an impressive release. There are so many new features it almost feels like a new product. But the bulk of the new stuff goes into areas where the product has suffered from the "v1" syndrome and it feels good to have those areas covered as well. I'm talking about improvements in project management (yes, now we'll get those hierarchical work items), simplified reporting, vastly improved tools for test management including a new stand-alone tool called "camano" and finally a much improved architecture edition with both architectural visualization tools as well as full UML 2.1.2 support.
Apart from all good content it was really nice to have time to catch up with old friends, discuss the impressions with other colleagues and the opportunity to talk to the people writing the software we use every day.
Finally, and a bit surprising, the next PDC (2009) was also announced at the last day of PDC08.
Below are references to some of the new stuff presented at the PDC:
Visual Studio Team System 2010