Just thought I would give you a quick update from my week at Tech Ed Europe 2009, the main focus of TechEd was all about “The New Efficiency” – both in terms of power usage and productivity.  Areas covered in the keynote speech were:

  • Windows Server 2008 R2  (virtualisation is also included in this area) -> uses less power
  • Windows System Center and Forefront all offering the ability to save time and increase productivity with control from their control panels
  • Windows 7 -> offering an optimised desktop experience, now faster with the ultimate edition offering built in bitlocker functionality for improved security.  (Touch features are available in Windows 7 – there was a good sprinkling of talk about gestures in several of the sessions that I attended)
  • Exchange Server 2010 -> Forrester research say the ROI is 6 months. Combined with Outlook 2010 to integrate a voicemail to text feature and a way to view your emails in conversation strings.
  • Office tools such as Word, Excel and Outlook toolkit available from browsers
  • Cloud computing (Windows Azure Platform) – good for economies of scale, though it will not save everyone money, this was not highlighted in the keynote speech, but it was discussed in the other sessions. Dublin data centre opening on Wednesday 18th November.

Other areas that caught my interest during the week:

  • SharePoint 2010 more integrated with existing tools, can add document from Word, Excel etc.  It’s built on 3.5 of the .Net framework.  The good: migration process easier than 2003 – MOSS 2007 and the underlying framework has not changed as much, tight integration with the Office toolset   The not so good: requires upgrade to x64
  • .Net 4.0:  The trend seems to be moving away from SOAP towards REST.  Microsoft do not plan to extend LINQ (though this plays a key part of SP2010, StreamInsight (see SQL Server 2008 R2) etc) and further and sees the entity framework as the way forward
  • SQL Server 2008 R2: StreamInsight, the new event driven application to be shipped with SQL for use with multiple strands of realtime data – has adapters for input and output and an StreamInsight engine for processing and capturing data. Early adopters McLaren Electronic Systems Official ECU Supplier to the FIA Formula 1 World Championship for telemetry software presented the benefits (release date interlinked with SP2010)
  • Visual Studio 2010:  There has been a lot of work in the Architecture and Testing tools space.  You can extend the Architecture features yourself if you want and the Team Edition offers automated testing options for UI as well.  Silverlight can be used with SharePoint 2010 and mobile devices.
  • Team Foundation Services:  Visual Source Safe is at the end of its life, time to move to TFS.
  • Mobile -> There were a few sessions on the mobile space, but it was generally quiet on this front (see things to look out for below).  Touch screen and Silverlight intergration seemed to be topics that were on everyone’s mind.  

 And finally, a few things to look out for in the next week or two:

  • BizTalk ->  announcement expected at Professional Developer’s Conference (PDC) 2009 in Los Angeles, which takes place this week (November 16th)
  • Windows Azure Platform -> European pricing to be released this week
  • SharePoint 2010 -> Release date to be announced soon – current expectation is March/April 2010
  • Mobile -> Announcement expected this week on future developments.