The Microsoft MVP Summit - day 2
Having said that, the morning started off with the keynote sessions by people like Steve Balmer, Jim Allchin, Group Vice President of the Platform Group and Kevin Johnson, Co-President Platform products & Services division.
I never saw Steve in person before and I must say, he's a huge presence which can motivate people like you've never seen before (don't let the glasses fool you :p). It was good to see him taking feedback and suggestions for product enhancements, changes to the different products and the likes. Jim Allchin presented a lot of new stuff in Windows Vista which hadn't even been on the PDC yet. After a nice lunch, we went back to Microsoft Campus to have sessions on new technology to come.
I've seen some awesome new enhancements for the post-Vista era, up until 2010. Microsoft is doing a lot to be as customer focused and feedback driven as they can be and the design of Blackcomb will actually be largely based on customer requirements. The experience with giving feedback is improving dramatically over the next year or so, as Ladybug, Betaplace, Microsoft feedback and others will be merged into one feedback system where Microsoft developers are required to let the customer know what happened to their feedback before a raised issue can be closed.
That's a huge step forwards from the current way of fire and forget feedback from a customer standpoint...
Strolling around, I landed in a session by Don Box (charasmatic dude) about Windows Workflow Foundation. It was fun to see how easy integrating workflow into your application has been made by the development team, actually being a metadata engine, you can simply hook up any code you like by deriving from Activity. You then write your application declaratively, in Xaml. You can do parallel and sequential workflows, and much more. Check out WWF ("dub-dub-ef") here.
After the different sessions, I hooked up with some great BizTalk people like Stephen W. Thomas, Allan Smith, Paul Somers, Scott Cairney, Bill Chesnut, Romualdas Stonkus, et al. It was fun to hear from other BizTalk MVPs about their experiences in the field. Joined by some people from the BizTalk product team, they were really interested in hearing from us regarding actual customer scenarios for BizTalk Server.
After the very nice dinner at the Best West cafe on campus, I went to sleep, the jetlag is really starting to kick in, I wonder how it will be going home and ariving 22 hours later... It's gonna be a long first week back at the office I think... :/