Report from Microsoft Live 2007
Just as last year, Microsoft arranged a spring presentation of their upcoming stuff for developers.
The topics covered most of the Microsoft range for developers, which is quite a lot. There was talk about IIS7 and the difference between Classic and Integrated mode, generation handling of the garbage collector, Longhorn server, XNA, Sharepoint Designer (which basically is Expression Web with a bit of Sharepoint stuff thrown in), Enterprise library, Team Foundation Server and of course .NET 3.0 with WPF/WCF/WWF.
Look for “WPF/E V1” during the summer (without the HTML bridge) and “WPF/E V1 Refresh” early 2008.
The turn of the year will also see the release of the full Expression Studio, which Microsoft actually seems to believe that people will use. Still want to try it? Expression Blend RC version is now available.
There was also a glimpse into the minds of the developers regarding .NET Fx 3.5. The “red” environment contains .NET Framework 2.0 and WPF/WCF/WWF – in essence only bug fixes. The “green” version is somewhat different, with new namespaces and assemblies such as the entity framework.
Orcas was discussed, but not much there that I had not already mentioned in Visual Studio Orcas is getting closer. I think that C# 3.0 with LINQ will be a welcome nice to the backend developer toolbox, where inline query expressions are translated to extension methods by the compiler involving lambda expressions and anonymous types.
Robert Folkesson spoke about ASP.NET AJAX, formerly known as Atlas, and showed a few things you can do with the Control Toolkit. Unfortunately these kinds of presentations sadly promotes the evil of “drag and drop” cowboy programming. Also, I grow weary of hearing the word “DHTML” mentioned on the same row as “web standards”. It’s 2007, people! Strangely and fortunately I only heard “web 2.0” uttered once.
I feel that this kind of technical preview demonstrations can be quite interesting, even though Microsoft are masters in the fine art of fooling the users into believing that their software will be here “really soon now”. For instance, WPF appeared to be in the same state today as it was on last year’s Microsoft Live.
New technology is cool, but don’t sit up waiting for the next best thing. Do something that matters today using your existing toolbox.