What’s Happening at TechEd?

Charlie’s got a great post of his first day’s experience in the TechEd expo. Looks like Amanda is still prepping for her demos. And Jay is just way too excited as he takes us on a tour of Visual Studio 2008. (They announced the official name for Orcas at the keynote.) Don’t worry Jay, we all have technical difficulties when working with VPCs and webcasts!

If you haven’t seen the keynote, it starts with a great piece done with Christopher Lloyd (in “Back to the Future” style) about all the failed visions/technologies that came from Microsoft in the recent past. It’s hilarious. If you couldn’t make TechEd in person, you can virtually attend.

On the Visual Studio developer front, in addition to announcing the official name for Orcas as Visual Studio 2008, the Visual Studio 2008 Shell was announced which is a streamlined Visual Studio development environment (IDE). It provides the core foundation so other languages or specialized tools can be easily integrated into the IDE. Best part is that it will be freely available as part of the Visual Studio SDK starting with the release of VS 2008 and building and deploying applications based on the Visual Studio Shell will be royalty-free! Read more about this here, here and here.

The Visual Basic team released on Monday a couple LINQ Hands On Labs for Visual Studio “Orcas” 2008 Beta 1. These walk you through basic LINQ features including the Standard Query Operators, and you’ll see how these features can be used against in-memory collections, connected databases, and XML documents. I highly recommend working through these labs if you’re interested in learning LINQ now before the release. The team also promised to release their TechEd demos and slides on the VB team blog so keep an eye out for those.

Also of note, Microsoft announced “Acropolis” which is a UI framework for WPF. This will not be part of VS 2008 but rather an off-cycle add in. Before I joined Microsoft, I was privileged to be part of the advisory council for this so I’m excited to see the announcement. It will help fill the gaps in WPF line-of-business scenarios by providing additional controls and a UI architecture based on the MVC pattern. UPDATE: You can download the Acropolis CTP here.