The Office Developer Conference finished on Wednesday and it was unbelievable! Jay Paulus, Director of the Office Platform Strategy team kicked it off to a great start.
Following that, Bill Gates talked saying: "Making Office into a platform is very important to us...Office will be taking on a very ambitious agenda in the future...Our investment in the Office platform today is greater than it's ever been." I think that was proven by some pretty great platform demos, especially this one by FedEx. He talked quite a bit about S+S as well. My team was lucky enough to meet Bill Gates, shake his hand and get our picture taken with him! Check it out: I'm the one right beside him in the glasses:
Kurt DelBene, Senior Corporate Vice President of the Office Business Platform Group, was next and talked about how SharePoint is the glue which ties people, processes and data together, what that means to developers with the investments in the platform, tooling with Visual Studio 2008 and SharePoint Designer as well as new resources for developers and architects. He announced the BizTalk Adapter Pack RTM, VS extensions for WSS v 1.1. There were also some great demos of OBAs, VS 2008 with VSTO and CRM Live.
There were also a great line-up of sessions including the "un-conference" where people could suggest anything they wanted to hear about, create their own sessions. Topics included things like "How to handle paper documents in SharePoint", "Using OBA for automating ISO 9000 document approval process", and "Designing a SharePoint Intranet - Developing the Information Architecture".
Needless to say, it was awesome.