Well, we have mostly recovered from a hectic week getting the 4.0 launch out and going to the Professional Developers Conference in LA. There were of course the ususal irritations at the conference like getting bumped out of our hotel because they overbooked and we were down at the Convention Cetner until later than expected. Clearly the ‘guaranteed arrival’ that we signed up for is a one way commitment.
But, to make up for that, the show was great. This is our first PDC and I was interested in the difference in the audience. In the past, we have gone primarily to embedded conferences but there are really two audiences that we have found for the .NET Micro Framework. Certainly there are embedded developers looking for better tools and higher levels of productivity. In some ways, this is a hard audience because they have an significant investment in the current languages and tools. The other audience is the current .NET developer who is interested in leveraging their skills on smaller devices. In a further indication that these two worlds are converging, I spoke to several developers whose companies were seeing business opportunities which included desktop, cloud, and device components. One of these developers mentioned his frustration at losing business because there was one small aspect of the project that they did not have the skillset for. He was very excited to add NETMF to his toolkit to insure that he did not have to turn that work away again.
When we set up our booth, we had to ask for first one and then another extension to allow us to show all the cool stuff that we had to show. The booth was very busy and we gave away piles of collateral on the devices that we had there. Lorenzo also gave a talk to a large audience. We even had a robot running around the press room letting people know that .NET now runs on very small devices.
There was a good deal of press pickup of the announcement – interestingly mostly by the Open Source press. Some of that press is decidedly skeptical of Microsoft in general but most of the press was supportive. For example, the ZDNet article ended with the statement “Now Microsoft has a viable play in this game, and this is very good news for .NET developers.” There were some misconceptions in the news as well. Several reporters and commenters confused the .NET Micro Framework with the Windows Mobile platform. It seems that for many people, a small device is still a phone.
All in all, a very good exposure for the platform and consistent with our new home in .NET and Visual Studio.