Last week, I attended the AJAX World East conference in NYC. The show was hosted by Sys-Con publishing at the Roosevelt Hotel near Grand Central Station. Most of the usual AJAX suspects were there showing off their AJAX tools and frameworks. The biggest sponsors of the conference appeared to be Laszlo and Adobe.
I participated with "team Microsoft" showing off the Microsoft AJAX library at the booth we had in the expo area. This was the third major AJAX show I've been to in the past year, the most recent being the AJAX Experience show in Boston last October. The crowd at this conference seemed a lot more enterprise oriented than the "web 2.0" crowd I saw at the AJAX Experience show in Boston.
The Microsoft AJAX Library has been released for about two months now, and available in beta for about a year. It seems more people were aware of Microsoft's AJAX work at this show. In Boston, most folks seemed surprised to learn that the MS AJAX Library works in browsers other than IE, as well as with other application server technologies (such as Java & PHP). In NYC, I got a sense of the opposite... that is, people expected or assumed that it in all browsers. Although, there was still some surprise that the library works well with other servers.
Brad Abrams, group program manager of the ASP.NET AJAX team, delivered the keynote on the last morning of the conference. Brad's topic was "AJAX in the Balance". Brad talked about balancing between open source and commercial software. He also showed some cool AJAX & WPF/E demos running in places that caught people's eyes: A Mac, and in FireFox running on Ubuntu Linux!
Also announced at the show was that Microsoft is joining the Open AJAX Alliance. Last summer when I first learned about the alliance, I thought it was strange that my company wasn't a part of it considering how most of our biggest competitors were. The alliance is an open industry collaboration dedicated to developing and expanding AJAX. I'm glad to know that Microsoft agrees with the mission of the alliance and has finally decided to join! One key benefit is that Microsoft will work to ensure its AJAX framework will play nicely with others.
While at the expo booth, there were a lot of questions from folks on WPF & "WPF/E". I got the general feeling that people were hearing about these two technologies but not aware of what they were. It can't be a bad thing when people are asking about what these technologies are. The buzz is out there!