I’m speaking at the largest independent Microsoft developer conference this week: European DevWeek in London, delivering one of my first large-scale public talks on Longhorn. I’ve been focusing mainly on Yukon up to this point, as it’s much closer to release and therefore there’s some scope of building Yukon applications today that won’t require a complete rewrite prior to the release. But there’s a lot of pent-up interest in Longhorn, of course, and a Microsoft developer conference wouldn’t be complete without some consideration of where the Windows platform is headed.
I took the opportunity to sit in on the keynote session (delivered by Dave Wheeler from QA), which was a fascinating opportunity to see an independent perspective our technology roadmap. Dave started off by highlighting some of the current initiatives around security and did a brief demo of Code Access Security. He asked for a show of hands, seeing how many attendees were primarily writing .NET code versus traditional/COM code. I was delighted to see as many as 80% claim to be in the .NET camp: good to get some independent validation that .NET is really taking off.
He then talked briefly about Whidbey and Yukon – whilst talking about Whitehorse, he commented that he’d only seen two “demos” of it – one of which took place entirely in PowerPoint using screenshots! He also talked about the choice of technologies for building service orientated architectures today and tomorrow, including WSE and Indigo. The only thing I’d be tempted to disagree with was his comment that moving to WSE now was the best thing to do if you wanted an easy migration path to Indigo. It’s true that both WSE and Indigo support many of the WS-I standards, but they take very different approaches and it’s not going to be a single-click migration. Don Box even recommended (in his PDC WSV201 talk) combining ASP.NET Web Services with Enterprise Services today for the easiest migration, which is interesting.
Lastly, he showed Longhorn and demonstrated the Windows Client Printer Driver – printing a PowerPoint presentation to XAML and then viewing it using the shell, as well as showing the elements of a XAML file.
On the whole, a great talk – he took the Microsoft marketing message with a healthy degree of scepticism, but made some intelligent contributions on the state of the industry.