Waiting for Longhorn
I love attending Microsoft developers' conferences. Probably for reasons you haven't thought of:
(1) I am nearly anonymous. I might get recognized by the occasional vendor, Microsoft manager, or press person, but most of the developers won't have a clue who I am. This makes it easy to get into serious conversations, ask questions, and find out all kinds of interesting things.
(2) These are nearly all-male events. That makes it easy to find the few women I might be looking for (and very easy to get into the Ladies' Room). Actually, I suppose I should be worried about this. Why on earth aren't there more women doing development?
(3) You never know what goodies you may come across. I came here expecting to get a lot of information about what Microsoft was planning, a lot of fog about dates, and to be fairly bored about the technical details. What I didn't expect was to discover that programming models were progressing to the point that watching the demos would make me itch to get to a computer and try something out! (You probably need to know that although I did learn to program in graduate school, I've never done it for a living, and haven't written a line of code in nearly 30 years.) What they were doing was very cool, combining back-end gymnastics supplied by the operating system with elegant user interface choices easily implemented by the programmers (who clearly had missed an alternative career as stand-up comics).
That's the news: When Microsoft finally gets to the new versions of its operating system, probably shipping iin 2005 for the client and 2006 for the server, much more of what we currently think of as middleware (or infrastructure software) will have become part of the Windows operating system. If you are a user, you might like that. If you are an applications developer, you might agree with Microsoft that this will make it easier to develop your application rather than build the infrastructure and tools to enable your work. If you are an infrastructure developer, you won't like this at all because you'll be selling something that Microsoft will be likely bundling (integrating) with its OS, and that can be a hard sell.
But it's a long time to 2005/6 and lots can happen before then, so perhaps we shouldn't worry about what doors Microsoft might shut with such an all-inclusive operating system when we don't know yet what corridors we'll be walking down by then. [amywohl News]