PDC 2009 Day 1: Three Screens and a Cloud

Greetings readers! This is the first of a several posts and a number of videos  from my experience at Microsoft’s PDC for 2009.  Disclosure:  I am a Microsoft Student Insider (Find out a little bit more about this in one of my previous posts). Day 1 of PDC started off great despite the fact that a few minutes after arriving that I had forgot my camera back at the hotel (so no pictures from day one).  Registration was as simple as handing them my ID and they gave me my badge.  I found out the hard way that being there for Microsoft, I don’t get any of the goodies like the Acer bag and whatever came in it.  The big disappointment as far as free goodies came on Day 2 which I will talk about in the next post.  Anyway, shortly after getting my badge, I followed the signs through the huge maze that is the Los Angeles Convention Center.  For those that haven’t been here, this is quite the huge, impressive structure and when you are going from hall to hall, you will be doing a fair bit of walking. I managed to find they hall for the keynote and jumped into the line that was weaving its way down the long halls.  Despite the long line, once the doors were open everybody flooded in and took a seat rather quickly.  After a short wait, Ray Ozzy, the top architect at Microsoft since the stepping down of Bill Gates, came on stage and presented us with the idea of “Three Screens and a Cloud.”  The keynote focused on having the same experience on a computer, mobile device and tv and using Microsoft’s cloud OS, Azure, to do that.  Since last year’s Azure announcement was in fairly cloudy terms, I never really got excited about it but after seeing what it can do and how it can scale, I think if all goes as planned, it is going to be amazing.  The major announcement in terms of Azure is that it goes into service at the first of the year and billing begins in February and that you only pay for what you use.  If you have a company with a large web presence, this is definitely something to look into, especially if you have traffic spikes and want to be able to scale up to those spikes but not have all of the server overhead when you don’t need all of the power.

After the keynote, I spent the rest of they day going to sessions, eating, and having fun with the vendors that were there.  Although this was the case all three days, some of the sessions were interesting while others were so far above my head that I thought they were speaking in another language.   Although there were some sessions throughout the event focused on aspects of Windows 7, compared to other topics like Azure, there was very little talk about Windows 7 which I found kind of disappointing since it just came out a few weeks ago.  I also was disappointed but little to no mention of the next version of Windows.  Apparently Microsoft sees the future as everybody having their head in the clouds.

For the sake of keeping these posts short and to the point, I will talk more about some of the sessions I attended and what I learned in a separate post from my daily summaries.   I will post the happenings from day 2 at PDC in the next post to likely come out tonight or tomorrow and day 3 shortly after that.  I also have a number of photos and videos to upload when I get home too.  It might take a few days to get everything up as my school quarter started yesterday and now that this trip is coming to an end (I am sitting in LAX as I write this), I need to focus on making sure i don’t fall behind in that.  I also have a number of other things to talk about as well as soon as I get a chance including the new Chrome OS.  Stay tuned!