Robert Scoble had a great post on the PDC and what is going on at Microsoft. I liked it so much I included most of it here with my comments.
The PDC stands for “Professional Developer’s Conference.” It happens only when Microsoft knows it’ll have a major new platform to announce. Usually a new version of Windows or a new Internet strategy.
So, this means a couple of things: no new Windows and no major new Internet strategy this year.
I agree there is no new strategy this year and that is disappointing; however, Silverlight is huge and this year, and if not an Internet strategy it is an Internet developer strategy.
Cleary Mix07 was the place to be — I would have made sure I went if I had known that PDC was going to be cancelled.
Some other things I’m hearing about the next version of Windows? There still is a ban on .NET code in core parts of Windows. They aren’t getting enough performance yet from .NET to include code written in it inside major parts of Windows. This is a bummer, because .NET is a lot easier to write than C++ and letting Microsoft’s developers write .NET code for Windows would unleash a bunch of innovation.
I fully agree with you here — a definite bummer. Yet I don’t agree about the performance of .NET. Certainly there are parts of Windows that need to be unmanaged code; but Digipede has a slew of customers using .NET for computation and getting terrific performance from it. Face it, this “not performant yet” argument is used by people at Microsoft from kernel / device authors (OK) to the Office team (what?). It is hard to separate the good arguments here from just plain bias and inertia.
The person who told me this (who works at Microsoft) told me .NET still takes too long to startup and load into memory and because Windows is now being compared to OSX they can’t afford to ship components that would slow down Windows.
What? If this were baked into the OS, couldn’t they do a better job of sharing this startup cost (i.e., doing it once with reuse)?
This gets right back to my posts about how the Windows .NET API is actually dead (see these: WinFx).
It also means that Ray Ozzie’s team probably doesn’t have anything dramatic to announce yet and they aren’t willing to have live within the bounds of a forcing function like the PDC (PDC forces teams to get their acts together and finish off stuff enough to at least get some good demos together).
This is the “no Internet strategy this year” part. Yup. Definite bummer.
Some other things I’m hearing from the Windows team? That they are still planning out the next version of Windows. So, I don’t expect to see a beta until 2008 (probably second half of the year, if we see one at all) and I don’t expect to see a major new version of Windows to ship until 2009.
Microsoft says it won’t be as long between releases of the OS now. I think, though, we won’t see a major new version released until Windows till 2010.
Anyway, this is sad cause I was hoping to see Microsoft make an all out push for developers this year.
Well, I think they have. Their developer story is getting better and better every quarter. I think they should have had the PDC anyway and continued to flog the .NET 3.0 and new .NET 3.5 stuff particularly Silverlight.
What do you think it all means? Am I reading too much in between the lines?
Maybe you are. I think the timing for the PDC was definitely wrong for Microsoft. The Microsoft Internet strategy we are really waiting for has to do with Office / other applications and Internet services. When this is unveiled, I think it will have less to do with developers than warranted at a PDC. Ironically that should have been announced at Mix, but will have to wait for the next one.
Will Microsoft unveil a new Internet strategy at Mix08? I bet.