8:30 AM: They're starting right on time! No keeping Mr. Gates waiting, I suppose. TechEd 2008 video running, talking about global technology
8:32 AM: Bill's taking the stage to a polite applause. No standing welcome (a little surprised).
8:33 AM: Bill talking about new TechEd format. Thought only 4,000 developers would come to first week. Actual numbers are closer to 6,000.
8:34 AM: Bill talking about how this is his last public speaking event as a full-time MS employee. Will be transitioning to part-time in July. Says he's not sure what it will be like, but he has a video that shows what his last day will be like. (It's the same video we've seen before, but a "Director's Cut" as Gates put it.) Video time...
8:38 AM: Video is actually pretty different from old video- and very funny! Bill is really willing to self-deprecate (with half the celebs in the world) for his retirement. Interesting moment with Jayz: Bill to Jayz- "You can unretire?"
8:43 AM: And the celeb parade continues...Tony Blair, all the US presidential candidates, Bono, Warren Buffet, Al Gore, Matthew McConaughey...
8:46 AM: Bill's back on stage.
8:47 AM: Now he's walking down memory lane and trying to set the stage for where developers will head in the future. He suggests there are two key factors involved in future development trends. The first is hardware improvements (primarily multi-core processing). A "Technology Megatrends" slide is on the screen behind him.
8:50 AM: Bill thinks one of the biggest changes coming to PCs is a change in interaction (how people interact with the PC). He thinks the current aging keyboard/mouse model is facing a revolution. Touch panel, pen capability (Ink), voice/speech, and vision are all "natural interfaces" he thinks will change the way we interact with PCs.
8:53 AM: See's a future where desks have computers in them, not on them. Thinks future whiteboards will be smart. Ultimately, tying this all back what MS is doing to support these features in Windows so devs can write a new generation of application.
8:56 AM: Now talking about how MS is innovating in 4 "key" areas relevant to developers- Presentation, Business Logic, Data Access, and Services.
8:57 AM: Presentation: talking briefly WPF and Silverlight. Thinks full 3D worlds will be mainstream this decade. Really?! Thinks their past failures were primarily due to poor performance, inadequate infrastructure. Says IE8 Beta 2 is due in August. He's clearly reading talking points for IE8- he's obviously not that involved with this project anymore.
9:00 AM: Demo time! Bill's inviting S. Somasegar (SVP Developer Division) to the stage to talk about Silverlight.
9:03 AM: Showing a Silverlight application called Crossfader. It's supposed to be an immersive social networking application. The idea was to create a "conveyor belt" of social media. Great moment- Somasegar gave us a regular 'ol Steve Jobs "Boom!" while showing-off Crossfader's video zooming.
9:04 AM: Moving on to show-off Visual Studio and Expression Blend workflow.
9:11 AM: Silverlight announcement! Silverlight 2 Beta 2 will be launching by the end of this week. SL2b2 will still ship with a commercial go-live license (as expected) and they've also confirmed that the Olympics site will be running on SL2b2.
9:13 AM: Bill's back. We're moving on to the business logic layer.
9:14 AM: Now welcoming Brian Harry (Tech Fellow, Developer Division) to the stage to talk about VSTS and his vision for its future. He's showing the Woodgrove Bank demo app and talking about VSTS' support for helping people understand applications (Architecture Explorer, Architecture Layer Diagram,).
9:19 AM: Showing-off Architecture Validation feature of VSTS- ability for VSTS to validate that your code is consistent with your defined architecture. Supposed to help avoid people making architectural problems. Now moving on to talk some VS for DB Pros- it can do DB2 development from the VS IDE! Yay...
9:24 AM: Battery getting critically low..."live" blog may become "previously recorded blog"...
9:25 AM: Bill's finally bank on stage and we're moving on to data access layer talk.
9:30 AM: Okay, my ThinkPad died. Now we're on the MacBook Pro. Let's hope this lasts. Dave Campbell is on stage now talking about SQL Server 2008. Demoing SQL Server's new spacial type used in conjunction with the Live Earth APIs for WPF. SQL Server 2008 has full time zone support- maintains time zones internally and can do time zone translations.
9:33 AM: Talking SQL Server Data Services. Says it's a REST-based application (I think he means his demo). Uses LINQ query syntax (essentially LINQ in the querystring). I'm sure DBAs are going to love this approach to accessing data...
9:36 AM: Still talking SQL Server 2o08 features. Probably nothing new if you've been following SQL Server 2008's development. Starting to wrap-up and summarize. Says SQL Server 2008 will be available in a "month or two." That's news if it's true.
9:37 AM: Bill's back. We're moving-on to our forth topic: Services.
9:38 AM: Says that MS data centers will house millions of servers in future- vs. hundreds of thousands today- to support the services future. Investing a lot in building a cloud service you can use reliably in your apps.
9:40 AM: I guess we're done with the 4 areas. We've just transitioned to talking more broadly about the future of application development. Talking about declarative modeling langauge- says a CTP of the oslow (spelling?) work will be available this fall.
9:43 AM: Another guest, Tandy Trower (GM of Robotics Group at MS), now on the stage. Bill says robotics in an infancy similar to PCs 20 years ago. Thinks MS can do a lot to help propel robotic development.
9:45 AM: Tandy talking about MS Robotics Studio. Bringing out "some friends" on stage- uBot5 (a.k.a. the Ballmer bot). Bot drove out on the stage with Ballmer's face and screaming "Developers, developers, developers..." Classic. Unfortunately, the PhD they brought out to drive the bot totally forgot his lines. Awkward...
9:49 AM: uBot giving Bill some kind of message- oh, it's his XBOX Live lifetime subscription (video reference). These robotics guys totally weren't ready for the stage...back to the labs, guys.
9:50 AM: Bills arrested the stage again and he's now wrapping-up today's topics. And he's done. That was quick.
9:51 AM: Looks like there is going to be some Q & A with Bill on stage. I'm going to run to the Telerik booth, though, so if you want to see the questions and answers, look for the keynote video online soon.That's it. Hope you enjoyed the live coverage. Stay tuned for more TechEd updates as the week continues.