TechEd 2007: Keynote Demos of Virtual Machines, New OBAs, Silverlight

ORLANDO - Let the record show that, although Christopher Lloyd was supposed to save TechEd from too much "MS-BS," it was Microsoft's Jeff Woolsey who finally saved humankind from the Wrath of "Product Focus." In a demonstration of System Center Virtual Machine Manager, Woolsey showed how in Windows Server 2008, a VMware virtual machine could be converted to a "Viridian" VM using a single PowerShell "command-let" (cmdlet) that can be scripted.

VMs can be moved from server to server using System Center VMM, using a right-click process that is not much more difficult than using Windows Explorer.

A quick demonstration of Server Core also impressed the crowd - WS2K8's system for creating independent, GUI-less servers for mostly unattended roles. Muglia announced that Internet Information Services 7.0 has successfully become the seventh role available for the operating system, still set to be released to manufacturing in the second half of this year. The company's goal has been to ship a minimum of eight roles for Server Core, perhaps more.

Microsoft's Brian Goldfarb generated the next wave of applause with a demonstration of using Visual Studio 2005 to customize Office applications. Using a minimum of code (much of it generated automatically), Goldfarb was able to endow Outlook 2007 with a "hook," for lack of a better word, enabling the application to pull up data and graphics from a SQL Server database whenever Outlook brings up a record for a contact that has a particular type of record field. If a developer knows what he's doing, he can alter the functionality of Office throughout an enterprise, with some automated functionality tools.

Next, the company's Jamie Cool showed a slightly updated version of a Silverlight demo that was first seen in April. This time, the application appeared to present a chess game pitting Silverlight in JavaScript versus Silverlight in C#.

As BetaNews readers will recall, Microsoft has been actively seeking a clear demonstration of why developers should want to migrate from Web development to C# statically-typed development. With maybe a few seconds to get its point across, the two engines were pitted against one another, with the C# anticipated, winning in about 12 moves.

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