Live from the PDC 2009 Day 1 keynote
Chief Architect Ray Ozzie is scheduled to be the main presenter this morning at PDC 2009 in Los Angeles. We're in our usual location at the press box.
10:05am PT: New applications server called App Fabric goes into beta today, Muglia announced -- a "platform for building scale-out, high-tier services." Enabling developers to concentrate on core functionality, fielding out the failover part of the operation to Microsoft. Database cache is kept entirely in the cloud. Sounds at first glance like a more pre-packaged, buffet-table-based model for delivering cloud-based applications through Azure.
9:50am PT: Representative from Kelley Blue Book demonstrates a Silverlight app for an online car finder. Needs a second data center for failover, "only using it a couple of hours per week," and the cloud model provides a cost-effective, flexible solution.
9:43am PT: Developer crowd favorite Don Box demonstrates low-level programming techniques that leverage Azure services...low-level meaning, stuff that includes assembler macros. C++ demonstration (not C#) to show how standardized this can be. Now proceeding to cloud-based authentication service for cloud-leveraged database in SQL Azure, through SQL Server Management Studio.
9:31am PT: Muglia continues the theme with a continuation of the applications development model throughout the previous decades, calling cloud applications the "fifth generation" of development models, after SOA. The metaphor here extends the idea of giving identity to the cloud.
9:27am PT: Bob Muglia's funny video this year is serving as a "life coach" for the cloud (a guy dressed in a puffed-up pillow costume), who is suffering an identity crisis (perhaps as a result of puffed-up metaphors). Muglia invites the cloud to "soar, soar, soar!" in a physical routine that makes Steve Ballmer's cry for developers seem tame.
9:23am PT: "This data does no good unless we turn the potential into the kinetic, unless we develop apps and solutions that wrap around that data."
9:23am PT: Ray: "In the grand scheme of things, these really are the early days...not only for the cloud, but for the great transmedia experiences that we all dream about."
Please remember three things: When thinking of the experience component of your apps, bet on Windows 7. There's a huge wave of excitement around Win7. "The opportunity for all of us is to innovate."
Second, for the cloud, bet on online services and Windows Azure. Focused on providing applications, infrastructure, platform, and data, now all as a service "ready for business now...They're the foundation of everything we do."
Third, when you're daydreaming over the holidays, think of how much the world around us is in transition. "Our world and our systems are increasingly wired with sensors, physical sensors, that are recording unimaginable volumes of data."
9:20am PT: People trying to find jobs can collect data from Data.gov in an application "created in a matter of days" for a certain black, slick smartphone that shall remain nameless. Enables job seekers to use full data center contents from Microsoft's back end, to find jobs sorted by category, and also by seekers' personal GPS locations. "Data applications for the good of the republic," says Kundra, who spoke earlier about his close personal friendship with the President. But that's a real nice, slick, responsive app there, Vivek. Cool phone.
9:17am PT: Public data demonstration from NASA includes 3D images of landscapes taken by the Mars Rovers. Everyone pops on his 3D glasses.
Vivek Kundra, Microsoft's information counselor, speaks live from Washington. Anybody can look at http://beamartian.jpl.nasa.gov to see the public data collected by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory -- also over 100,000 data sets from the EPA on toxic waste.
9:07am PT: Dallas data feeds will be discovered through Pinpoint. For example, infoUSA has interesting data about businesses, some of it shows reviews by users. Click on the EULA to subscribe. "I really did read the EULA in my hotel room."
AP, Data.gov, NASA, NatGeo are among the data providers in the early going.
9:06am PT: Ray returns: "This seems to have been enormously valuable to Martin and Matt." Promises Bob Muglia coming forth soon.
Business productivity online services. "How can I use the Azure platform to help me sell my products to all of these customers?" Announcing Microsoft Pinpoint, integrated into Azure Developer Portal, Microsoft Partner Network, in the midst of integrating into Microsoft Portal for IT. The idea here being a sharing of customers searching for services, and searches searching for customers.
"It's difficult for me to overstate the importance of common catalogs...a place where anyone can see some stunning network effects for the things found to be most popular to the community. Online catalogs aren't just about apps, they can be places to discover the most popular and useful data."
CTP of a "game-changing new subsystem" code-named Dallas, an open catalog for commercial data, with a uniform discovery mechanism, binding mechanism, a uniform licensing model for easy joining and recombining. "By delivering data as a service, our aspirations are that Dallas could catalyze a whole new wave of experimentation by developers."
Dave Campbell, Microsoft Technical Fellow, takes the stage.
9:01am PT: During November 2008, CNN's WordPress blogs were battling for traffic against blogs with pictures of funny cats dancing on keyboards. Host of I Can Haz Cheezburger blog takes the stage. 8M page views, 100,000 processed per day. "We look at the crap so you don't have to...We've been launching more and more news sites, because we don't know exactly what's going to be funny."
New site, OddlySpecific.com, will be run on Azure on the back end. When it gets popular, Azure specifications can be modified instantaneously. Site devoted to real, funny signage.
8:57am PT: Some WordPress blogs are being hosted on Windows Azure. Demonstration of settings for back-end configuration using XML host file.
8:55am PT: "Some of you have been itching to take Azure out of the preview phase and into production." Select customers will be taken into production starting today, one of which is WordPress. Matt Mullenweg, founder of WordPress parent company Automatic, takes the stage.
8:55am PT: "We now support any Windows programming model...enabling extremely flexible binding."
MySQL, Java, Eclipse, PHP, Zend Framework now supported (not actually news).
Moved to an all-container design for Azure servers in Microsoft's data centers, "to drive latency in the supply chain from months down to mere weeks."
Entity Group Transactions added to Azure tables, integrated content delivery network support for pushing popular downloads to the edge.
8:49am PT: Ray acknowledged here that last year, he spoke of the cloud in very "cloudy" terms. Reminder about launch of Windows Azure at PDC 2008. "We committed to spending the year engaged with you, listening with you...before we took it live."
CTP program _will continue to the end of this year_. January 1, Windows Azure will switch to a production service for paying customers. Billing systems will start coming on line, but no charges will accrue until February.
8:43am PT: Loic LeMeur, Founder & CEO of Seesmic, takes the stage. He has a Silverlight-based application which collects together feeds from individual users in social networks, plus RSS feeds, plus Twitter feeds. Will be shipping today Silverlight for Windows.
8:39am PT: News on Silverlight and IE tomorrow, nothing yet today here either.
8:37am PT: "a fundamental belief...in Web-centric experiences that are also shared with the cloud...experiences that are delivered through data centers or the world-wide public cloud."
The "Three Screens and a Cloud" vision today, with focus on the back end in today's keynote. Client software tomorrow.
In the coming spring, you'll hear about Windows Live. That's the first word we've seen that there's no news on Windows Live -- it's not ready for prime time, even now. It'll have to wait for MIX '10 in Las Vegas.
8:34am PT: The first metaphor out of the gate is how "we've talked about shifts" in previous years.
"What incredible innovation we're seeing in the PC space...Over the past few weeks, we've begun to have the same simple realization, that Windows 7 has the potential to sweep through for developers the current installed base...worldwide. What a good time for new ideas...a great time for innovation on the client. On a parallel track on the back end, who could have imagined the innovation on the cloud?"