An SOA odyssey

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Global MVP Summit

After a brief visit to several spring training sites over the weekend I'm here in Seattle attending the Microsoft MVP Summit. This is the annual event where 1,700 Most Valuable Professionals from 90 plus countries gather to attend over 500 sessions and to give Microsoft feedback on their products. These MVPs (and I admit I'm woefully lacking in that area) do much of their work in newsgroups and provided over 28,000 answers (21% of all answers) to questions in the MSDN forums last year. I'm in the Visual Developer group as a Solutions Architect and will be attending many of the developer tracks and hopefully providing some commentary over the next several days.

In this morning's keynote Bill Gates spoke for about 20 minutes on the evolution of technology in Microsoft's just over 30 years in the industry. He hit all of the common themes from the growth in computing power via Moore's Law to the growth in multi-core computing (predicting 16 to 32 processors for desktop machines in 4 to 5 years) to the increasing availability of wireless technologies and it's expansion into the so-called "white space" that will allow for entire cities to provide wireless access. He also spent some time discussing graphics and video technologies and Microsoft's desire to raise the level of abstraction by providing APIs in the core operating systems that include the physics components and that also harness the power of the emerging multi-processor architectures. He sees video in many ways as the "final frontier" because of the challenges it posed in the past in terms of storage and processing power and he forsees the integration, cataloguing, and retrieval of video from a wide range of sources (colleges like MIT making their lectures freely available, businesses in corporate training, home and local use as in children's sporting events) as the next major application of the technology.

He also took question for over a half hour fielding a wide range of queries related to the history of Microsoft and its products, the decline of computer science graduates in the US, the role of information technology in disaster scenarios such as that posed by Katrina and 911 (he reference the show 24 in his answer to this one noting how the integration of systems that the CTU can tie into does not exist in the real world today), and the struggles of Windows Search.

Now it's on to the Developer Division Roadmap session.

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