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The first real day @ PDC 2008 kicked off with the Ray Ozzie and friends keynote pimping Microsoft's new offering: Windows Azure. There are plenty of others who've blogged in detail about this so if you're interested in finding out the skinny, go check those posts out (Sam Gentile has a good rollup post). My take is that it is pretty much a game changer. Late in the day I went to a session that showed how to go about creating your first web application hosted in Azure. I was amazed how easy and similar it is to regular development. The presenter showed how to store images, queues and tabular data in the cloud as well as the configuration and setup process. I'm quite impressed as the bar is very low for people to take advantage of this new infinitely scalable platform.

Another cool "newsy" bit about day one is that LiveID will now be opened up to OpenID... saw that in an identity session that talked about Microsoft's positioning on claims based authentication & their new Geneva product.

One session that was a big disappointment was the Blend 2 - Tips & Tricks considering Silverlight 2 is one of my main goals/focal areas this week. It started out cool with the presenters opening the Blend 2 SP1 source inside of Blend 2 SP1 (Blend was written with XAML and C#)... but all they did was walk though the project and point a few cool things here and there... not much in the way of providing insight into really manipulating the app. At least I walked away with two cool Silverlight / XAML debugging apps: Snoop & Mole.

At the end of the day I headed over to the DevExpress booth to check out their big announcement: CodeRush Xpress for C#. Basically there's now a free (thanks to Microsoft) version of CodeRush for folks. I'm eager to see if the SharePoint work I did will work within CodeRush Xpress... I'll let you know. Their presentation was quite slick... they even got Mini Me on stage! In addition, they have also announced some new Silverlight controls.

I've been snapping up a few pictures, but the connection at the conference center has been so unreliable I'm not even going to attempt to upload them.

Now, here comes day 2... time for more Silverlight & cloud!

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