PDC 2008 : Wrap up

5 11 2008

So the PDC is over and there were a heap of product announcements, some of them really well done and received (Windows 7) some of them not so well done or understood (Azure). Personally I think Azure is going to be huge, and I am really interested to see how people are going to start using it in the real world, specifically how it’s going to impact the partner and enterprise ecosystems.

Anyway, I wanted to go back and look at my Canberra Airport Crystal ball and see what came true or what the Crystal ball was too damn foggy to see clearly.

Lots and lots of Mesh news. As expected, a developers preview of Mesh was released built on the new Azure Services platform, one of Microsoft’s big announcements for PDC. The SDK / framework was released in a limited beta. Yes there was a new Mesh build dropped, moving Mesh from Tech Preview to Beta and introducing a number of new features. The Mac and Mobile clients were released, and I have to admit I am loving using the mobile client to push photos from my phone through to my other machines.

PDC had lots and lots of Windows 7 news. There were some really interesting demonstrations showing off the new feature of Windows 7 including HomeGroups, new Taskbar, Libraries, Aero improvements etc. As predicated there was a build given out to the attendees which everyone is commenting on how stable and snappy it is.  Unfortunately in typical MS style, the builds shown did not necessarily reflect the build given to the attendees, but WithinWindows has worked out how to address that to a certain extent. I am not waiting for the Windows 7 beta to start so I can get my hands on it.
The biggest surprise to me was that there wasn’t much in the way of Office announcements at PDC. I had fully expected some demo’s of the Office 14 suite, but maybe it’s too early in the development cycle to see it. What was announced was Office Web Applications, a set of web based applications including Word, Excel, Powerpoint and OneNote that include a vast majority of the functionality of the desktop clients blowing the current implementation of Google Apps out of the water. There is a pretty snazzy demo on Channel 9 showing the integration between client and web that is an interesting watch.  I have to admit, these apps got me thinking as to some of the scenarios that they could be used in, think Excel Services. Wouldn’t it be awesome to not need any client applications at all and to do everything within SharePoint 14? I am not quite sure when we are going to see more Office 14 related news, stay tuned.

All in all, PDC 2008 delivered a lot of news, a lot of it as predicted from my Canberra Airport crystal ball. Of those items I am particularly interested in Windows 7 (heh I have always been an operating system wh0re) and how people are going to start using the Live Framework in their application. It is certainly going to be a wild ride ahead.

PDC 2008 : I won’t be there

22 08 2008

Unfortunately my powers of persuasion have let me down. After trying to persuade my boss that PDC was in fact a Project management Development Conference and not an awesome nerdfest of coolness it seems, I am left to watching all the announcements and news from my trusty friends Bink, Neowin and Google Reader.

But, this won’t stop me having a quick prediction at what will be announced and released, so without further ado, I peer into my crystal ball, whilst sitting in the departure lounge at Canberra Airport.


  • Mesh will be opened up to allow development and access to the MOE ala Ori Amiga’s Channel 9 video
  • The Mesh SDK will be released
  • Programming in the Mesh will be released / showcased, maybe including Silverlight
  • Obviously a new Mesh build will be dropped
  • Mac and Windows Mobile client will be released
  • Other Wave 3 announcements, maybe the new Messenger?


  • More information about what is coming in Windows 7, but only the concrete changes, those features that are still up for discussion will not be discussed / shown
  • Lots of Windows 7 demo’s, possible early beta client build in the goody bag (might be PDC, might be WinHec)
  • Hints as to the Windows + Live services that will coming, how will Windows 7 interact with the cloud?


  • Office 14 early beta, or at least a sign up
  • Lots of SharePoint news:
    • Two way BDC
    • Better Excel Services
    • Forms Services Improvements
    • Obviously WSS 4.0
  • Consistent Ribbon across other Office applications like Project, OneNote & Visio


  • Lots and lots of cloud stuff
  • More general Silverlight goodness – maybe Silverlight 2.0 RTM?
  • Talk of OSLO and how it will integrate with the various v.Next Developer offerings.

Of course I could be wrong, as I am only a project manager, but we will have to wait until October to find out.

SharedView goes 1.0

20 03 2008

I noticed this morning that the excellent Microsoft SharedView as mentioned here has gone 1.0.

The interface looks cleaner and overall it feels a lot faster. I will be playing around with it a bit more over Easter.

You can get your mitts on it from http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?familyid=95AF94BA-755E-4039-9038-63005EE9D33A&displaylang=en

Access has blown me away

19 10 2007

For nearly a year and a half I have had Office 2007 installed on my laptop in one form or another. I love the functionality of the big four applications, Outlook, Word, Excel and PowerPoint and use them extensively during my working week. Every now and again I need to use Access to run a custom reporting tool our PMO lives by. Yesterday during some down time I had a poke around Access and what I found blew me away. Access has had a fair dose of SharePoint love in 2007 and I have to say it rocks.

I downloaded and installed the Project template project (well I am a PM after all), it allows you to set up projects and tasks as you would expect. The functionality is impressive, but not really up to the standard that say MS Project Server or Primavera would give you. I doubt seriously you could run and track a project with it. However what really impressed me were two features:

SharePoint List Data Sources

Data can be stored in a SharePoint list. Whilst information can be stored within the Access database, you can also link it into existing SharePoint lists and store data there. In fact you could design an application that has both a web front end (SharePoint) and a rich client (Access) using a single database stored in WSS. Wow.


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SharePoint crashing IE 7

20 08 2007


Since upgrading to MOSS at work, IE7 has started crashing when trying to open document in the document library. What’s been more infuriating is that it’s only causing problems on some people’s laptops. Whilst I was on leave I had my laptop reimaged and hoped this would stop the problem, but unfortunately not, when I clicked on a document the dreaded Internet Explorer has encountered a problem dialog popped up 😦

Anyway, on Friday I spent 20 minutes during lunchtime and Googled the issue, there appear to be two issues with IE 7 and SharePoint. Both issues seem to be caused by having Office 2007 and Office 2003 installed on the same machine. My laptop is running Office 2007 Enterprise, Project 2007 and Project 2003. Normally I am a big fan of running the latest / greatest, but we use Project Server at work and need Project 2003 to talk to it until we upgrade our internal server.

So why am I telling you all this? Well because it can be fixed. There is a hot fix issued by Microsoft, http://support.microsoft.com/kb/938888 that fixes half of the problem, but to totally put the issue to bed you need to do the following:

1. Go to your c:\program files\Microsoft Office\Office 12\ directory;

2. Delete the file OWSSUPP.DLL file;

3. Run the Office Diagnostics tool included in Office 2007.

The tool will run for an eternity and then fix something in one of the last steps.

After completing the above, IE7 is behaving itself in MOSS / WSS and my productivity has gone through the roof again 🙂