Dispatches from Maine

Just another person of little note writing about ordinary things. That I reside in Maine is icing on the cake.

13 September 2005

PDC05: Day Three (Keynote & Inside Virtual Earth)

Bill Gates' keynote was excellent as always. The video this year with Gates waking up back at college with a guy named Napoleon was absolutely hilarious. The user interface of Windows Vista is super hot. I plan to install the beta 2 release on my laptop when it comes out and experiment with some changes to our applications to integrate them into the new UI. I am very much looking forward to getting my hands on it. The interface changes in Office 12 are also very exciting. I work with Word, Excel and PowerPoint a lot and I am certain to learn more about Excel because of the new interface design.

I watched Jim Allchin's talk for a while, but the lack of effective wireless networking drove me out into the hallway to publish my "Day Two" blog postings. At one point a rush of developers came flying out of the keynote and hussled over to the CommNet machines. Apparently, Allchin announced that a fancy little device, which normally costs $1,000, was available for $150 in limited quantities. He may have wanted to wait until later in the keynote.

The lunch sessions were moved to a different time, but Steve Lombardi went ahead and gave his presentation "Inside Virtual Earth" as a dry run. The plans for Virtual Earth are very interesting. I am particularly intrigued at the "Eagle Eye" feature. They are contracting with Pictometry to take 45 degree, low-altitude aerial photographs so Virtual Earth will show the sides rather than the tops of buildings. Since we compete with Microsoft in the desktop mapping application market, I think I will keep the remainder of my observations to myself.


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