After the ALT.NET Conference, I spent the week attending the MVP Summit. It was great to meet in person most of the people I only know via blog, like ScottGu and Rob Conery, and many others (I met the most part already at the ALT.NET Conference)

There were keynotes from executives, sessions from the product teams that told us which are the new features they are putting into the new version of products and the new products that are coming out in the future.

I’ll not tell you what I heard, because everything is under NDA (but you don’t have to wait too long as most of the things will be unveiled at MIX09) but I’m going to give you what I got from the sessions.

Microsoft is open up

Microsoft, at least in my area, which is the ASP.NET web one, is really opening up. I could have probably videotaped the sessions I attended, put them on YouTube, and nobody would have complained about breaking the NDA, because all the technical contents were already public: the WPF code editor of VS2010, the new web deployment features, the awesome html snippets, the future of ASP.NET MVC and the new features of ASP.NET Ajax and Dynamic Data.


But even if we didn’t have any exclusive on what is going technology wise, we had a lot of interaction with the various product team (above is the picture from the web development open panel) that asked our feedbacks on the direction the web development tools and libraries are taking. And it’s refreshing to see that they are starting to try and embrace OpenSource (look at Phil’s t-shirt during his MVC talk).

This was the main theme of all the summit, at least in my area of interest, both as sessions and during the social events: at the various parties we had lots of talks with various people in the team.

The Oxite Chat

One of the best was the one with Duncan Mackenzie, the PM of the team behind Oxite, C9 and VisitMix sites: it was really interesting to hear how they did, what their reaction was to the unexpected attention that they got from main stream media, and many other things. And he is the one to blame for to Oxite sticker on my laptop lid.

The main point was that they are all web devs, and they were excited by the fact that now, with ASP.NET MVC, they could fine tune the markup and write a nicely semantic and SEO-friendly HTML, while the people that criticized them were not looking at that side of the medal, but were only looking at the purity of the pattern. At some degree I got where they were going, but it was nice to hear from them the real story.

The takeaways

I came back from Seattle very excited about what I saw, and most of all I was excited by the new way of doing things that part of Microsoft is adopting.

The only thing that disappointed me was that I didn’t have enough time to spend the time with everybody I wanted to, and to visit Seattle and the surroundings. Maybe next year I’ll try to spend more time sightseeing, probably staying in Seattle a little bit more.

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