In an event that featured news announcements and even a birthday cake for hundreds of attendees, S. Soma Somasegar, corporate vice president of the developer division at Microsoft, covered .Net momentum, progress with the Visual Studio Team System, and Microsofts focus on smart clients.
Somasegar described smart clients as client technology that takes the best elements of the Web-client world and the rich-client world and combines them to enable a better user experience.
Somasegar also said Microsofts developer division will focus on four primary goals: bringing transparency, enabling a vibrant community, fostering a rich partner ecosystem, and collecting and taking advantage of customer feedback.
Regarding news, Somasegar announced that Microsoft has made available two new resources for enterprise developers: the Patterns and Practices Enterprise Library, which includes application blocks for enterprise projects; and the Connected Systems Business Kit, which is a collection of sample applications, presentations, white papers and videos to help developers build enterprise applications.
Somasegar also said that with Visual Studio 2005 and ASP.Net 2.0, "Weve invested heavily to make development easier than ever before." He said that on average, developers will have to write 70 percent less code with Visual Studio 2005 as opposed to other tools (including previous versions of Visual Studio).
Meanwhile, Microsoft announced that the second CTP (community technology preview) for the presentation subsystem for the upcoming Longhorn version of Windows, code-named Avalon, will be released next month. The new CTP will feature new controls, improvements to the layout system, enhancements to the XAML (Extensible Application Markup Language) and performance enhancements, the company said.
Microsoft also announced enhancements to the Tablet PC SDK (software development kit) to enable the creation of interactive, ink-based applications for the Tablet PC. Microsoft announced a new Tablet PC Game SDK. And Agilix Labs Inc., based in Orem, Utah, announced the availability of Agilix InfiNotes, an ink note-taking control for the .Net Framework.
Somasegar noted that three years ago, when Microsoft chairman and chief software architect Bill Gates announced the availability of Visual Studio .Net and the .Net Framework, there were about 300 .Net-related developer jobs on the Monster.com Web site. Today, there are more than 10,000, he said.
In addition, he noted that according to a Forrester Research Inc. study from mid-2004, 56 percent of enterprise developers surveyed cited .Net as the platform they would use for the majority of their development work versus 44 percent for J2EE (Java 2 Enterprise Edition).
Also, Somasegar said Microsoft has 225 VSIPs (Visual Studio Integration Partners) delivering more than 400 applications on top of the .Net Framework and Visual Studio.