Gates Kicks Off TechEd Developer

The speech will be Gates' last keynote as Microsoft's chairman.

ORLANDO, Fla.-In what should be his last keynote address as chairman of Microsoft, Bill Gates is expected to announce a slew of new and upgraded technologies to enable developers to create compelling user experiences, build data-driven applications, manage large enterprise projects and capitalize on emerging trends such as cloud computing, modeling and natural language programming.

On June 3, Gates will deliver the keynote at the Microsoft TechEd Developer event here. Joined by Microsoft executives and technologists, such as S. "Soma" Somasegar, senior vice president of the Microsoft Developer Division, Gates will announce a new beta release of Microsoft's Silverlight rich Internet application platform, a technical collaboration with IBM around the IBM DB2 database and the launch of Microsoft project code name "Velocity," a distributed in-memory application cache platform.

Gates also is expected to talk about "how to take a developer that knows .Net and empower them to use that tool set in new and interesting ways," said Jonathan Perera, general manager of the Microsoft application platform division.

Gates will introduce Silverlight 2 Beta 2, the latest version of Microsoft's cross-browser, cross-platform and cross-device plug-in for delivering the next generation of .Net-based media experiences and rich interactive applications for the Web. Microsoft also will deliver a commercial Go Live license for Silverlight 2 beta 2. The technology will be used to power the online experience NBC Universal is creating for the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Moreover, to help developers take full advantage of Silverlight, Microsoft is also releasing Expression Blend 2.5 June 2008 Preview and Microsoft Silverlight Tools Beta 2 for Visual Studio 2008.

"With the Go Live license, we're announcing we can offer production-level support" for the product, Perera said.

Gates also will announce the first Community Technology Preview of a new Microsoft technology codenamed "Velocity," a distributed in-memory application cache platform that makes it easier to develop scalable, high-performance applications needing frequent access to disparate data sources. Large clusters of machines can be seamlessly integrated into a single cache providing high availability to data, Perera said.

"One problem we're trying to solve is how do you take information out of a database that you need for performance's sake?" he said.

The partnership with IBM will further simplify application development for enterprise teams working in heterogeneous environments. IBM and Microsoft will work together to integrate IBM DB2 database access with Visual Studio Team System Database Edition.

"This allows for offline management of the DB2 schema and version control for the DB2 schema definition," Perera said.

In addition, Gates and company are expected to announce new partner wins and a new CTP of the Microsoft Sync Framework, a synchronization platform that enables collaboration and offline scenarios for applications, services and devices. New partners include SmugMug, a photo sharing site, and Ontela, which provides technology infrastructure to wireless carriers that allows consumers to more easily access the photos in their camera phones. A CTP of the Microsoft Sync Framework for Windows Mobile will be released in the third quarter. It will support the FeedSync open protocol format.

Microsoft also will demonstrate continued progress for its modeling effort. Codenamed "Oslo," it is Microsoft's overall model-driven development effort and focus on helping developers realize the potential of declarative programming. It will be used by future versions of Visual Studio, System Center and BizTalk Server. Oslo will include visual modeling and composition tools, a foundational repository for managing application metadata, and a new, declarative modeling language to enable interoperability of models between tools and domain specific modeling notations.

"We've been working with customers and others about how to bring forward a modeling language," Perera said.

Microsoft also will deliver a new version of Visual Studio 2008 extensions for Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 v1.2, which will allow developers to use Visual Studio 2008 to extend the value of Windows SharePoint Services and Microsoft Office SharePoint Server by providing a simplified development environment, Perera said.

Microsoft also will announce that Beta 2 of IE8 will be released in August in 20 languages. Internet Explorer 8 is the next version of Microsoft's browser, and in beta 1 it delivers significantly improved standards support and developer platform investments with enhanced user experiences. Beta 1 is currently available and is focused on Web developers and designers to help them deliver Web experiences that go beyond the page for consumers.

Also as part of the keynote, Gates is expected to reflect on Microsoft's 33-year history with developers and share his predictions for the future.