With my PDC ticket all paid for I’m chomping at the bit thinking of what I’ll get in return for my money.
Here’s some of what I’d like to see and do at PDC:
* Longhorn, Longhorn, Longhorn. I want to know what’s real. I don’t expect everything to be complete or spec’ed out, but I want a good indication for what’s really coming. I expect the graphics changes to be extremely important–so how will this play out across the platform. Will it be encapsulated in language-biased SDKs? Will XAML have a front end? How broad will we see ink in Longhorn? A lot has changed since the original promotion of Longhorn–will the APIs have adapted? For instance, the IE team has indicated they are embracing RSS. What about collaboration SDKs or peer-to-peer capabilities? Will Messenger become a first class platform citizen? This is some of what I’ll be looking for in the sessions.
* I’ll be counting Tablets. I have no numbers, but I’ve been sensing a slight drop in Tablet adoption. Maybe it’s just that I’m getting so used to seeing Tablets at conferences that I don’t spot them as readily, but either way, this time I’m going to be watching more closely. Is there a trend going on here? I fully expect to see more Tablets than the previous PDC–but will the increase be as large as I expect?
* Networking. Outside of any sessions this is probably the number one benefit of going to PDC for me. I’ve met some fascinating people at conferences with random conversations. I except this PDC to be no different.
* Sharing. I want to take along a couple special projects I’ve been working on and get some feedback on them.
Finally, if my last PDC was any indication–or better yet, the last two TechEds I’ve attended–I’m expecting I’ll be well taken care of at PDC. Yeah, this may not be a big deal to some, but it is to me. When I get tired, I know I can get a bottle of water (a real bottle, that I can put a cap on and I don’t have to pay $4 for)–or there will be some fruit, candy, cookies, or some other small snack to make up for the lunch I missed. And when going to and from the conference, there will be plenty of buses so I don’t have to wait or waste time. Little things like these help to keep me energized and help me get the most for my money.
What I’m extra prepared for: dips in connectivity. This time around I’m armed with EVDO service. If there are interruptions in the WiFi–which Microsoft has done exceptionally well to provide in the past–I’m going to be ready with EVDO so that this time I can keep up with my blog posting and emails.