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the final day of mts started with some discussion around which is an identity system…but that was actually one of the points up to debate…and hearing the debate, i agree — we usually don’t provide our credit card as an identity, but rather as a set of trusted ‘tokens’ for a specific reason — i can’t remember the actual terms used, but it made more sense than an identity.  it was a good discussion around the technology, what standards are going to be put in place and the direction moving forward.

the mobility team came in to show some devices and talk about the improvements microsoft has made in our mobility platforms.  i personally think we’ve made great strides and having used blackberries (all forms) and other pda devices for quite a long time, i’m pleased with my windows mobile device.  is it the best?  no.  but i don’t think blackberry has everything i want either.  the mobile team brought a suite of devices, including some new ones i hadn’t seen.  there was some very specific feedback given about ui design (wasted screen real estate) and color usage (contrast).  i didn’t agree with these and tried to help understand that it is a matter of configuration.  of course there are defaults, but there is also the ability for a) the provider to customize their build and b) the user has ultimate control.  one attendee asked me on my treo 700w why there was so much wasted space on my contact list and why it wasn’t more streamlined like the blackberry.  i was quick to point out that i configured it that way…i added things i wanted…and quickly changed things back to show that indeed it can be whatever i want — if i wanted a shorter list like the default blackberry…i think it is a matter of education really.

jim gray came to talk to the group about escience.  for those who haven’t seen him, his pretty much a genius…and trying to describe his genius here would be a disservice…check out his site and read some things he works on within the research group.  he was an awesome guest and stayed to have lunch with the attendees and chat:

Jim Gray

after lunch, jack greenfield was here to talk about software factories and some of the work he’s worked on since coming to microsoft.  again, another super smart guy and hard to explain what the discussion was in a blog.  he (and others) literally wrote the book on factories ;-).

there was a brief, but important discussion on openxml and reasons behind making those decisions.  i thought this was intriguing and wished we had more time to talk, but a lot of attendees had to leave for the airport.  one resource i wasn’t aware of was www.openxmldeveloper.org which i thought was cool, check it out.

before he left, brian took me up on the offer that i would trade him hats.  so for a crisp, clean windows vista hat, i traded for his.  gee…i wonder what i’ll do with it ;-).


the week is over and we went to some dinner with some of the attendees and had some great conversation (i thought at least) about eclipse, vstudio extensibility, etc.  i can’t wait to see the feedback from the week.

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