4:50 pm - A few random shots from the day:


Michele Crockett, Windows IT Pro


Martin McClean, Microsoft. He makes those awesome posters!

4:44 pm - An afternoon of booth duty is complete. I got to interview Mark Minasi and Sean Deuby, and those videos should appear on the web in the coming week.

10:50 am - I actually do have some meetings today too. Ergh...

10:20 am - I should catch up on TechEd news before I get started on my other stuff. I basically worked from 8:00 am to 7:00 pm yesterday, so it was a little hectic. Here are some of the interesting tidbits I've picked up from around the web (and via email) ...

Office Web Apps are appearing for some

I've received a few emails from people who have seen Microsoft's Office Web Apps appear online, so it's worth looking. Note, however, that until you get the new Hotmail (mid-to-late June), you'll be missing out on the nice integration pieces around sharing documents and so on.

Next Windows Server a major release

Ina Fried writes that Microsoft "server and tools unit president Bob Muglia said Microsoft is sticking to a schedule set out several years ago in which the server and tools unit puts out alternating minor and major releases every two years or so."

This is incorrect. Microsoft is, in fact, changing its schedule according to conversations I've had with the company, and each release will simply be "a release," and not a major or minor release. And as Muglia does note, the client and server releases are now in lockstep, and will be released side by side each time. You can expect the R2 naming silliness to disappear too.

I think what Muglia was really saying here is that the next release won't be a minor (i.e. "R2"-type) release. That is certainly the case.

Microsoft: Features Still Missing in Azure

PC World reports that Windows Azure is still a work in progress. "Due to an early emphasis on getting the right architecture for its Azure cloud platform, which went live in February, Microsoft's cloud service is still missing key features that are available in the company's standalone products ... Microsoft does plan to offer most of the major features still not available within 12 to 18 months."

Not mentioned here is that the traditional server products will also pick up features from Azure. You know, the features they're "missing" that are in Azure. :)

New Policies for Next Gen Windows Phone Marketplace

Microsoft reports via its Windows Phone blog that it is changing its app store policies in anticipation of the release of Windows Phone 7. "Today we’re introducing the new set of Windows Phone Marketplace policies that will govern the application submission and certification process as Windows Phone 7 comes to market."

Specifically, the new Windows Phone Marketplace policies offer:

  • Annual registration fee of $99
  • No limit to the number of paid apps submitted 5 free apps per registration, $19.99 each after that
  • Free registration to DreamSpark students (same unlimited paid and 5 free apps applies)
    A new optional push notification service to help developers stay engaged with customers
  • A new optional Trial API - trials mean more customers try your app, and less likelihood that they return it. The length or type of trial is fully controlled by the developer
  • The ability to publish to all available Marketplace markets through a new “worldwide distribution” option, allowing developers to pay once and distribute broadly
  • Wider range of business models; free, paid, freemium and ad-funded
  • Equally important to many developers is what isn’t changing:
  • A revenue share of 70/30
  • Developers manage their business with Marketplace via the self service portal
  • Payout takes place monthly for developers that have earned more than USD$200 worldwide
  • Developers can make ad funded applications
  • All applications go through a process of technical and content certification
  • Marketplace offers support for credit card commerce, and where available mobile operator billing.
  • Microsoft continues its practice of publishing policies, guidelines, and submission process details to developers so they understand exactly how marketplace works.

The full list of Windows Phone Marketplace policies is now available here.

Expression Studio 4 Launches

Microsoft notes in its Expression Blend and Design blog that "Today at Internet Week in NYC, we announced the availability of Expression Studio 4. You can download the trial of Expression Studio 4 Ultimate that includes Expression Blend 4 and SketchFlow now."

Note that customers currently using Expression 3 can upgrade to Expression Studio 4 at no additional cost.

10:15 am - I managed to sleep through my iPhone's alarm for the first time ever (come on, it is really annoying) but finally made it over to the convention center. I've got a print magazine article to write, and a work-related conference call, but I think I'm going to be in the Windows IT Pro Magazine booth on the show floor this afternoon. So if you're at TechEd, swing on by.