Windows Azure. Admittedly, quite cool. I don’t have any uses for it right now, but I like the fact that it’s fully .NET friendly. The bad: a confusing mix of technologies somehow “lumped” under this new brand-name. When are they ever going to learn?
Windows 7 (engineering blog here). The good: a refreshed UI and a bunch of things that hopefully will make it faster (like Vista should have been). The bad: showing a cool demo of the new UI at the PDC 2008 main session, yet giving attendees an older build that contained the least interesting pieces. Seriously bad form Microsoft.
XNA Studio 3.0 released (coincidence actually), cool nonetheless. Makes it so much easier to write games than ever before for the Windows, XBox360, and Zune.
Universal Studios Event. I’d been there before several times, so there really wasn’t much to do, and I’m totally not into “haunted” mazes and such. The bad: there was a lot less fun food options than there had been in the past. Even worse: at least one bus got lost on the way from the hotels to the park (and it took about 1.25 hours to arrive!).
Visual Studio 10. The UI will of course benefit from the switch to WPF – including some slick ways of enhancing the editor. Maybe some nice open source will appear which will all but eliminate the need to buy expensive 3rd party options for editor and shell enhancements (sorry, but they’ve always been too pricey for me).
Microsoft Surface: Yawn. Multi-touch in Windows 7 is where it’s at. Plus, you’re not hindered by the horizontal-only user experience and expensive tables.
What would they be announcing next year already? PDC generally happens only when there’s a big new “WAVE” planned. Maybe it will be canceled like last years.