Vista/Office Launch – Day 2

Today was the second day of the Windows Vista and 2007 Microsoft Office System – to give it is’s ‘official’ name – launch.  The morning started out with registration for the delegates and a briefing for those helping, who were mostly Microsoft employees with the odd smattering of community members.  Familiar faces included Martin Parry, Daniel Moth, Paul Tallet, Jason Du Plessis and Mark Johnston.

We all then wandered down to the Chicago lecture halls where Mike Taulty gave an introduction to the morning Vista session.

Following that everyone wandered down to building 2 and into the restaurant where about 90 PC’s were laid out ready for the WPF coding challenge.  The idea was to create a WPF chat client that used a WCF service to handle login/logout, avatar provision and routing the chat messages.  We hit a strange issue that only appeared on some machines where a MessageSecurityException was throw.  As of now there still isn’t a fix for this, but watch Mike Ormond’s blog as when there is it will be posted on there.

After the Vista session ended we wandered back down to building 3 where lunch was laid on.  I caught up with Phillip Stears from Drive Works and Aiden Folkes from Contemi who had both been at the Geek Dinner the night before.  Ben Noble (an Imagine Cup finalist no less) popped his head in to chat as well, at which point we started lamenting the passing of the Managed Extensions to DirectX, something I hadn’t heard about.  All I have to say on the matter is I’m most miffed!

Also during lunch I made a point of talking to some of the delegates who looked less than likely as delegates at a hands-on coding day where the sole aim is to play with the latest technologies.  The standard response seemed to be “we just wanted to keep up with what’s new”, which is fair enough, I was just a little surprised at the level of knowledge at which they had come along, as it ranged from low to non-existent.  Whilst not a bad thing, in fact I think it’s excellent that people want to experiment with developing for Vista, definitely surprising.

After lunch Mike Ormond introduced the Office 2007 session, which was a nifty Excel add-in that made use of the same web service from before to show the location of logged in users via a Virtual Earth mash-up, this was all accessed by a custom ribbon.  All new stuff to me, so I was impressed!  I also met up with Tim Leung of VBUG who I had a long chat with about some of the launch events he’s got planned in the next couple of months, which is hopefully  something I can contribute to.

All round this was a great day with thanks needed to all involved, especially Mike Taulty and Mike Ormond.  If you missed out today I’d really recommend trying checking out the Vista/Office launch site and the official Microsoft UK Launch site, where you can both see the presentations from yesterday plus get hold of the hands-on coding challenges from today.

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7 Responses to “Vista/Office Launch – Day 2”

  1. Aidan Folkes Says:

    I thoroughly enjoyed the coding sessions. For sessions that only lasted two hours each, we produced quite neat programs.
    The WPF one was very shiny, especially after adding the skin at the end. The office one could possibly have interacted with Excel more. I guess it was aimed more at creating Ribbons!
    One thing I would say is that Visual Studio’s support for .Net 3.0 is definately not all there. I found it easier to edit the XAML directly than to use the designer.
    As for the office session, the lack of intellisense for the ribbon xml made it a real pain to write (yes I have lost the ability to complete keywords since using VS2005).
    Still, I understand it’s better than it used to be!
    Oh, and I wish I’d been looking up when you took that photo!

  2. Simon Middlemiss Says:

    I’m glad you enjoyed the day. Make sure you let the two Mike’s know as well as it’s hard to find a good balance between showing off the technology so much no one finishes and it being so simple no one learns anything.

  3. Mike Ormond Says:

    Simon – thanks for your kind words about the event. I thoroughly enjoyed chatting to people on the day – as you say, the mix of skills was interesting.

    Aidan – you can get intellisense in the Ribbon XML and it was an oversight on my part not to specify that as part of the machine build. Apologies for that. To see how to do it, head over to my blog for the entry about tackling the assignments (http://blogs.msdn.com/mikeormond/archive/2007/01/21/uk-developer-launch-of-office-amp-vista-tackling-the-assignments.aspx). Note as well that we should have a visual designer for the ribbon as part of the VS Orcas release so you wont have to hack the raw XML in the future!

  4. Simon Middlemiss Says:

    Not a problem, I really enjoyed both days!

  5. Mike Ormond Says:

    Re: We hit a strange issue that only appeared on some machines where a MessageSecurityException was throw. As of now there still isn’t a fix for this, but watch Mike Ormond’s blog as when there is it will be posted on there.

    I’m having trouble tracking down a machine that exhibits the issue. The machines we used on the day were rented so had to go back but Tim Leung from VBUG had seen the issue on his machine. Unfortunately, it now seems to be working okay on Tim’s machine. If anyone else can repeat the issue, and wants to help us track it down, please let me know by contacting me via my blog. Thanks! Mike

  6. Beautiful Girls : Says:

    Microsroft Office is still the best program when it comes to spreadsheet and word processing,;.

  7. Folding Table Says:

    ;-` I am very thankful to this topic because it really gives up to date information ;”*


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