PDC 2008 Is Not Sold Out – Is There a Virtual Option?

PDC starts in less than 4 days (or 3 if you include the pre-conference events) and it has not officially sold out yet.  They have reached their 10,000 registration goal (that’s $20M+ in revenue!) and plan to take registration up until the first day if it doesn’t go over capacity.

Some people may be surprised that it isn’t sold out at this point.  I’m wondering if the secrecy factor and the burn-factor from Vista’s first exposure at a PDC (WinFS anyone?) had an effect.

10,000 is a great achievement and there are carrots in place to encourage people to go to the event, including overtures of attendee-only content on free hardware.  I for one don’t have time to divert my attention to a week someone else right now.

While the bread crumbs have been laid out in principal about what will be talked about, it’s not yet clear what virtual attendees (that’s you and I observing from a far) will get.

Mix 08 was a great experience at a distance and my experience was that it was possible to keep up, if not stay ahead of those people immersed in-person.  Mix sessions were available on-demand a pleasingly short, though not impressively quick amount of time.

The first Keynote (of 4; 2 more on Tuesday and 1 on Wednesday) is at 08:30PT/11:30ET on Monday, but there’s no mention of a Live webcast.  I hope this is made available, as to not have it seems like somewhat of a cliquey shun, and they do have $20M+ in revenue to help cover it, plus I’d happy to pay $200 for full live access to a live keynote, live track switching, on-demand events and on-the-day download availability.  If they put together a Silverlight site of mammoth (albeit with underwhelming branding) streaming site for NBC Olympics, PDC should be a breeze.

A quick google search doesn’t reveal anything for a PDC keynote webcast.

In the meantime, if you like being teased, check out the PDC08 tagged videos on Channel9.

UPDATE 2008/10/24:  According to a response from Microsoft’s PDC logistics provider, they will be streaming the keynote and sessions within one to two hours of their completion at the PDC website.  I guess they are holding out for as many last-minute registrations as possible before publishing the details of live/on-demand resources.

Windows 7 Developer Resources off to a Worrying Start

Microsoft has a Windows 7 developer blog with its first post today.

With your help, this blog should evolve to become some sort of Windows 7 developer content index.

Ugh.  I certainly hope not.  Blogs are the worst places to look for information if you don’t know its there, having to rely on search engines to find the information, unless you want to get your content spoon fed to you as random prizes over time in your cereal box.  Microsoft needs to develop a systematic way of getting blogged knowledge, samples and tutorials into a central location.  Oh wait, that’s called MSDN, where sadly, the reverse it true.  Developer center sites point out to the blogs.  While this has made some at Microsoft into celebrities, it doesn’t do much for efficiency.

The number of grammatical errors in this new post are somewhat worrying too.

Playstation Network vs. Xbox Live – Who Is The Clingy One?

I received an email today about updates to the Playstation Network Terms of Service and User Agreement.

The following appears to be a new clause under “The violations that are prohibited…” section:

“You may not provide anyone with your name or any other personally identifying information other than your own Online ID, or the name, password or personally identifying information of any other person or business through any means, including messaging, chat or any other form of PSN communication”

I’d like to point out that this is a horribly ambiguous sentence following “other than”, but appears to say that you cannot let people know who you really are or how they can contact you by any other means.  I can understand why one should be warned not to do this, but I don’t think it should be prohibited – plus they reserve the right to monitor communications.  If this were a pay-per-view community, I could understand it, but it’s not, and if people form virtual friendships, this would appear to prevent them from taking them into real life.

I did a quick check of the xbox live agreement and couldn’t find anything quite so… possessive.

The Dark Knight

IMHO, the movie thankfully exceeds the hype.  Heath Ledger’s performance is impressive, but does not carry the movie.  The sheer endurance and onslaught of the story is magnificent in itself  Christian Bale’s raspy voice ‘behind’ the mask isn’t ideal.

Microsoft 2.0 – Short on Technical Tea-Leaves

I’ve literally just finished reading Mary Jo Foley’s book, Microsoft 2.0 – How Microsoft Plans to Stay Relevant in the Post-Gates Era.  I picked up a copy at my local book store yesterday.

The books shows that Mary keeps on top of things and clearly edited the book right up to publication to get things in, falling just short of know the name Live Mesh to a Microsoft project she mentions.  Along with describing the Live Mesh project, she mentions cloud OS, virtual computing, Silverlight, etc., as largely separate items – the things I’ve been blogging about as converging in a ‘Live PC’ in my initial Live Mesh series.

Perhaps it’s just me – someone who drinks down Microsoft information like water in a desert – but I was gagging for some new information.  Other than a few research project names, I didn’t learn anything new from the book.  That’s not to say that other will not.  I was hoping she would give more technical predictions – some juicy possibilities to think about.  There needs to be a technical insight/predictions volume in a 2.0 edition.  It wasn’t very business-audience focused either – more of a very long blog post.

The book is good if you want to understand the current key players, organisational basics and business breakdown of Microsoft at this moment in time.  It is not a tea-leaf prediction factory at all, though it does pose questions about how things like a Yahoo acquisition and Ray Ozzie’s low-key leadership will or will not affect things.  As much as the book wants to ask what the new Microsoft will look like, it’s largely about what it’s like in 2007.  Mary wasn’t able to get official sanction or information from Microsoft for the book and perhaps that has crippled what could have been a more useful resource.

I have to say that there’s a lot of repetition in the book and various spelling/grammatical errors.  Hey, we all do those, but no-one’s paying me to do this or paying someone else to proof-read it.  I believe at one part of the book it reads that Microsoft did buy Yahoo.  Mary is also the queen of footnotes it seems.

The book does set Mary up as an information tracking authority though and she vows to keep information coming at www.microsoft2.net: it has a number of posts already.

Back to more technical reading…

Apple Irony

Apple is again running a new clever and contrite ad on cnn.com involving two ad spots synchronised.  It pans Vista because of apparent remaining glitches a year after release and users downgrading to XP.

I thought I’d head over to apple.com to see if they had any other amusing ads.  I went to this page, only to be presented with a Quicktime upgrade window that hung IE7…