Greetings from PDC!
After a long and uncomfortable (for those who don't know me - 6'3", 220lbs...) flight, I'm finally here in beautiful and smoggy Los Angeles, ready for some PDC action! First up - this morning's keynote in which Ray Ozzie announced Windows Azure, their new offering. Sounds much like Amazon's service offerings (EC2, S3, etc)... only .NET and a whole slew of other MS offerings. Sounds pretty darn cool, if you ask me. So far, I haven't really been interested in utilizing Amazon's services, mostly due to cost, and I wonder how Azure will compare. Ozzie says their CTP will be free due to changes that may possibly break anything and everything that you make with it at this point (my words, not his), and says that the final pricing will be "competitive with the market" (dunno if that's an exact quote or not, but it's about right). One has to ask - what's "the market"? As far as I can tell, that means Amazon's services and - as I just got done saying - their pricing was a deal-breaker for me. Along these same lines, I noticed that one of the bullet points said "hobbyist-friendly" - with any luck that is referring to their pricing structure.
I also found it interesting that they referred to "new patterns and best practices such as loosely-coupled services and applications" numerous times... It really is news to me that loosely-coupled designs are "new patterns and best practices"! But, I'm not complaining - if developers are now more or less forced to use loosely coupled architectures to take the most advantage of cloud services, that's a good thing, right?
My next session (A Lap Around Windows Azure) is starting, so I should wrap this one up... but, more to come for sure.