Archive for September, 2005

Industry Forecasts Vista Sales of a Half-Billion

September 27, 2005
If all goes well, Vista will shatter all previous sales records.
I pulled the following bullet points from a Microsoft Presentation.
(See image below. Presentation video is here but need to fast forward to 3:10:15 position.)

Opportunity to be the fastest adopted OS

  – Analysts forecast greater than 475 million PCs in first 24 months

  – Upgradeable installed base ~200 million PCs

  – Windows Vista/Office 12 spark Enterprise refresh cycle

If you do the math and break it down by monthly sales, it’s easy to see that this represents a conservative 20% increase in sales.

Microsoft normally sells to 200 million PCs per year which is 16.5 million per month.
As per above, the expected Monthly Sales of Vista is 19.8 million as follows.
  New Vista:   11.5 million (60%) – 275 million divided by 24 months
  Upgrade:      8.3 million (40%) – 200 million divided by 24 months

  Total:         19.8 million
The increase from 16.5 to 19.8 million is 3.3 million which is a 20% sales increase. I believe that we will see a 35% sales boost but that’s a topic for another day.
The Vista/Office 12 combo has much potential. I’m itching to see the "refresh Enterprise cycle" sales forecast numbers. I don’t think anyone is ready to publicly release any numbers yet.
The sales forecast gets more interesting when you consider the many versions of Vista in the works. I see a possibility of 17 as follows.
1. Vista Pro  32-bit
2. Vista Home 32-bit
3. Vista Media Center 32-bit
4. Vista Tablet Edition 32-bit
5. Vista Pro  64-bit
6. Vista Home 64-bit
7. Vista Media Center 64-bit
8. Vista Tablet Edition 64-bit
9. Vista Server 32-bit
10. Vista Server Enterprise Edition 32-bit
11. Vista Server Cluster Edition 32-bit
12. Vista Server 64-bit
13. Vista Server Enterprise Edition 64-bit
14. Vista Server Cluster Edition 64-bit

15. Vista Server – Itanium
16. Vista Server Enterprise Edition – Itanium
17. Vista Server Cluster Edition – Itanium
Do you believe that Microsoft will sell more 64-bit versions over the 24 months?
Please postback your thoughts.

Stephen King’s T-shirt: "I make stuff up"

September 24, 2005
This my first non-tech entry but I had to mention my Stephen King experience today.
The level of energy in NYC today was extraordinary. In an effort to take it in, I took some time to walk by the Barnes and Noble on 17th Street in Union Square.
The annual New Yorker Festival event was underway and I happened to notice that Stephen King was signing books on the 4th floor of the book store.
I went to the 4th floor and there he was. I got a kick from his “I make stuff up” T-Shirt.
Please see the photos.


Post-PDC Highlights

September 24, 2005

It’s been one week since PDC and I’ve seen some interesting post-PDC blogs. My favorite is Paul Thurrott’s.

Here is my take on some post-PDC highlights or rather most interesting topics in my order of significance.

1. Visual Studio Team System (VSTS)

VSTS will have a significant impact on the software industry.

Key Features:
– CMMI Process Templates
– Automated Builds – continuous build feature (e.g., Cruise Control)
– Source Code Reporting – Unit Test, Code Coverage and FxCop
– Project Metrics Data Warehouse
– HTTP-based Version Control (no more VSS)
– Work Items – this is the key reporting mechanism.
   Developers associate work items with code check-ins.
– Deployment Modeling Tool – a result of the ongoing Dynamic Systems
   Initiative (DSI). It uses the Systems Definition
   Model (SDM) which is an Infrastructure Deployment
   XML schema.
– Software Modeling Tool

Other VSTS Notes:
– VSTS beta 2 is currently being used for mission critical
   apps in some shops.
NTeam – is an open source competitor to VSTS.
– Team Foundation Server Beta 2 Install Problems – VSTS dev
   team suggests setting aside ~2 weeks to
   install/configure it.
– Useful site:
– Team Foundation Server Wiki is here.

2. Contract Driven Development

  – This is the new programming paradigm.
  – SW Architecture should focus on Workflow-enabled
       Transparent XML Messaging services. Its a mouthful
       of buzzwords but the idea will minimize the coding effort.
  – Object Oriented is being relegated to 2nd class citizen status.
  – OOP is an important implementation detail but not
       as important as contract services.

3. WinFX – superset of next generation .Net API’s. 

  – My WinFX Roadmap thoughts are in a previous blog entry here.
  – See intro here. You’ll need to fast forward to the 1:39:30 position.

  Key components are:
  – WPF/E – Windows Presentation Foundation/Everywhere
      (formerly Avalon)
  – WCF – Windows Communication Foundation (formerly Indigo)
  – WWF – Windows Workflow Foundation
  – WinFS – new Relational Database File System
  – InfoCard – UI for the Federated Security solution
  – LINQ (more info on DLINQ and XLINQ in next item)

  WPF/E Notes:
  – North Face Demo – 3D video app.
        Need to fast forward to the 2:40 position.
  – Project Max – An example of the type of apps that
        you can expect with WPF/E.

4. LINQ – Language Integrated Query

  – See important Channel 9 session here.
  – Intro and hands-on demo of LINQ is here.
         You’ll need to fast forward to the 2:06:00.

  – ‘Evolutionary’ OR Mapping solution.
  – Mapping Errors caught at Compile Time! – The great
        feature of DLINQ is that mapping errors in
        the attributes and/or external mapping file
        will be caught at compile time which is always
        better than runtime!
  – Current implementation maps objects to relational tables
        using Attributes.
  – External Mapping File – As with EJB 3.0, Microsoft is
       working on a version of DLINQ that provides
       ability to override attributes with an external
       mapping file.

    – LINQ for XML Data
    – Applies some XMLBeans technology to LINQ

5. Vista – latest build is 5219

Some Key Features:
  – SuperFetch
  – New improved UI features (e.g., thumbnail hovers, Flip3D,
       video carousel, etc.)
  – Please see video here and some more screenshots.
  – USB Memory Stick
  – Anti-phishing
  – Sidebar – video here

  – See Jim Allchin’s video here. Need to fast forward to 1:14:00.
  – Great 5219 info here.
  – If hosting in Virtual PC, it will not have the Aero Glass
      translucent features since the Virtual PC video drivers
      do not yet emulate yet the required
      LDDM/DirectX 10 Video Drivers.

6. Office 12

  Some features:
  – Sharepoint Integration
  – New UI
  – Peer To Peer file sharing – "People Near Me" Groove Technology
  – Search and RSS Notifications
  – Part 1 video here.
  – Part 2 video here.

7. InfoCards – New Federated Security solution
      – UI for the identity metasystem
      – Uses the industry standard SAML
      – Channel 9 video here

WinFX Roadmap

September 23, 2005

WinFX is the superset of next generation .Net API’s.

The target platforms are:
  – Windows Vista
  – Windows Vista Server (Is still called Longhorn Server
     and is scheduled to ship by end of 2007)
  – Windows XP
  – Windows Server 2003

A beta 1 version of the WinFX runtime is currently available for download here.

The WinFX API’s provide 4 core services:

1. Presentation – WPF/E for Windows Presentation
                            Framework/Everywhere (formerly Avalon)
   – Key feature is XAML which is a markup language for the UI
   – Declarative UI programming with XML was pioneered
      in the open source project called Glade.  
   – XAML separates Code and Content which streamlines
      the collaboration between developer and designer.
  – Everywhere means smartphones, OS X, Linux, etc…
      Reduces effort to put Office 12 on OS X and Linux.

2. Data
  – Data Access Layer, it supports everything (e.g., Oracle,
     SQL Server, XML, MySQL, PostGres, etc…)
  -  LINQ   
  – WinFS, it is not shown on the poster but it will be
      the new file system/common data store.

3. Communication
  – WCF for Windows Communication Framework (formerly Indigo) 
  – WWF is Windows Workflow Framework 
  – InfoCards is the Federated Security service

4. Foundation – Base Class Libraries and Windows Vista specific

For more detail, you can download the WinFX poster here.

The first production quality version of WinFX will be released in the 2nd half of 2006.

It is scheduled to be shipped on the same day as Windows Vista.

My guess is that it will be shipping by Wednesday, November 29, 2006.

The first release of WinFX will not include WinFS. A new version of WinFX that includes WinFS is scheduled for 2007. The goal is to have it ready when the Longhorn Server product ships in 2007.

To conclude, the likely roadmap is:
  4Q 2006 – WinFX version 1.0
  4Q 2007 – WinFX version 2.0 – WinFS + WinFX enhancements/fixes


Still Grokking…

September 16, 2005
Still grokking from the PDC beer funnel…
Started the day with Rob Muglia’s Windows Server keynote.
He presented the server roadmap.
Deliveries in 2006
1. WS2003 RC2
2. Cluster Server
3. Monad Oject Based command line (cmdlet)
4. WinFX
Slated for 2007:
1. Virtualization
2. TXF – transaction file system. (e.g., XCopy with roll backs).
Microsoft’s server solution is starting to catch up.
IIS 7.0 demo showed XML config features that already exist in Apache.
Much of what was discussed already exists in the Solaris and open source community.
Virtualization – Solaris 10 is leading here
WinFX’s Workflow with Rules Engine – as discussed in previous post, this is a Struts-like state machine with a JRules-like rules engine.
IIS 7.0 config – mimicking Apache
Even though, at first glance, it appears as if they are catching up, it looks like the open source/unix features that are getting rolled in will be better.
Here are some photos from today.
Famous Dr. Jim Gray
Sadly lost at sea 16 months later on January 28, 2007

OR Mapping and Rules Engine

September 15, 2005

As an enterprise developer, two of my favorite server technologies are Object Relational (OR) mapping and Rules Engines. Both features simplify development efforts and facilitate better software architectures.

In the J2EE world, my preferred OR mapping solution is EJB 3.0 or Hibernate. For Rules Engines, it is ILog JRules.
Finally, Microsoft is working on baking OR and Rules into the OS.
It will be included in the new set of WinFX services.
LinQ is the intergrated query language technology that will eventually evolve into a rich OR mapping solution.
Windows Workflow Foundation (WWF) will provide the rules engine services.
I will be chatting with the dev teams of both technologies tonight and will be posting photos too.

Don Box’s Haiku

September 14, 2005
Just attended Don Box’s Apps and Communications Roadmap session.
It was the usual entertaining and informative Don Box schtick.  The best part was the the simple 3 line Haiku PowerPoint slides.
Couple of takeaways:
  1. Struts – it looks like Windows Workflow Foundation (WWF) is Microsoft’s struts-like workflow engine.
  2. Windows Comms Foundation (WCF – formally Indigo) – is the evolution of COM’s iDispatch
  3. Transparency and Flexibility was the mantra
  4. WCF End Point is 3 things: Contract, Address (URL), and a Binding (App.config).


Microsoft PDC

September 12, 2005

I am kicking off my inaugural blog from Microsoft’s Professional Developer’s Conference (PDC) at the Los Angeles Convention Center.
PDC is a 4 day event that is running from Tuesday (9/13) to Friday (9/16). Some of us have been here for a 2 day pre-conference that started on Sunday (9/11).
I had a great time chatting with the Channel 9’ers at the Westin Bonaventure Bar this Saturday night.
The PDC officially kicks off tomorrow at 8:30 AM with a keynote by Bill Gates.
It’s a busy week with a flood of info for developers and independent software vendors. I will be posting as I get some spare time.
One of my interests is Microsoft’s mobile devices.
Future of Portable Computing Devices
I am planning to meet with the Mobile Devices Team later this week.
I’d like to talk to them about the Microsoft Swiss Army Knife syndrome. As Apple has shown, sometimes the customer just needs a plain kitchen knife.
It will be interesting to see how the space evolves but for the long term, my money is on the swiss army knife.
What type of product do you expect to see 10 years from now?
I believe that 10 years from now, one portable device will be all of the following (and more):
 1. Voice and Video Cell Phone
 2. Entertainment Device – Music, Movies, Games
 3. Wallet
 4. Commuter Pass
 5. Videoconference Device
 6. Encyclopedia
 7. Health Monitor
 8. Passport/Security Card
 9. Personal Blackbox – recording vitals in case of accident
10. Traffic Advisor
11. Language Translator
12. Project Planner
13. Financial Planner
14. Transportation Planner
15. Vacation/Travel Planner
16. Personal Life Recorder – records and archives all of your daily activities
17. Meeting Presentation Device
18. Air Quality Metering Device
19. Person Locator


Westin Bonaventure Hotel Bar with Robert Scoble – 9/12/2005