MIND Your Business

A rather big event was held yesterday by the company I work for, in coop with Microsoft. Information was presented on the alliance between our companies, the MCAP program (which I thought they called LEAP, but probably because of the beer I forgot) and more. Then came the fun stuff, they presented Windows Vista.

They showed the usual stuff presented at, among others, PDC. I cannot express how much I like the new layout. I don’t think alt-tabbing through applications in 3D will be used often, but the little preview windows when hovering over the taskbar I like very much. They showed a lot of search which a lot of users will probably love. And it all seems to work really, really fast. I wonder what kind of machines they use to show everything.

There were multiple presentations running parallel, and a lot of people went to the session where Microsoft presented VSTO. I kind of wonder why people dig that so badly. I know it beats developing in VBA, but it’s still developing for Office, which I myself am not to fond of. Instead of ThisWorkBook.Worksheets(“Sheet1”), you use Globals.WorkSheet.Sheet1 or something, and from then on it’s probably more of the same. If you’re looking for attention thought, it’s probably a good bet to start specializing in VSTO, as managers, secretaries and many more people will love you for making Office applications for them. And using the taskpane to ask people for input, is definitely “wunderbar”! Your secretary will love you for it!

But then Office 12 itself was presented. And as ‘sexy’ as Vista looks, so does Office 12.I love the ribbon. (Side-note: I loved the story about the fact that the left side of the ribbon is kind of a dead spot to Office 12 users). What I had not seen before, was Visio 12.When you throw some shape onto your page, and hover over it, it adds arrows in all four directions. When you click an arrow, it creates the same shape again, but also the connection between those. It’s the simple things that makes Office 12 such a great product, and I hope a feature like this will be extended to things like class diagrams and (especially) sequence diagrams. I always have trouble laying out a nice sequence diagram because of the little space I have.

The presentations were really great, as were the presenters. And don’t forget my colleagues, we had a lot of laughs! At the end a game was played. Questions were asked and if you had it right, you got into the next round. Grand price was an XBox 360, which Ritsaert, a friend of us, won. He deserved it! 🙂 I got out in the first round, because of a question how many people registered for the event. As it happens, I developed the web application where people could register for the event. So I knew the exact number, although I know another number was presented in the final invitation email. I knew which answer they wanted, but I just could not get myself to give it. Erik Brinkel, a manager with us, who presented the quiz, asked me on stage to make me feel like I won, to than just say “Sorry man, you got it wrong.” I told him I knew exactly, but it didn’t help! 😉 Oh, but Erik, I forgot to tell you I know what you registered for a diet. It was “een streng dieet van kaviaar en champagne”. 🙂

Anyway, I really enjoyed the evening and hope next time I’ll be invited as a guest! 😉