Since I'm in Michigan speaking at user groups this week, I had the opportunity to attend the Detroit launch event today. The drive to downtown Detroit wasn't much fun, but also could have been worse. I got through registration just minutes before the keynote session began. I don't know how many people were there, but it was packed.
The opening keynote was a preview of the upcoming day and touched on the three products being launched: Visual Studio 2008, Windows Server 2008, and SQL Server 2008. Josh Holmes did part of the key note and was the liveliest speaker of the group. I missed the first developer session because I wandered into the partner expo area and met up with quite a number of people I've met at previous events, including Micheal Eaton, who I hung out with for a lot of the day (along with his friend Jeremy). By the time we wandered up to catch part of the developer session, the room was completely full, so we stood in the hallway talking about Twitter. After abandoning the idea of actually getting into the developer session, we went back down to the partner expo area to chat and to eat lunch, which was provided in a nice Microsoft lunch carrier, that I'm fairly certain my wife will snag when she sees it.
So I went back to the last half of the developer track session by Keith Elder on smart client applications. I came in at the tail end of a section on something about MFC applications, which was a little strange and disorienting. But he returned to WPF, WCF and WF and in the end combined them all in one demo.
And of course I left the event with copies of Windows Vista Ultimate (with Service Pack 1!), Visual Studio 2008 Standard, Windows Server 2008 Enterprise (32 and 64 bit, one year evaluation license), a community technology preview of SQL Server 2008 (32 and 64 bit), and an "appreciation voucher" for an evaluation-only license of SQL server 2008 Standard Edition.
After the event, a bunch of us took a short ride on the People Mover to Greektown for a geek dinner at Pizza Papalis courtesy of Microsoft, in particular the Visual Studio Team Systems group. Thanks! The pizza and conversation was great. I left before at least some of the group moved to the MGM Grand. They're probably still there now.
Tomorrow I'm going to be doing my presentation on Pragmatic Software Architecture and the Role of the Architect for the internal user group at Domino's and later in the day at the Great Lakes .NET User Group (GANG). I'm looking forward to the opportunity to present to both groups. If you see me there, let me know that you read my blog.