Kiwis to hear .Net gospel

Microsoft platform strategist Mike Glass will be telling upwards of 1200 developers in Auckland this week what .Net should mean for them.

Glass, one of two US keynote speakers at Microsoft’s annual Tech-Ed developer conference, says .Net concepts haven’t been well communicated.

“There is a lot of hype around it,” he told Computerworld by phone from Sydney last week, where he was delivering the same message to Australian developers.

“We kind of stepped away from branding everything as .Net. In fact, the vision is very much alive.

“I don’t think that people realise that .Net isn’t the product, it’s a vision.”

Glass says it’s important for developers to consider the application as the user experience, using the example of network-enabled applications that suffer from latency problems. He uses collaboration software Groove as a model of how to avoid latency issues.

“I pick on performance because one of the most frustrating things is that we always bump into bad user experience,” he says.

“What I’m going to do is I’m going to talk to Groove, and how Groove takes a different approach to how a user interacts with data.”

Programs should use a local data cache first, Glass says, and sychronise across the network when needed “behind your back”.

Other issues facing developers aren’t always technical, he adds, such as considerations of privacy and convenience: uniquely identifying a user, credit card usage and children on the internet. Glass sees these as issues of cooperation rather than technology.

Microsoft New Zealand marketing manager Tony Wood says he expects over 1200 developers at the three-day event. Tech-Ed will feature 78 speakers, including 32 from overseas, in 120 sessions. “Logistically, it’s been huge,” Wood says.

This year Tech-Ed has a new pricing model, including a reduced corporate rate — 15% off for five or more people — and daily and two-day passes. Wood believes the corporate pricing will be so successful that it is likely to be adopted at Microsoft events in the rest of the world.

The conference kicks off today with a keynote address from Cliff Reeves, head of Microsoft’s platform strategy group. Glass speaks on Tuesday.

There are larger priorities than Tech-Ed for the self-confessed “huge rugby fan”: Glass’ first official engagement in New Zealand was to attend the Bledisloe Cup rugby match at the weekend.

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