PDC Day One, working the halls

Thanks to Sunshine for recapping the PDC day one keynotes, our second day of keynotes, and liveblogging, is set to begin in a few hours.  At this PDC, to be sure, there’s not a lot of Windows Live news, or news about Live Mesh or any of the periphery of software and services that make up what interests us most, but that’s not to say we’re not working hard in Sunny LA (too bad we didn’t see much of that sun, maybe later in the week).

We’ve met some of our best contacts and favorite colleagues at events such as this one, and the first order of business has been to hook up with the liveblogging crew, get reacquainted, and get a feel for the business of Microsoft watching in its current and future forms.  This is a fun bunch, but along with some (very) sharp wit, we find in invigorating to talk shop.  It may not translate into immediate blog posts, but it’s important networking, and fun.

bobandraypdc2009 We were also honored to be invited for a second year to attend a lunch meeting with Microsoft President Bob Muglia and CTO Ray Ozzie. A heartfelt thanks to Jeff Sandquist from Channel 9 (and much more), one of the real good guys at Microsoft.  Our lunch was a casual, interesting conversation, again invigorating, a chance for the non-Wall Street Journal types to talk tech with a couple of passionate and interesting guys.  In a way we’re sorry we couldn’t have it online somehow, but the very act of “reporting” on the conversation would have altered it, and not for the better.  

Day one was about Azure, not right up our alley, as you might have been able to tell from the tone of the live blog.  To be sure, the hard work of replumbing the world’s data centers into a more cloud based approach, once you’ve unveiled a new name and logo (Azure, at last year’s PDC) isn’t quite as “sexy”, say, as reporting on a new Google phone.  It also isn’t the kind of work that’s going to make Microsoft the same kind of boatloads of cash that the glory days of Windows and Office have made, either, to be honest.  It is important and necessary, and while the message here at PDC may have been a bit muddled, Microsoft is where it needs to be to deliver cloud computing to the backbone of business.

Later, we headed on over to the expo booths, poked around the Bing and Live Labs booths, and spotted Angus Logan and Ori Amiga, from Live Services/Live Mesh/Windows Live.  Of course they weren’t talking except for saying how hard they’re working and to stay tuned, but good to make contact, to let them know we’re still here, and that we’ll be looking for them in the months to come.

Last evening, at a press and analyst’s reception, we had a chance to meet two real “rocket scientists”, from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.  They were here to promote their collaboration with Microsoft on the “Dallas” project, but what fun to talk tech with rocket scientists!  A highlight of our “career” here at LiveSide, to be sure.  We’re excited to take a look at Dallas when we have a bit more time.

After that it was off to dinner at Morton’s, apparently something of a tradition now, with some old friends and new to talk more tech and relax.  Then back to the hotel for our usual 5 hours of sleep, and we’re off again to bring you a Day Two liveblog, lots more networking, and more invigorating conversation.  Not the PDC for breaking news, this one, but one that sets up events to come.  Be sure to tune into the live blog today, as we’re expecting some news about Office Web Apps, maybe a sneak peek at Internet Explorer 9, and some Silverlight surprises.  Should be fun!