It’s that time of the year again, and the Microsoft Tech.Ed Developers Conference 2006 Europe has hit the beautiful city of Barcelona, capital city of Catalonia in Spain. Hot off the press news for today is the keynote speech by Eric Rudder, senior vice president of technical strategy with Microsoft. In this, Rudder revealed the new technologies for building ‘next generation applications’ to more than 3000 developers attending the conference.

He highlighted the releases of Microsoft .NET Framework 3.0, Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 Tools for Office for the 2007 Microsoft Office system and ASP.NET AJAX, as well as urging the audience to download and take advantage of them as part of their development effort for Microsoft Windows Vista. This collection of new technologies is being pushed forward as manna from heaven for developers looking to build web services and service-oriented applications, delivering levels of security, reliability and differentiation that both businesses and consumers are increasingly not only expecting but demanding.

The full announcements are:

Release to manufacture of the Microsoft .NET Framework 3.0, which promises advances for building rich, interactive client applications (Windows Presentation Foundation), communication and workflow (Windows Communication Foundation and Windows Workflow Foundation) and online identity management (Windows CardSpace).

Availability to MSDN Premium subscribers of Windows Vista and the 2007 Office system upon release to manufacture.

Availability of Visual Studio 2005 extensions for the .NET Framework 3.0, basically a set of plug-ins and templates for building .NET Framework 3.0 solutions.

Release to manufacture of Visual Studio 2005 Tools for Office for the 2007 Microsoft Office system, with the promise of enabling developers to build scalable, robust line-of-business applications based on the functionality of the 2007 Microsoft Office system.

Beta 2 of ASP.NET AJAX Extensions and the Microsoft AJAX Library (collectively called ASP.NET AJAX). Formerly codenamed “Atlas” see this blog posting for more information on what ASP.NET AJAX is and what it does.

Release Candidate of SQL Server 2005 Compact Edition, with essential relational database functionality in a compact footprint, so Microsoft says. Sharing a familiar SQL syntax and common ADO.NET programming model with other SQL Server editions, SQL Server Compact Edition aims to allow developers and administrators to be immediately productive without long-winded reskilling.

Perhaps slightly more interestingly, Rudder also made a point of focusing on the opportunities for developers to take advantage of the 2007 Microsoft Office system’s developer platform to build a new class of application, the OBA. Office Business Applications, to be formal, bridge line of business systems with the people that use them, or at least that’s the marketing spiel, all through the familiar user interface of Microsoft Office. There is no doubting that Office is emerging as a true developer platform, and when combined with the equally undoubtedly rich client and server capabilities of Office 2007 does provide what promises to be a much nicer environment for the OBA developer.

“The upcoming release of Windows Vista and the 2007 Microsoft Office system will enable new levels of innovation and create an amazing range of opportunities for developers in EMEA and across the world,” said Rudder. “In delivering these new technologies for Windows® and Office, as well as new tools for web development, Microsoft enables developers to use their existing skills to build great applications today using this next wave of platform innovation.”

To help with this, Microsoft also announced the availability of Microsoft Learning to “extend the customer readiness promise to the next generation of Microsoft technologies and offer the latest training products for developers.” To that end, Microsoft said, training for ASP.NET 2.0 AJAX is now available, with additional offerings for the .NET Framework 3.0 and Visual Studio 2005 Tools for Office for the 2007 Microsoft Office system, shipping in the next few months.

About the Author

A freelance technology journalist for 30 years, I have been a Contributing Editor at PC Pro (one of the best selling computer magazines in the UK) for most of them. As well as currently contributing to, The Times and Sunday Times via Raconteur Special Reports, SC Magazine UK, Digital Health, IT Pro and Infosecurity Magazine, I am also something of a prolific author. My last book, Being Virtual: Who You Really are Online, which was published in 2008 as part of the Science Museum TechKnow Series by John Wiley & Sons. I am also the only three times winner (2006, 2008, 2010) of the BT Information Security Journalist of the Year title, and was humbled to be presented with the ‘Enigma Award’ for a ‘lifetime contribution to information security journalism’ in 2011 despite my life being far from over...