Tuesday, 8 December 2009

Microsoft’s 10 hot new technologies

Microsoft’s 10 hot new technologies Microsoft recently hosted its annual Professional Developers Conference (PDC). The company showcases its new technologies to the software developer community at the conference.

At PDC 2009, Microsoft gave developers a view into the slew of new technologies and new releases of its existing products/technologies it is working on.

Here's looking into the 10 hottest technologies Microsoft is working on.

Silverlight 4
Silverlight 4 Microsoft unveiled a beta version of Silverlight 4, the company's competitor to Adobe's Flash Player plugin. Silverlight 4 will focus on media, business applications, and working `behind the browser'. Features include access to webcams and microphones, multi-cast streaming, output protection, and offline DRM support.

Scott Guthrie, corporate vice president of Microsoft's developer division said that Silverlight 4 will tackle processor-intensive tasks at almost twice the rate of its predecessor, and will provide 30% faster startup.

The beta is now available, and the final release is scheduled for the first half of 2010.

Internet Explorer 9
Internet Explorer 9 Microsoft also gave a few details on the next edition Internet Explorer, IE9. Internet Explorer 9 will be the first browser to use hardware acceleration to render all kinds of images, videos and text. Other tweaks include rounded edges on text boxes and support of HTML 5.

Windows President Steven Sinofsky claimed that Internet Explorer 9 will enjoy a serious performance boost, but held back from promising any launch date.

`Dallas’ Microsoft's codename `Dallas’ is a new service that allows developers and information workers to easily discover, purchase and manage premium data subscriptions in its cloud-based Windows Azure platform.

According to web reports, Dallas is an information marketplace that brings data, imagery and real-time Web services from leading commercial data providers and authoritative public data sources together into a single location, under a unified provisioning and billing framework.

Pinpoint Pinpoint is an enterprise level cloud-based application store for developers using the Azure cloud. Pinpoint aims to help developers and technology service providers get software applications and professional services to market -- and engage customers who need what they offer.

It is said to be the largest directory of qualified IT companies and their software solutions built on Microsoft technologies.

PinPoint is likely to compete with Salesforce.com’s four-year-old AppExchange online marketplace and other similar app stores.

`Sydney' Bob Muglia, Microsoft's president of Server and Tools Business said that with Windows Azure, Microsoft will be entering into beta Project Sydney in 2010. The new project will enable users to connect their existing servers inside of their data center together with services that are running with Windows Azure.

Sydney creates a kind of virtual network that ties together pieces of an application or process running at various places so that they all look like one logical system.

AppFabric Another key technology introduced by Microsoft is AppFabric. AppFabric is an application server layer that includes the cloud and internal servers to provide developers a single, consistent environment for .Net applications.

AppFabric combines hosting and caching technologies formerly code-named Dublin and Velocity. AppFabric comes in two flavors: Windows Server AppFabric and Windows Azure platform AppFabric. Beta 1 for Windows Server 2008 R2 was released recently and a beta for Azure is expected in 2010.

PivotMicrosoft's Live Labs team introduced an experimental prototype application codenamed `Pivot'. Pivot is an application that aims to make it easier to view and interact with massive amounts of data in ways that are powerful, informative and fun.

According to a description on the Live Labs Web site, it is meant to combine search, browsing and recommendations to create a more unified Web experience. For example, if you have 10,000 magazine covers and you're looking for only India-specific covers, it will sort out only India-specific covers.

Presently, Microsoft is offering a limited technical preview of Pivot to a set of invited testers.

Office 2010 Beta
Office 2010 Beta Microsoft also released the public beta of Microsoft Office 2010, Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010, Microsoft Visio 2010, Microsoft Project 2010, Microsoft Office Mobile 2010 and Office Web Apps for business customers.

Other than new icons, Office 2010 suite features new Office Communicator 2007 R2 integrated in Outlook 2010. Communicator allows users to sync their Windows Live and other social networking site feeds in Outlook. The public beta is offered in 32-bit (684MB) and 64-bit (750MB) versions. Both packages include tweaked versions of Office applications: Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Outlook, OneNote, Access, Publisher, InfoPath, SharePoint Workspace and Communicator.

SQL Server Modeling
SQL Server Modeling According to Microsoft, SQL Server Modeling (formerly code name `Oslo') is a set of technologies that provide productivity gains across the lifecycle of .NET applications by enabling developers, architects, and IT professionals to work together effectively with SQL Server at the center of the application lifecycle.

Microsoft Windows Azure
Microsoft Windows Azure At the PDC, Microsoft's Chief Software Architect Ray Ozzie, announced plans for the formal launch of Windows Azure, the cloud-based operating system that lets developers write programmes that run on servers in Microsoft's data centers. It is expected to be in production for all users starting January 1.

Azure will reportedly be hosted at three pairs of data centers: Chicago and San Antonio for North America, Dublin and Amsterdam for Europe, and Singapore and Hong Kong for Asia.