ZD.Net UK Tablet PC Interview

ZD.Net – UK has posted a couple of articles – a “Special Report” – about the state of the Tablet PC.  A Q&A Article with Julius Sinkevicius, a Tablet PC Product Manager, is one of these.  My brother purchased a Toshiba M200 a couple of months ago, and I feel that there is a Tablet PC user stuck inside of me somewhere… 

Commerce Server FP1 Public Beta

Woo Hoo!  (I know, two Woo Hoo’s in a row isn’t showing much originality…)  Feature Pack 1 (BETA) for Microsoft Commerce Server 2002 was released as a PUBLIC BETA today.  You can get the code by walking over to http://www.betaplace.com and logging in as csfp1beta.  You will need a passport account to do this.

Go eat some of our dogfood, and give me feedback!  I’d love to pass it back on to the product teams.

BizTalk Server has RTM’d

Woo Hoo!  BizTalk Server 2004 has RTM’d! (RTM = Release to Manufacturing).  The CDs are being printed, and the web pages for download are being staged and prepped for public access.  BizTalk Server will be in the channel and available to download from MSDN on March 2nd, the launch date.

Jupiter – It’s a Big Planet

Jupiter is a big planet.  One that Microsoft is going to map out in two phases now, instead of one.  Mary Jo’s Microsoft Watch is the first that I saw (publicly) to report that Microsoft is changing its Jupiter direction.  

The Jupiter direction is one where MSFTs E-Business server applications (BizTalk Server, Content Management Server, Commerce Server, Host Integration Server, etc.) share a set of common services, including workflow, profile management, catalog management, personalization, etc.  For the past two years or so, the plan has been to take the E-Biz apps and build them around a common set of services, so that these services don’t need to be duplicated within each product.  There was a lot of comment from customers that this was the right direction to go.

I think that it is becoming clear over the past 12 months consolidation of the Person-facing applications (Content Management Server and SharePoint Server) and the Back-End-facing applications (BizTalk Server, Commerce Server, Host Integration Server) hasn’t been happening from a customer perspective.  Customers are still building projects around these concepts separately, and so it makes sense to keep the products separated for the time being.  The efforts to have common central services and to reduce overlapping development will still continue, but the product groups won’t concern themselves with shipping the products together on the same DVD as was the original plan.

It’s a good thing.

If you are a MSFT customer in the Northwest that has questions about this change in direction, please don’t hesitate to contact me. 

VB.Net Debugging Chat (Feb 17, 2004)

As more and more customers begin projects with MCMS and SPS, more and more Visual Basic.Net programmers are working with the original .Net sample solutions, which are/were primarily published in C#.  VB.Net is not going away, and we’re trying to take care of the programmers who have selected VB.Net as their language of choice. 

I know this is short notice for some of you, but I wanted to remind you of tomorrows on-line chat with members of the VB.Net and debugging teams at Microsoft.  1:00PM Pacific time tomorrow, Feb. 17.  You can find more information about this chat at http://msdn.microsoft.com/chats/.

Thanks to Duncan MacKenzie for alerting me to this with his post.

To stay on top of upcoming MS-Chats and webcasts, I suggest that you subscribe to MSDN Flash, a newsletter for developers.

E-Biz in Malaysia

Darien Nagle is another E-Business Technology Specialist with a blog for MSFT – this time in Malaysia.  He’s got an energetic post about BizTalk Server 2004.  Welcome to the blogosphere, Darien.  (I’m not saying that as a representative of the b-s-phere, but as a resident.  A neighbor, if you will.)

CMS Sample Site for C#

The WoodGrove sample application (C#) for MSCMS has been updated and re-released on microsoft.com.  The functionality is still the same, but there are bug fixes and the install is updated for MSCMS SP1A.  Instead of digging out your old media for the original version of MSCMS, now you can install direct from the web.