Microsoft has decided to initially use technology from its WinFS project in the SQL Server database, rather than Windows.

Quentin Clark, who runs the WinFS program management team, disclosed the company's plans in a blog posting on Friday. He said that the next version of SQL Server, code-named Katmai, will incorporate features from WinFS to store unstructured data and automate administration.

My First BillG Review, by Joel Spolsky

It's an article about how a software company should be run, and by what type of manager, and his conclusion is:

"Watching non-programmers trying to run software companies is like watching someone who doesn't know how to surf trying to surf."

The community technology preview of the Microsoft Robotics Studio is available for download at http://msdn.microsoft.com/robotics.

For more see the press release: Microsoft Announces Robotics Studio

Software AG on Monday launched an upgrade of its design tools for Ajax-based applications.

New features in Version 2.1 include generic Web services support, WYSIWYG layout capabilities and a HTML editor/word processor.

For more info read the press release: Software AG Enhances crossvision Application Designer

Got a great idea? There's never been a better time to turn it into a great company. Here's a 16-step guide to help you do it right.

Philip Su from Microsoft gives us a glimpse of the inner workings of one of the most complex software projects in the world.

Philip’s post contains some interesting quotes related to Vista development problems:

"When a vice president in the Windows [Vista project] asks you whether your team will ship on time, they might well have asked you whether they look fat in their new Armani suit."

or

"[...]the intrepid managers finally understood how to get past the dilemma. They simply stopped telling the truth. -’Sure, everything fits. We cut and cut, and here we are. Vista by August or bust. You got it, boss.’ Every once in a while, Truth still pipes up in meetings. When this happens, more often than not, Truth is simply bent over an authoritative knee and soundly spanked into silence."

His post caused quite a stir so he comes up with a follow-up: Corporate Blogs -- Gradations of Value?

More coverage on this topic:

Here are some more articles and opinions about Gates leaving Microsoft:

Here's what Joel Spolsky has to say about Bill Gates stepping down from Microsoft:

"As of now, Microsoft stock is surprisingly quiet given the announcement that Bill Gates will step down. It should probably be going down. Ozzie is smart but not in the same class as Bill Gates. And it's really Ballmer that needs to go."

Here's an interesting article about how Macaw, a System Integrator based in the Netherlands, is implementing the software factory vision. They are supporting VS2003 and VS2005, and taking a very pragmatic approach, having no graphical modelling tools involved at this stage.

Microsoft founder Bill Gates is stepping down from his full-time role at Microsoft to spend more time on the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Microsoft announced the two year transition plan for Gates shortly after the close of U.S. financial markets. Ray Ozzie will assume Bill Gates' job title of Chief Software Architect after recently completing his team's integration of Groove Networks into Office 2007.

MSGroup

Bill Gates is stepping down from Microsoft and will no longer play a day-to-day role in creating the latest smart watches or new digitized handwriting techniques. Instead Gates will be working on fighting worldwide issues such as malaria.

At Tech Ed 2006 in Boston, Microsoft listed 10 new features and enhancements in the upcoming Windows server that will most benefit end users and the solution providers:

  1. Enhanced security through improved Group Policy and BitLocker
  2. Network Access Protection
  3. New Terminal Services capabilities
  4. A new networking stack
  5. Enhancements to Directory Services
  6. New Server Core feature
  7. Expanded Unix/Linux support
  8. Enhanced performance monitoring
  9. An enhanced Internet Information Server (IIS), version 7.0
  10. Enhanced management features and new Server Manager tool

TheServerSide.NET has put together a collection of discussions and news items that deal with Ruby.

Here it is: Ruby: a Resourse Guide

You can now download the CTP for SQL Server 2005 Everywhere Edition, which is being previewed at this week's Tech-Ed. Get an introduction to this lightweight data store, and how you can use it with Visual Studio 2005 to build smart-client applications.

Microsoft has limited online access to a test version of its next Windows system for fear of bringing the Internet to a halt.

“It’s not that we didn’t anticipate this level of interest or demand, but that we are at the threshold of what the internet can bear,” reads a posting on the weblog run by the development team behind the software.

Microsoft announced the availability of the beta version of the MSDN Wiki - their first step towards allowing customers to contribute to Microsoft’s developer documentation.

You can learn more about the project at the MSDN Wiki team blog.

It's official: Windows Communications Framework (Indigo) + Windows Presentation Framework (Avalon) + Windows Workflow Foundation (WinOE) + InfoCard (now known as Windows Cardspace) = .Net Framework 3.0.

".Net Framework 3.0 aptly identifies the technology for exactly what it is—the next version of our developer framework," Somasegar said.

Windows evangelist and Microsoft blogging poster boy Robert Scoble is leaving Microsoft for a new job at PodTech.Net.

As Microsoft opens up Vista for public testing there are Five Things To Know Before Installing Vista Beta 2 (from CRN)

  1. You'd better have a DVD burner: The long hours it'll take you to download it will be wasted if you don't have access to a DVD-RW drive.
  2. It goes dead in 2007: Vista Beta 2 has a time limit - June 1st 2007
  3. You're stuck with Vista: Once you install Beta 2 you cannot roll back to the previous operating system installation.
  4. You're stuck with Vista, II: You may not be able to upgrade your installation of Beta 2 to the final edition of Vista.
  5. There are lots of "gotchas": It's beta software after all.

For downloading Vista Beta 2 go to: Microsoft Vista Custumer Preview Program. You'll find there another list of warnings. It's official.

Google has launched a Excel killer app, Google Spreadsheets, a Web-based spreadsheet program that will allow people to view and simultaneously edit data while conducting "in-document" chat.

Google Spreadsheets

Here'a a quick tour and beta sign up: Google Spreadsheets Sneak Peek

You must have a Google account to use the service.

Ballmer: Look, we have one product—it just happens to be our most famous product—that has a bigger gap than it will ever, ever, ever have again in its release cycle. That will never happen again. I know how we got there. I'm not going to go through all that. I know what we're going to do differently. I'm not going to go through that. It'll never happen again.

From a recent interview with Steven Ballmer in CRN: www.crn.com

This is actually a fairly long and complicated process, and requires a step-by-step tutorial: http://www.flickr.com/photos/37s/151250154/

:-)

Download the Visual Studio 2005 SDK – June 2006 CTP (Free Registration required)

Some highlights:

  • Latest version of the DSL Toolkit (see DSL site for more detail)
  • New Powertoy – Event Toaster (Optional at install)
  • SDK New Integration Sample

Here's a new perspective: The 'good enough' theory of software by Robert Youngjohns.

"The suite vendors [Misrosoft, IBM, Oracle, ...] are part of the entrepreneurial process of natural selection. They force the rest of us to be brutal about our value to our clients and to exploit our nimbleness to keep ahead. If we don't, then the value of integration and a "single throat to choke" will win. But they are not a substitute for innovation, and software companies that focus rigorously on their clients and find ever-new ways to deliver competitive advantages will always thrive."

Microsoft is adding a new edition to its Visual Studio development tool line, introducing a version tailored for database developers. The new Visual Studio Team Edition for Database Professionals is scheduled for a preview release next month at Microsoft's TechEd show, to be followed by general availability toward the end of the year.

VSTE for Database Professionals will include tools for managing changes to database schema, a new T-SQL editor, a unit test harness, and a feature that generates test data mimicking the volume and format of production-database information.

There's also a dedicated forum in the Team System forum group:

For the official announcement, see the press release on Microsoft PressPass.

Wilco Bauwer has been working for several months on an implementation of the Ruby language that targets the CLR. This past weekend, thanks to the Visual Studio SDK, he managed to get some integration with Visual Studio up and running. (See Screenshot)

From Aaron Marten's WebLog

Google Dollars

If you're a web developer or host, now you can generate more revenue and improve your service with the new AdSense API.

Using the AdSense API, you can enable users to perform a variety of AdSense functions without leaving your website, including the following:

  • Create an AdSense account
  • Manage an AdSense account
  • Create and modify AdSense for content ad units and link units, AdSense for search boxes, and Referrals
  • View detailed reports to monitor performance and earnings

You can rad more about this on Google Blog