While we can expect a lot of excitement, attention, and noise around the April release of VS 2010 and .NET 4, there are a few other strategic (i.e. longer term) technologies that I think we need to be paying attention to as well:
1. Windows Azure – Scalable Cloud Computing is all the rage these days (for many good reasons). Microsoft’s platform is not only compelling, but has also evolved to address many “real-world” issues. The offering goes live this month.
2. Silverlight 4 – Silverlight has come a long way from its version 1.0 Java Script beginning. The soon-to-be-released version 4 has added many of the missing pieces required to make it a serious tool for line of business applications. Without a doubt, Silverlight will increasingly become the primary Microsoft UI technology.
3. ASP.NET MVC 2.0 – While originally an “interesting” technology for the fringe of ASP.NET developers, the Model-View-Controller (MVC) framework is clearly destined to become mainstream. Version 2.0 will be included as part of VS 2010 / .NET 4 and has smoothed some of the rough edges of the initial release.
(I elaborated on this here)
You can find PDC sessions, slides and videos on these topics at http://microsoftpdc.com/Videos