This is obviously the week for conferences, what with the ESRI European User Conference happening in Athens, its also the first week of the Microsoft Tech-ed conference.  This year is a little different, with the conference smaller but spread over 2 weeks and split into 2 streams.  This week is the developers conference and next week is the IT Forum.  I think I preferred it as it used to be with developers and system admin mixed together as I tend to be involved in both areas, however 2 weeks is much too long to justify being at a conference, so I chose the developer half this year. 

 Barcelona is a great city and so far the weather has been pretty good.  Microsoft certainly know how to look after delegates, with an endless supply of free doughnuts and sugared beverages!

The key things that are being talked about here are .Net 3.0  and related technologies such as LINQ, WPF and WCF, also there is the launch of office 2007 and Windows Vista. LINQ in particular looks like a really cool and very useful framework. 

Unlike previous Tech Ed events there are no Mappoint or spatial related sessions, there is a virtual earth stand where they are showing off the new Virtual Earth 3D ActiveX component, It does have a certain wow factor seeing it embedded in a browser, even if it is IE only.  There was also an interesting talk about Windows live mashups, though it focused mainly on things other than maps such as contacts.  Nothing very new although a hint that some kind of online storage service may be coming as well as a possible link up between Virtual Earth 3D and the new MS Flight Simulator.

Its certainly a great place to be to find out whats coming that will impact windows projects over the next couple of years.