Turns out I couldn't post that much. Anyway, I really enjoyed the deep dive sessions included in the "Connected Systems" track, at Microsoft building 43. Clemens Vasters did the introduction to an agenda that would span topics such as BizTalk, Wcf, Wf, Identity (CardSpace+MIIS/ILM), and even POX/Rest/Ajax. Session's durations ranged from 30min to 1 hour, and some had to be cut short or the overal agenda would be delayed.
One of the sessions that was most active was by Paul "Workflow" Andrew, on the topic of BizTalk vs .Net (specifically, WF+WCF). Paul pointed out that all of these are being developed by CS people (the only part of the .Net framework not being developed by the C.S.Division is WPF), and that while .Net is a framework, BizTalk is a premium server. Some structural parts of BizTalk are being replaced, that much is true, but that also means the resources can be invested in other areas. Very little is known (by us :-)) about where exacly evolution will happen, but the information was there, for those listening atentivelly. :-)
Like I said in the previous posts, the Summit is in a big part a "networking" event, and I did get to meet several BizTalk Mvp's, as well as several other Mvps from random competencies. My program included a Q&A and a dinner with people from the CSD/BizTalk teams. Both proved to be very interesting. One interesting note on this was the MVPs proved to be very demanding of Microsoft, which was interesting to see. Most of us are MVP's because we have a passion for technology, but that doesn't make us less demanding «customers».
As to information I can share: BizTalk R2 will be released in the second half of 2007, and the first public beta (beta2?) will probably come out near of little after the end of this month.
Finally, Seattle: the city is located in a great place, geographically, the only problem is really the weather, makes you wonder if it affects the software Microsoft produces :-). My favourite spots were the Pike Street Market, the amazing-amazing-amazing Elliot Bay Book Company (photos: 1, 2), and obviously the Space Needle. No time to see more or drive around. Maybe next year if I am nominated again (the next summit will he held 14-18/April), or at the SOA & Business Processes Conference later this year.