So yesterday I was pleased to be one of the last people to snap up my place at Reading's PDC10 event. I turned up a little late and sadly missed a bit of the keynote. After quite a lengthy overview of what Microsoft is doing. Essentially with the cloud, they're going "all in". They've been listening to developers qualms and making the changes that they wanted so it becomes easier and smoother for you to create and deploy your applications in the cloud.

It was after this we were let loose on Microsoft's tasty offering of food and drink. Never underestimate how much hungry geeks eat.

I went to a couple of talks after this. Building Windows Phone 7 applications with the Windows Azure Platform. This was a demo heavy session, as such I'll be watching it again later on and taking notes. It essentially gave an overview of how to push and pull data to and from Azure from a WP7 application.

Next there was a break for further refreshment, quickly followed by a quiz to be in with a chance of winning a Windows Phone 7 device. Sadly I fell at a question relating to how many followers someone had. The others I'd got right though. Daniel Parker, a friend and Inspiratech team member, was one of the last people standing and entered into a final phase against 3 others to be in with a chance of the device. This deciding round was a pretty intense battle on Kinect's running game. He even went on to win the device! Great for him, and for our Imagine Cup team as it will give us a real device to test on once we get to that stage.

After this I had my first play on Kinect. I have to say I was amazed at how responsive and awesome it was. Despite there being a good 20 people in the field of view for the final phone competition it easily distinguished between the players and the crowd, with no configuration needed for each running pair.

I played a far less energetic game of Table Tennis with Kris - it was a little different from playing the actual thing (playing face on), but great fun. I think there is some video footage of this - will add it once I can access it. Hardly any input lag and nothing incorrect. Awesome when you consider the work that must go into translating images into game input. Step aside Wii and Playstation Move, Kinect is getting ready to blow them out of the water!

The last session I went to was about optimising your WP7 application, something I thought would be very relevant for our Imagine Cup effort  as we want the user experience to be as slick and intuitive as possible. Essentially if you want things to happen in the background, take them off the UI thread and use another. This'll ensure that the user doesn't have input lag or hangs.

I want to say a big thank-you to the Microsoft UK team for putting on such a great event, way later than a normal event. A thoroughly enjoyable evening!