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TechEd day 1

June 5, 2007

What a long day.  My body is totally confused as to what time it is since I’ve had 6 hours of time change in 4 days (Maui is 3 hours later than Seattle in the summer, and Orlando is 3 hours earlier than Seattle).

My first major conference keynote was … unimpressive.  I really didn’t learn anything and there were no major announcements.  I guess that’s why neither BillG or SteveB were here.  They had Christopher Lloyd in to reenact his role as Doc from the Back to the Future movies.  He and Bob Muglia even arrived on stage after the opening movie in the DeLorean from the movies.  Cool!  But the humor was forced and not too funny.

The theme of the opening was to not delivery visionary speak because nobody believes it anymore.  Microsoft took a few shots at themselves parodying earlier efforts around online authentication and business process methodologies that never went anywhere.

As for the meat of the 90+ minute presentation?  It left me hungry.  Still no commitment to get Hypervisor (kernel-level virtualization in Windows Server 2008) out any sooner than 6 months after Windows Server 2008 goes RTM.  And that RTM is still only talked about in generic terms as “late this year”.  I figure Hypervisor won’t be around until TechEd next year.  I’ll have to return!  🙂

I attended sessions on Microsoft’s virtualization strategy and Exchange 2007.  The former was a bit more high level than I was hoping … and the others in attendance seemed equally put off.  The Q&A session got a bit nasty around frustrations with licensing.  But I learned a few things that should help out in the future.

The Exchange 2007 session was about planning for deployment.  Honestly I knew most of what was presented because I’ve been keeping up with the Exchange Team Blog.  Nice to feel well informed!  I’m still not sure how I want to deploy E2K7 in our environment at Ascentium as we have a few options as to the mailbox server architecture and how to best position ourselves for the future (one datacenter site now with a second in the future).  I’ll have to corner someone on the expo floor.

The best session of the day was Steve Riley’s discussion about security in the datacenter of the future.  His main point is that these days it makes sense to treat every client access mechanism as unsecure and to focus on protecting your data, not your network or devices.  Pretty cool ideas expressed here that I’ll have to follow up on at some point.  Steve’s perhaps my favorite tech presenter and I’m going to both of his other topics this week too.  I can’t wait to explore these ideas further.

I also got a chance to hammer someone from the Windows Mobile group about my issues over the years with their platform that never seem to get fixed.  I was polite (I have witnesses) but in the end the rep (a marketing guy) had to admit that I have valid grievances.  I’m not crazy … hurray!

I did some other stuff too, but since it’s taken over 24 hours to get this post from draft to finished, I think I’ll stop here.  🙂

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