Recap: Tech·Ed North America 2010 Day 1

I’m in New Orleans at Microsoft’s Tech·Ed conference this week. I’m going to be sharing my experience and some of the cool stuff I learn here and at my own blog.

TechEd kicked off here in New Orleans yesterday, with an opening keynote from Bob Muglia, President of the Server & Tools Business at Microsoft. There are more than 10,000 customers, partners, and staff on-site and I think all of them caught the keynote (they had to setup a few overflow rooms). John and I arrived early to register and quickly chow down some breakfast so that we could lineup for the keynote. Neither of us have sat in the front row before, but we managed to do so yesterday!

Here’s a quick video that John recorded:

The focus of the keynote, which you can watch here, was cloud computing. Some of the highlights  for me included (more info here):

  • The public beta of Service Pack 1 for Windows Server 2008 R2 and Windows 7 will start in July.
  • Windows Server AppFabric is now available.
  • The Pivot control for Silverlight 4 will be launched this summer. Pivot is such amazing technology (it utilizes Deep Zoom for some of its magic) and being able to embed it on a web page is going to be awesome.
  • We saw a quick demo of Windows Phone 7, specifically related to integration with SharePoint. The enterprise features look pretty slick, so I hope they can deliver on the consumer experience too. You can see some screencaps from the demo here.
  • It was really interesting to hear from Tony Scott, Microsoft’s CIO, about how they are fully adopting the cloud internally. He said that Microsoft IT is now officially “cloud first”.
  • Also very cool: a video talking about the digital asset management system that Microsoft built for James Cameron and his team for Avatar. Cameron talked about this at D8 too.

Tech·Ed North America 2010

Next up for John and I was the Developer Foundations keynote with Jason Zander. He announced quite a few interesting things for developers, including a new Feature Pack for Visual Studio 2010. Microsoft is going to release Feature Packs in between major releases to continually add functionality to the product. Some of the new stuff that excites me:

  • HTML clipboard support (copy code and paste it into your blog and its ready to go)
  • Search functionality for the Add Reference dialog
  • Tons of code editor improvements, such as entire-line-highlighting, and “tabify/untabify”

Jason also has a great post with links to new platform bits here. In particular, I’m very happy to see that Microsoft is working on Scrum Process Template for TFS 2010.

Throughout the day I explored the TechEd site. I visited the Community Lounge, which is where all the Hands-On Labs take place. I couldn’t resist taking a photo with the Channel9 guy:

Tech·Ed North America 2010

Channel9 was livestreaming all day yesterday, and are doing the same today.

I also visited the Exhibition Hall, full of Microsoft product team representatives, as well as dozens of partners. One of the more interesting things to see was one of the Azure server containers:

Tech·Ed North America 2010

After the day’s sessions were finished, there was a reception in the Exhibition Hall. I made sure to stop by the Windows Phone 7 booth, to check out the prototype:

Tech·Ed North America 2010

I didn’t learn any new details, of course, but it was neat to see the phone in action.

Other thoughts on day 1:

  • As expected, not everything went smoothly. The Internet was down for most of the day, which was really annoying. I always wonder why some innovative company hasn’t come along to revolutionize Internet access for conferences, because it is such a common problem.
  • There were far more unhealthy options available for snacks than healthy options (I saw only a few bananas and oranges, but lots of popcorn, cookies, and Goldfish crackers).

Tech·Ed North America 2010
In between sessions

You can see more of my TechEd photos here, and also at the TechEd group on Flickr.