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TechEd Begins Friday in Dallas

DALLAS -- Microsoft Corp.’s annual TechEd conference begins Friday with a new program devoted specifically to IT managers. The show sports its traditional mix of emphasis on getting the most out of both Microsoft’s existing and promised technologies.

Technologies expected to be unveiled or more openly discussed during the show include Platinum, Microsoft’s code name for an upcoming release of Exchange, advances in clustering capabilities on Windows NT, the new Microsoft Data Engine to be included in Access to smooth the upgrade path to SQL Server 7.0 desktops, and a new enterprise interoperability product expected to ship shortly after Windows 2000 that would replace SNA Server.

Many of the technical sessions are dedicated to helping IT managers plan for the migration from Windows NT to Windows 2000 and Active Directory. Several, however, focus on improving the reliability, scalability or availability of Windows NT 4.0 servers, SQL Server 7.0 database applications and BackOffice components.

More than 10,000 people are registered for the show. Some 6,500 people are registered for the IT operations program running from Friday through Sunday, and about the same number are registered for the developer program which goes from Monday through Friday, May 28. Many people are enrolled in both programs.

"In the past the two portions were combined, causing some overlap in terms of sessions and content," says Toni Jennings, Microsoft’s developer event manager. "Having a separate IT and developer portion enables all attendees to take full advantage of everything TechEd has to offer."

Brian Valentine, vice president of Microsoft’s Business Enterprise Division, kicks off the show Friday morning with a Windows 2000-focused keynote. He is slated to discuss the latest developments with Windows 2000 and the status of Microsoft’s effort to deploy the recently released Windows 2000 Beta 3 code internally. Microsoft says about two dozen companies have committed to deploying the Beta 3 code in production environments, but Microsoft officials have so far declined to identify any companies in the program other than Microsoft itself.

Paul Maritz, in one of his first major opportunities to address developers since being named vice president of the Developer Group in Microsoft’s reorganization, launches the Developer Program Monday morning with a keynote.

On Tuesday, as Microsoft begins a TechEd Digital Nervous System (DNS) track for developers, Bob Muglia, senior vice president of Microsoft’s Business Productivity Group, will give a keynote expected to touch on Microsoft’s knowledge management strategy. Bill Gates unveiled some of Microsoft’s plans for knowledge management Wednesday at a gathering of CEOs. -- Scott Bekker

ENT Online (www.entmag.com) will have continuing coverage of TechEd over the weekend and into next week.

About the Author

Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.

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