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Tech-Ed: Software vs. the Real World

Microsoft's learning event, Tech-Ed North America, is winding down in New Orleans. And the most interesting thing about it is…well, New Orleans.

The opening keynote by Bob Muglia, senior vice president of Microsoft's Server and Tools Business, was about cloud computing (a fancy word for "outsourcing"), along with a recap of past Microsoft announcements.

A lot about the cloud is still murky. Cloud computing can have a dark side, especially when you have to change out your hosted applications, according to Gartner analyst Andrew White. His colleague, Lydia Leong, pointed out that the magic cloud might not be so magic.

One Tech-Ed news tidbit tucked away in the shuffle was the availability of Exchange 2010 Service Pack 1 beta. Microsoft had announced the details about the Exchange 2010 SP1 beta back in April. The beta has some personal archive handling improvements with .PST files, as shown here. It also adds improvements to the Outlook Web App client. But that's about it.

Still, in the background of all of that excitement, there was New Orleans. They are still rebuilding five years since Hurricane Katrina. If that weren't enough, the gushing BP spill spews oil into the Gulf of Mexico with no end in sight. Something's rotten in the country, and we're not talking Denmark here!

And even though Microsoft has its hands full plugging holes in Windows, its engineers still found time to build houses in New Orleans while at Tech-Ed. Steve Andrews, a Microsoft Most Valuable Professional for Visual Studio ALM, founded a group called Geek Give that advocates spending some time at conferences helping local communities. What a guy!

Will Microsoft employees next devote time to plugging BP's underwater torrent? Maybe they could inject boxes of Windows Vista into that hole? This needs some think time.

In the mean time, Microsoft has generously donated $100,000 to the Colbert Nation Gulf of America Fund, which will go towards the relief efforts in the area

But seriously, what has grabbed you so far at Tech-Ed? Check out the summary here. Was it the technical nuances of cloud computing and using the Opalis solution to manage services? The scale-up capability of SQL Azure? How about the RemoteFX capability coming next month with Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1? RemoteFX will enable 3-D graphics experiences on remote thin-client devices. Maybe you were wowed by the promise of unified communications with the release of Communications Server "14" later this year?

Tell Doug what impressed you about Tech-Ed at dbarney@redmondmag.com. And please don't mention our national disasters.
--By Kurt Macike

Posted by Doug Barney on 06/09/2010 at 1:17 PM


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