Musings of a PC

Thoughts about Windows, TV and technology in general

Tech-Ed 2006: Highlights & lowlights

This is not going to be an exhaustive list !
 
Highlights
  • Office System 2007
    This suite of products is just fantastic – much better than I ever thought a new release of Office could be. The new UI really really works – power users may not like it but 80% of the users will. SharePoint is just stunningly good. InfoPath is fantastic. Can’t wait to start using this stuff for real.
  • Vista
    As with Office, this was starting to look like a release that everyone was kicking down. Some of the sessions I’ve been at this week have really helped to enforce my thinking that this is a significant release and one that we want to deploy as soon as we’ve got a good feel for application compatibility and hardware requirements.

    … and for both of the above, having at least 6 months to plan for the deployment.

  • Boston
    This is a really great city to be in – pleasant walking and lots to see.
  • Wireless network
    I don’t think it was just that my laptop was able to pull in a signal in all of the meeting rooms that I was in; there were very few complaints about the wireless network, particularly compared to last year. So well done to the network team for a fantastic wireless network.
  • The stapleless stapler
    This, I think, was possibly the best bit of swag from the whole show. You can forget about your t-shirts and funny bits of plastic/foam/rubber. This great little gadget will pin up to five sheets of paper together without needing any staples.

    A general swag suggestion to the Tech-Ed organisers: how about reducing the amount of swag that is available and, instead, using the money to give a really decent gadget to all attendees? Something like a "Plays for Sure" player, or something like that.

Lowlights

  • Mobile phones
    This must have been the worst Tech-Ed for sessions being interrupted by ringing mobile phones. A request to the Tech-Ed organisers: please get speakers to start each session asking everyone to turn their mobile off or put it on vibrate.
  • The bag
    This year’s bag was really bad. It was uncomfortable to carry, it jangled a lot and it didn’t carry much, particularly not a water bottle. A request to the Tech-Ed organisers: please choose a backpack for ’07. It looks as if there is a healthy discussion on www.msteched.com about what the ideal bag might have by way of features.
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