TechEd 2010 – Monday Morning

One of the nice unplanned parts of the trip was walking out the front door of the hotel to realize that there was a TechEd bus stop right across the street at the Intercontinental. Saved the $6 taxi fee (or the .9 mile walk). Arrived early at the convention center around 7:45 am, looked around some, headed upstairs to find the press room. Along the way had the mildly amusing experience of a few guys looking at a beverage cooler trying to figure out where the money went – none required, drink all the juice you want, one of the nice perks for attendees (though I have to wonder what it adds to the cost).

Saw Twitter feeds up, including a note to use #techedask for questions (PASS should look to see if that turned out to be effective). Saw some notes that breakfast wasn’t great, didn’t go to see firsthand.

We were told to get to the keynote 30 minutes early and I did, getting about 5 rows back from the stage. Sadly there were no tables and no power, so other than grouping press people together I’d didn’t see any value and will probably sit in the back the rest of the week so I can have some room to work. Seemed liked about 70 or so press types.

Live band started about 20 minutes to 9 playing Jazz. Not a music expert, but it was nice to have live entertainment that went right up to the start of the keynote. Lead singer wearing a metal vest that he ‘played’ – is that a real instrument? Shows what I know about music.

Bob Muglia did the keynote. Ok delivery, just long – 1.5 hours. Too long for a keynote in my view. Focus was definitely on cloud computing. Nothing too interesting from a SQL Server perspective. Nice demo of viewing a bug report in VS 2010, fixing the bug, running the test to verify fixed. It allows you to capture/integrate not just the bug, but video plus details about exactly where the error happened, and then you can reverse back through the code to see how you arrived there/at that state.

Noticed that AT&T couldn’t seem to keep up during keynote, couldn’t get Twitter to refresh on phone.

He talked about lessons they have learned from Bing, patching offline and using app virtualization to separate OS from app. I have to admit I like where they are going on this, nice demo of visually provisioning – OS, data layer, load balancers, min/max instances to spin up. He also talked about getting to the point that normal hosting services would be cloud hosts as well (on top of Azure? don’t know).

A mildly interesting demo of Office Communicator, probably more interesting under the hood, when it works (which it mostly did) it’s simple and obvious. Talked very briefly about upcoming release of Intune for server/pc management.

Opalis is an in orchestration layer, looks like an SSIS type environment. Interesting, not sure if available separately? Supposed to work cross platform.

Had a nice Bing map demo, doing overlays (lots of places where overlays are interesting), SDK now available.

Ended on time, then up to the press room to write up these notes. Not too exciting, writer geeks all quietly writing. They have iced tea which increases the chances I’ll be back later. They provide lunch too, saves having to wait in line, though usually the lines go really quickly at TechEd.

It’s easy to forget just how big the event is. Lots and lots of people, haven’t heard an attendance number yet.