I spent the day at the Auckland Microsoft 2007 Technical Briefing Session. Although aimed at Enterprise IT Managers and Developers I found most the sessions useful. I don’t mange our network but work with those who do. I do build the CAD machines, exceptions to the normal managed desktop build, so anything which makes that easier was of interest.
Apart from a brief introduction to Vista & Office, from a management/developer point of view, most the sessions concentrated on Microsoft Network Management, Deployment, Enterprise and Development platforms. One product discussed that was not “work”, but still interesting, was Windows Home Server. I wonder about the size of the potential market in for it NZ but the capabilities were interesting if it all works as claimed. Plug it in and have sophisticated features like backup, data replication, machine imaging/restore happening for the PC’s on your home network, even your Xbox, with minimal set-up or management.
While I was already aware of many of the topics covered in the presentations, while often billed as overviews, really helped me understand the principles involved. A couple of sessions on hardware/application virtualization and management/deployment tools were especially useful. One on “Platform Building: creating "composite" applications”, was way more techo than anything I’d ever do but still gave an insight into the approach for this sort of application. A lunchtime session on Enterprise Search was interesting. I don’t see a need to rush to Vista yet but can see some of the core platform advances in it – graphics, deployment, search – becoming compelling as more applications exploit them.
While I may never do much of what I saw today I have a much better chance of understanding those who do when we need to talk . This event is runs in Wellington (14th March) and Christchurch (21st March). If you are involved with Windows system admin/development or need to deal with people who are I recommend it.
[Nothing to] Disclosure: I chose to attend in my own time, weird way to spend a “holiday”, & at my own cost. The admission fee included a choice of Office 2007 or Vista – I chose Office.