I was invited to attend the EMEA Dell Partner Direct conference in Madrid last week, specifically to represent Microsoft, alongside Vmware at a discussion about consumerisation, hosted by Dell Wyse. There has been much written about this, the decline of laptop sales as other form factors such as phones and tablets go from strength to strength, so I don’t intend to paraphrase that.
However one question from the floor got me thinking and it was about the cost and speed of internet connectivity while we are out of the office. Simon and I have a lot of experience of this when we are trying to run our camps and this is despite trying to arrange connection in advance and paying considerably for them. We can also get stuck when we are just trying to do our other work in hotel rooms, at service stations and departure lounges.
So for many of our camps we have our demos with us, and for me this is my mighty “Dell-asaurus” a bright orange laptop (m6500) with 32Gb of RAM 3 x SSDs etc. etc. In fact we normally have several of these beasts to show off things like virtual machine mobility in Windows Server 2012, rather than rely on the servers we have back at the office. However if I am lucky enough to get a decent connection then I can get mail and chat on Lync, and best of all get back to the office file shares, and sites with DirectAccess, because we have standardised on Windows 8 clients with Windows Server 2012 servers.
So my advice is to pray for the connected cloud but plan to use a disconnected device like a PC.
However unless you want to show 20 virtual machines running all at once you don’t need to lug a round a huge laptop to work offline, You could simply carry a properly configured (and encrypted memory stick) with which you can boot from on any Windows 7 or 8 compatible PC. To find out about that and the other things we can do if and when your remote workforce have a connection to the office you’ll need to come to our latest round of Windows 8 IT Pro camps which will be focused on Windows 8 on the enterprise. Actually that also means we’ll be showing you the client aware features of Windows Server 2012 that we left out of our last round of server camps such as:, DirectAccess, Branch Cache, VDI, Dynamic Access Control etc. and so you might also need a laptop if you want to evaluate that ( note you can download a Windows Server 2012 trial here).
Finally if we get good internet at our camps Simon also plans to show you how to work with the Windows 8 store, and PC management using Windows InTune,
Simon and I are doing so many events that frankly our blogs are nearly dying of neglect so I am not even sure if anyone is out there reading this!
I am not apologising because it’s great to be out there meeting people at IT Camps, launch events etc. However not everyone can get to one of those, either because there are leaves on the line or your boss can’t let you out of the office and there’s no budget for travel anyway.
Also our IT camps fill up really fast, on one occasion in just ten minutes after it was published. To overcome this we have been asked if we can record them and to be honest our unplugged style makes each camp very different e.g. what the audience are asking us about, which of our demos work as planned and how much SQL Server Simon lets me talk about
Anyway Marcel our intern has put his foot down and ordered us to do a version of our camps for TechDays Online later this month. So all you need is a comfy chair (but not too comfy), a latte and a laptop. If you watch us live on the day you can ask us questions but if not we will be recording it for posterity.
TechDays will be spread over two days with a half day on each topic about all the stuff we think is jolly exciting..
Day One (30th October)
Day Two (31st October)
In the meantime download the evaluations of Windows 8, Windows Server 2012 or System Center 2012sp1 or tune into MVA so you can ask better questions.