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,
Hmm, I wonder what airport security would make of me plugging in a USB key and rebooting their kiosk ;-)
I find that booting any hardware that isn't yours without permission is at best bad manners and at worst could seriously damage your health!