There were no major product announcements or other startling revelations during the first two days of TechEd but with the TechEd crowd, it comes down to new features and capabilities and there were plenty of those to discover and dive into with deeper technical sessions.


The Day One kick-off was all about Windows Server 2012, with Server and Tools Business president Satya Nadella showing the cloud-optimized server OS and Windows Azure, updated with new services and features to deliver infrastructure-as-a-service and platform-as-a-service capabilities. Nadella showed how they complement each other with consistent development, management and identity, making it easier to create, migrate, deploy and manage applications across public, private and hybrid clouds.


Speaking of the cloud, attendees were shown how the next release of Windows Intune includes expanded mobile device management and adds people-centric management capabilities and upgrade rights to the latest version of Windows.


For the developers in the audience, Microsoft announced the public preview of Team Foundation Service. TFS is an application lifecycle management tool hosted on Windows Azure, featuring collaboration tools, a code repository, and reporting and traceability tools to help teams more effectively manage software development. Attendees also learned that Microsoft LightSwitch, the easy-to-use development tool for quickly building applications, will now render HTML5. Integrating HTML5 into LightSwitch will enable developers using the tool to target any device or platform supporting HTML5.


On Day Two, the focus shifted toward Windows 8 with corporate vice president for Windows Web Services Antoine Leblond showing another side of Windows 8. While the discussion to date has naturally centered on more consumer-oriented features, Leblond showed why Windows 8 is “enterprise-ready by design.”


To augment the Windows 8 Release Preview in an enterprise environment, there are now updates to several MDOP products, which enable organizations to virtualize, manage and restore data, applications and users’ experiences. Here’s a quick rundown on those releases:


The beta for Microsoft BitLocker Administration and Monitoring (MBAM) 2.0 is now available to protect data with BitLocker and BitLocker to Go by using Windows 8 support to simplify the provisioning process, monitoring and enforcing compliance. MBAM 2.0 can help reducethe cost of managing an encrypted environment by integrating with
existing managements systems and allowing users to support themselves with a self-service recovery portal.


The Microsoft Advanced Group Policy Management (AGPM) 4.0 Service Pack 1 beta and release candidate for the Diagnostics and Recovery Toolset (DaRT) 8 were also
released  providing support for Windows 8 Release Preview.


Also announced, the second beta for User Experience Virtualization (UE-V) will be available by the end of the month. UE-V is designed to give individuals the ability to change their device and keep their experience without reconfiguring applications or settings in Windows 7 or Windows 8. New features in the second beta include roaming system settings between Windows 7 and Windows 8; support for additional operating system settings, like Start menu, Taskbar and folder options; Group Policy support to ensure agent configuration consistency; and the roaming and sync of settings between Internet Explorer 8, 9 and 10.


Stay tuned for more coverage of Days Three and Four.


Thanks for reading,

Mitch Irsfeld