The summer is always a break point for us from the old to the New Year at Microsoft. We are now finalising the planning for FY06 and I can safely say that you aint seen nothing yet!

For those of you who don’t know, I am Bruce Cowper, and IT Pro Advisor for MS Canada – look for me on any search engine and you will see some of the things I have been getting up to with the IT Pro Community, TechNet and personally across Canada. In case you hadn’t noticed, I am rather passionate about Technology and one of my obsessions is sharing my passion and knowledge with you all. To this end each year I get a chance to sit down and help work out what events we will carry out this year, what content we will show you and what demonstrations etc you hopefully will get the most out of.

So, does this mean we sit down and say, ”what products can we push this year”, actually (and I forgive you scepticism over this) not really! Over the next 12 to 18 months there are a number of major product releases, but this is just the tip of the iceberg, so we are putting together a Curriculum for the year. My remit being “to help you deal with the challenges you face today and preparing you for the technologies of tomorrow!”.

Above and beyond all of that last year saw the formation of the Toronto Area Security Klatch (www.TASK.to) and I am proud to say that I sit on the executive for the group. Last year also saw various other new user groups across the country such as the Calgary IT Pro Community (http://www.calgaryitpug.org/) and others. We saw the massive growth of the Toronto Windows Server User Group (www.twsug.com) and I was honoured to work with you guys last year. We also saw the formation of Culminis Canada and I will be working as part of the Council this year to help connect the IT Pro Community across the country and beyond.

Another highlight from last year for me was the IT Pro Community Summit with Winternals and with your help, after your feedback I am working to making sure the event this year (no promises as I am still working on the powers that be) Bigger, Better, Bolder with more information, demos and fun!

The biggest highlight for me was just being able to get out and meet so many of you. Thank you for all of you support in FY05.

This year is starting with a huge bang for me as I have organised the Windows Vista Beta 1 Install Fest. During this event we will have over 200 people deploying Windows Vista Beta 1 in an exclusive event for local IT Pros, where their feedback and experiences could shape the final product. This is a sign of things to come for FY06.

I am looking forward to this year as I hope you are too… Watch this space! J