Damir and I had a great time out in Vancouver - and we brought the sunshine with us. The clouds parted and dry weather prevailed for the two short days I was in town. To recap the events:

VanTUG User Group Meeting: After taking a cab from the hotel to the SportBC venue, we arrived in time to setup and chat for a bit before starting. It was a packed room with 60 + attendees standing room only (I lost track and count) all eager to find out about Exchange SP2 and Mobile 5 devices. Lots of great questions from the members (as always… I seem to remember the VanTUG UserGroup being very vocal the last time I was out to talk with them).  We got into some interesting discussions around GSM and CDMA/EVDO networks and devices, BlackBerry with BES (as expected) and the best question of the evening "Do you think the market is ready or cares about Mobile 5 devices?".  As expected - my answer to that question is a resounding YES.

Canadian consumers and businesses are going to have their choice of devices and providers that are Windows Mobile 5 with MSFP installed (also known as AKU 2) within a matter of months.  These devices could be picked up off the shelf by individuals from a retailer or purchased in bulk from a partner/Systems Integrator as part of a larger project.  Regardless of how they are purchased, they will be integrated into your mobile device strategy and manageable by your IT departments with Exchange SP2.  These devices will not require any additional servers/services you haven't already deployed and won't require any additional $$$ for Client licenses or $$$ for dedicated servers.  In short - they just work and they don't cost any more then the purchase cost of the device and data plan.  Your entire mobile email infrastructure stays securely WITHIN your organization and no data leaves to go to a central Network Operations Centre. But I digress… this is sounding like a separate post / article I can write up in the near future…

Where was I? Oh yeah… VanTUG… We had a lot of fun. Thanks so much for being a great bunch of UG members and participating. I can't wait until I'm back out that way again in March for the Build'06 Tour…

Vancouver TNX-TechNet Exchange event:  Wow… West coast IT Professionals coming out in force! We had over 375 people show up to learn about the details of the Collaboration platform, enabling the mobile workforce and the Windows Mobile 5 strategy. You guys were the first full audience to see the content and the demos. It was great interacting with you at breaks and lunch to see how we were doing and talk/show off the Windows Mobile 5 devices up close and personal. From your evaluation scores and comments - it looks as though you were quite happy with the event as a whole.  I got a number of questions from you about getting resources and slide content after the show.  Damir and I recorded the audio for the day and will be carving it up into digestible PODCAST type chunks. We're also making the slide decks and "demo casts" available as well - so you can review and "relive" the event at your will and at your own pace. Stay tuned to this blog for more information on their availability.

I wrote this blogpost while waiting for my plane to fly me back to Ottawa.  I was hoping to use my UTStarcom 6700 SmartPhone from TelusMobility with it's EVDO highspeed network as a USB modem, but I forgot to pack my external CD-ROM to install the drivers on my tablet PC… AARRRGGGHHH!  :(  I knew I was forgetting something when I was packing back in Ottawa. Hind-sight is 20/20, eh? 

I have to run... I am back in the Ottawa office getting ready to deliver the Usergroup session to the Ottawa Windows Server User Group.