Day 2 at TechReady lived up to expectations. Today I attended several sessions on Unified Communication (UC), and Identity Management. While there has been a fair amount of press lately on our UC efforts, I don't think it has sunk in yet how much Microsoft is focusing on this space. The investments are primarily in Office Communication Server (the new version of Live Communication Server) and in Exchange 2007. Microsoft is going to be a player in the VOIP space. Much better support and scalability around A/V conferencing, Telephony, etc. So much capability is going to be coming next year that it is going to be a challenge to assimilate it all. I would pay attention to these two very closely. For the publicly available information and a goofy but very interesting demo, look for our UC announcements on the web site from about a month ago.

Identity Management is a focus area of mine and another area of big investment for Microsoft. As demonstrated with our acquisition of Alacris, we realize that there is still a ways to go in terms of providing a robust, end to end identity management solution. It's still going to take some time to get there but I've been in discussions this week with some of the top product managers in AD, MIIS, etc. and they definitely get it. These are not easy problems to solve but the product groups are finally getting aligned to go after them with a coherent strategy.

On to Day 3!