Hello from TechReady 5 in Seattle. Like last year, I'm going to blog each day this week with news from TechReady, Microsoft's internal technical conference for employees. TechReady is a great event held twice a year where we get to hear from the product groups about all the upcoming releases for the year as well as training on all of the current releases.

Today kicked off with a keynote address by Kevin Turner, Microsoft's Chief Operating Officer. As they usually do, at the end of his presentation he took questions from the audience. This is one of the great things about the company, the executives will take any question from the audience and in most cases they audience doesn't pull any punches. Today, I had the opportunity to step up to the mic and ask Kevin a question. I wanted to guage the executive committment to the amount of investment and vision required for the move to software plus services, hosting, and large data centers that we keep talking about and that I am a big proponent of. These are huge business changes that in some cases are completelty different than the models that we have historically been successful with.

Being an internal conference, I don't think it's appropriate to quote his response but I came away convinced that the committment is absolutely there from the highest level. I think the top level vision is dead on in terms of offering customers the choice: services hosted by Microsoft, services hosted by our partners, or services hosted by the customer themselves. Everyone else is pitching an all or nothing approach.

Tomorrow Bill Gates will be our morning keynote so I am definately looking forward to that! Maybe I'll get a question in to him too! Check back tomorrow for a summary of his thoughts and a review of the technical sessions I'll be attending.