Tech-Ed 2006 was a judged to be a great success and we're keeping the timing ,format (Tech-ed Developers and Tech-Ed IT Forum running back to back) and location (the CCIB in Barcelona)
Developers 5-9 Nov 2007
IT Forum 12-16 Nov 2007
At the time of writing all is fixed the name, date and venue. We plan that registrations will go live in Mid may. I'll blog when that happens. You can watch http://www.microsoft.com/europe/teched-developers and http://www.microsoft.com/europe/teched-itforum but they haven't been updated for this year.
People are still being pulled into the team (I expect that all the evangelists will be involved). If you think of all the products which are designated 2007 or 2008 there's going to be a ton of stuff to cover - exactly what's in and what's out won't be clear till much nearer the time. And the same goes for community events (I'm working on a couple of ideas there).
Regular readers (it seems I have some) may have picked up that (a) I use Pentax cameras and (b) I like the edgy cartoons which Hugh Macleod draws (like this rude one), and we've unofficially adopted his "Blue monster" inside Microsoft. One of the interesting themes he had was around manifestos. I've linked to at least one.
Pentax are exhibiting at the PMA show this week and one of the people who saw them posted their "manifesto" which I picked up via a post on the OK1000 blog.
"You're a Pentaxian. A loyalist. A diehard. You once carried a K1000 around with you everywhere, only reluctantly setting it down to take the occasional shower. You tell your kids bedtime stories about those heady days when the camera simply known as "the Pentax" was the best-selling SLR made. You don't spend countless hours pixel-peeping. You just take pictures. And while you may be tempted, on occasion, to turn to a stranger on an elevator and say, "the best auto-focus SLR lens ever amde is the Pentax 31mm F/1.8," you'd really rather be using your equipment than talking about it. Pentax understands that cameras don't take pictures, photographers do. Our new digital SLRs are the result of our listening to Pentaxians and delivering tools for true photography lovers. These cameras are already creating many more loyalists. So the question is: can these newcomers count themselves among the diehards? hey, we're Pentaxians, not photography snobs. Welcome to our club."
It's getting a lot of attention and praise from Pentax owners. I've mentioned that their marketing VP keeps a blog, and engaging in conversations with customers and talking about the spirit of the company - and the beliefs they share with the customer is a good thing. They could have been reading Hugh
Update: Ned, Pentax's marketing VP has published some of these materials.
I love this one - OCR'd from his photo by One-Note
We’re lousy at marketing. Never been much for self-promotion. Here’s the thing: we’re a bunch of photography nerds. We’d rather be using our cameras than blathering on about them. And we’re always working to make them better. What’s that marketing word everyone uses? Innovation? Yeah, that applies to us. Although we’d prefer a word that’s more, well, innovative. Of course, to us innovation means building DLSRS with in-camera shake reduction that’s compatible with 24 million existing Pentax lenses. No marketing-obsessed corporate bean counter is going to green light that program. But despite our lack of horn tooting, our cameras always seem to find their way to the people we make them for. The K1000 was the best-selling SLR ever (toot!). And people are already talking about the k100d and k1od. We hear that’s called “buzz.” Well, given that we’ve just talked about ourselves way more than we ever have in our lives, we’re going to get back to making cameras now. Happy shooting.
A few days ago I blogged about a Longhorn Server Virtualization video featuring Jeff Woolsey. I said then that Jeff is great at being clear about what should be public and what shouldn't, "Please forward this to friends/family/customers and children of all ages."
Jeff has sent mails today which also pretty clear. "You may provide this information to customers. However, the only request that I have is that you please do not copy and paste this onto a BLOG"
So here's a precis rather a cut and paste job: some sharp eye'd viewers noticed some things in the video. One question which sprang up from seeing multiple "cores" was "Does the guest OS see Multiple Processors or a single multi-core processor", and the answer is "either". You can present an 8 core CPU, 4 twin-core CPUs, or 8 single core CPU, and this may impact the licensing for the guest. Some things we have Virtual Server 2005 go away in Windows Server virtualization:
Some basic questions keep being asked: so please forgive me for repeating that Windows Server Virtualization:
A few days ago someone who had installed 64 bit Vista asked us "why Microsoft developed an operating system that MOST of the software manufacturers have told me will take at least 2 years for them to support"
Now if you develop a new OS it takes vendors a while to support; heck, Office won't be 64bit until the next version, which you'd expect in about 2 years. How do we force every vendor to support 64 bit before there is a decent customer base running on it? Nearly all 32 bit Applications run perfectly on 64 bit, those which don't are few and far between. I don't expect much problem there.
Drivers for 64 bit are another matter. But I've been pretty lucky and got a great experience with my new Dell Latitude D820 - it has a TPM 1.2 security module, Wired and Wireless network, nVidia graphics mated with a 1920x1200 screen (just gorgeous), BlueTooth, a Smart Card reader, SATA hard disk and on-board Audio. I put installed Microsoft IT's pre-built image of 64 bit Vista and needed to do precisely NOTHING to make them work. And a just a tip of the hat to the Microsoft IT folks here, this build has what I need - one minute's work (half a dozen steps) and an hour of waiting and I have all I need on a brand new machine; all they need to do is stick an asset tag on the machine and give it to me. It hasn't always been this way. My USB storage Devices and digital SLR camera works just plug and play. I plugged my USB headset in and it downloaded the driver. The only thing I had to get a driver for was my LifeCam NX6000 .
So far so good. I was gloomy about the prospects for my HP3970 scanner - the drivers were still the 1.0 version after 3 1/2 years. I checked on HP's site recently and found they have released their 1.1 drivers, under enhancements they list 2 points "Adds Windows Vista support , Adds 64-bit support ". I've promised the lovely people at Hamrick Software I'd review their VueScan software, but they needed a library from HP: Looks like I can do that now. I haven't tried my cheap and cheerful USB TV stick - since I'm running the corporate build of Vista Enterprise - no Media Center - there's not much point, but I don't expect it to work.
Which leaves just one... When I upgraded to a Digital SLR camera, my Compact became a diving camera (in a housing) . The memory card door is temperamental and after it popped open on a dive (turning the camera off) I taped it shut and download via USB . The problem is that it needs to install a driver and -there's no support for 64 bit Vista. I knew that the 32 bit "driver" was actually just an INF file, it turns out the camera uses "private" USB device ID, but works with the standard USB storage driver. The INF file works with 32 bit Vista, so surely, I thought, I could write and INF for 64bit. After a few minutes with USBStore.inf and and the camera's inf file, I learnt that some devices are tagged _CB and some _CBI ... mine is tagged _CB. After that it was just a question of paring the file down to one _CB device, and replacing the names and USB ID with the ones for my camera. Put the usbStor.sys driver in the folder with the .INF and hey presto I have the camera working. If you need the inf file drop me a line.
I said last week that Jeff Raikes was going to make an announcement, he has. It starts:"Within three years, more than 100 million people will be able to make phone calls from Microsoft Outlook, SharePoint, and other Microsoft Office Systems applications; and customers will be able to gain this value with VoIP solutions that are half the cost of what they are today."
100,000,000 in 3 years - we're not messing about here !. When I was working full time on Live Communications Server I said that the take up of instant messaging compared with the take up of mail is like comparing the take up of DVD players with Video recorders. What we're talking about is:
This last one is the biggy I've written before about the way desk phones have become an anachronism. Anywhere I see a name on my PC I want to see presence, where I see presence I want to be able to chose a communication method, and my PC should start a phone call as easily as an e-mail provided that numbers are written properly The network already holds my contacts, and provides the presence service. With Exchange 2007, taking and storing voice messages has become another network solution - and I've also written about why this is so much better than traditional Voice mail. Management of voice calls is just another service - but today's VOIP solutions are expensive yet no more functional than the systems the replace. . OCS 2007 will address both points. As Raikes puts it, "We get out today's communications potholes, telephone tag, voicemail jail, or looking up and then dialing a colleague's office number, cell number, home number, only to leave a message." Bring it on.
[UPDATE] While I was typing that Eileen blogged about it too. I hate it when that happens.And she points out (as I mentioned a few days ago) you Register an interest in BETA on Beta Central
In place preview of files is a great feature of Vista's shell and Outlook 2007. The lack of support for PDF files really got an my nerves. It seems it got Tim Heuer too. Except Tim did something about it. He worked with the folks at Foxit software - who do a lot of tools for PDF manipulation and and produced on. Currently it's Vista only, but it works in the shell as well as in Outlook. The details, download link and screen shots are on Tim's blog
I put "Must have" in quotes, because this is not a Microsoft endorsement. My evaluation so far has been brief and positive; you should do your own evaluation.
Thanks to Arthur of the Unified communications user group for passing this on
No sense denying it, I like Mary Jo Foley linking to something I wrote. Although being cast as a member of the thought Blog Police seems odd. I doubt if many people think of me as someone who filters what he says inside Microsoft :-)
I searched for an FBI saying I'd heard and found it with the same citation in lots of places: 'J Edgar Hoover spent as much time polishing the image of the FBI as he did solving crimes, and the unofficial motto of the FBI remains, "Never embarrass the bureau" '. The reference to "Stupid posts" in the title of a post about Blogging Smart was a comment on people who never seem to wonder if they might "embarrass the bureau". Mary Jo quoted my comment that it was right this should lead to "a certain amount of discomfort". Robert Heinlein was tougher: Stupidity is the only universal capital crime; the sentence is death, there is no appeal, and execution is carried out automatically and without pity.
The post I "chastized" disclosed information about Exchange Server 2007 SP1. You can make your own guess about when it will be released. For background, Longhorn Server and Office Communications Server are both labelled "Coming soon" on beta central (you can register an interest there). Exchange 2007 SP1 is going into beta in April according to the Exchange team blog. It needs to work on Longhorn and with OCS's voice features. So Mary Jo's belief that the final version of Exchange SP1 "is slated to ship simultaneously with Longhorn Server, which is due out before the end of this year." seems reasonable, although how it turns out is another matter. I hate doing "roadmaps" because changes make forecasts look stupid or open me up to accusations of selling vapourware, and both are embarrassing
Here's an expansion of Blog Smart. In his book "Up the Organization" Robert Townsend told how, at Avis in the 1960's they made people accessible to the press without going through a PR department. The people were given 3 rules.
I'd say "don't forecast ANYTHING outside your direct control"
In a different post, Mary Jo asked "So what happened to the whole idea that Microsoft might do away with Service Packs all together, starting with Exchange 2007, and replace them with regular hotfix rollups?" I guess Exchange 2007-SP1 could be called "R2" instead. I was asked about Vista Service packs recently. With fixes going out via Microsoft update there's less need for service packs as vehicle for fixes. If you check our list of 'what shipped when' you'll see we Shipped NT4 on 29 July 1996, and SP4 on 25 October 1998 - 27 months later. XP Service pack has been out longer than that is still current. It would be stupid to claim any piece of software was perfect (or even unbreakable), but newer software is built with better tools and gets more testing than was the case in the 1990's - I believe we had more beta testers for Vista than customers for NT 3.1, 3.5 and 3.51 combined; the result bugs were found and fixed in Vistas beta stages which would taken one or two service packs to fix in NT4.
Mary Jo took issue with Eileen's contention that "before the end of the year" is "quite a while" she says "I know I sound like a broken record. But business users with whom I speak tell me that they want and need to know when service packs (especially SP1s) are slated to ship. Many still won't deploy a new product until SP1 is available". To me "wait for SP1" is a way of thinking that belongs to the 1990s. Sometimes it's a way saying you are not a laggard , just prudent. In 6 years in Microsoft Consulting I met IT departments whose agility was a business enabler or a strategic asset. And I met others so risk averse they would do nothing before their competitors. The latter think they are prudent and their departments are well run; what I saw was often people too busy fire fighting to understand what was coming next. When I first came across our Infrastructure optimization model , this stuck a chord. Those who are at the "dynamic" end of the spectrum don't always deploy new technology, but they can, they're the ones who tell me that forthcoming feature X will make the product compelling for their business. Those at the "Basic" end of the spectrum find all changes harder, they're the ones who just wait for SP1 without knowing what's in it. And Mary Jo is right, there are lots of them.
Technorati tags: Microsoft, Vista, Exchange
Later this afternoon I'm going to reboot this Dell Latitude 820 for the second time since I finished building it with 64 bit Vista. I experimented stopping some services to give Virtual PC some extra memory, and I've stopped which ever one is responsible for elevating privilege. Since starting a service needs elevated privilege this wasn't a very good thing to stop. Task manager says Vista has been up for 218 hours (which is net of time it's been in sleep mode).
On Friday I went to a lunch which was addressed by someone from the Master of the Worshipful Company of Information Technologists (one of the 107 livery companies of the City of London). I didn't think it was a great address, not least because he re-delivered an ancient joke as a Bill Gates one. You've heard it I'm sure, someone from the computer industry said once that if cars had developed as much as computers, they'd all do 200MPH, get 500 miles to the gallon and cost £100 to buy. To which the car industry replied that would be fine if you were happy with a car which crashed every once in a while, where different models had different controls...
Laugh ? I thought I'd never start. And the minor controls do change from car to car. And my car has been out of action 3 times in the last 20,000 miles due to punctures (I hadn't had a puncture in about 200,000 miles, then get 3). Just as well I don't fuel-up at my local Tescos
When I got back into my car it reminded me it will shortly be due for a service. According to the trip computer I average about 48 MPH - so roughly every 208 hours of use I have to be without a my car for a day while someone carries out preventive maintenance at the cost of a couple of hundred quid. Not the sort of availability we'd accept from a computer, is it.
One of the things that people argue about whenever we discuss "blogging smart" is when it is fitting to publish a mail and when it isn't. It's always smart to flag confidential mail as such, but sometimes it's hard to tell with unflagged mail. So I really like it when someone like Jeff Woolsey sends out mail which says.
Please forward this to friends/family/customers and children of all ages. Here’s a PUBLIC video of Windows Server “Longhorn” and two of its cool new features: Server Core and Windows Server virtualization.
Again, this is totally PUBLIC.
In this demo you will see:
Worth watching ? I think so. Go watch it !
Bonus link: My colleagues in Canada have a chat with Jeff available as a Podcast
Er, no. After what I said about leaking a few days ago I'm not going ruin Jeff's carefully prepared keynote. But on March 7th he's doing a keynote. Our Press pass site will have information, and (I'm told) a video. This is the next installment of the stuff Jeff started to lift the curtain on last June. We're 8 months nearer to shipping the hardware and software he showed then, so things will have firmed up. This is going to be something to watch out for if you want to know about where were going with Office Communications Server and the hardware that goes with it. I saw a working pre-production example of one of those bits of hardware this morning. Very, very interesting.
Groove is infectious. Everyone who has started using it in the office, loves it and sets up workspaces for other people. Sue, our roadshow producer is using the evaluation version and is already growing nervous of the day it runs out - she was really pleased to learn that she'll be able to use it with every feature except creating new workspaces.
I need to build up my knowledge on Windows Server Longhorn, and earlier this week I got invited into a Groove workspace with a ton of useful learning documents. I can't use all of it for blog posts, but there will be some nuggets which appear here over the coming months.
Groove isn't perfectly integrated into the office family yet and one of the irritations I have, or rather had, was it would make noises which there seemed to be no way to turn off. I'm a great believer that, in open plan offices like ours, PCs should be more-or-less silent (use head phones if you must).
Then something else* made me remember a feature of Vista. Every application gets its own sound channel - and you can mix them independently. So, turn off the sound for Groove! Job done! Why didn't I think of that before ?
* The something else was managing to start two instance of the live meeting console listening to the same broadcast. Both played about 1/4 sec apart. Only one would play with XP's sound architecture.