Yes the secret squirrel is out! As Nick and Long have already posted we are giving each paid delegates to TechEd Australia an HP 2140 Mini Notebook with Windows 7 pre-installed. Pretty cool eh? in my opinion this has to be the coolest and most useful thing we have ever done at TechEd. Yeah bags are nice but you can only use so many of them right? But a Netbook? Very cool indeed!! So what are the details of this machine?
Screen: 10.1” Hard Drive: 160GB 5400 RPM Memory: 2GB Processor: Intel Atom 1.6GHZ N270 OS: Windows 7 Ultimate – You might have guessed that from the boxshot!
So my role in this process is to own the image that gets put on these 2300 machines. Yes I have final say on what we put on the Netbooks. Fun and scary all at the same time. My goal is to make sure delegates have a great experience during TechEd with the devices and be able to take some learning's back to their office around Windows 7 Deployment. After all this is a pretty good size deployment to gain some good insights.
So right now I’m in the early planning stages of working on the image and what’s going to be included. The good news is I’m working very hard to make sure the image is built with Windows 7 RTM code. Could be a bit of a challenge since we don’t know exactly when that will be. So in the early discussions with folks we are look at using the following technologies.
The idea is that delegates will open the laptop at TechEd when they receive it and the machine will go through a Lite Touch Deployment of Windows 7 and the applications we include plus give you a chance to choose from a list of additional applications. We think that developers and IT Pro’s might not choose the same applications so we want to give you a choice.
So if you are on the fence with attending TechEd this year maybe this will get you over the line. Click on the button to the right to go to the registration page and don’t forget early bird registration is open until July 14th. So get in before then to get a discount!
So given we are in the early stages of developing the image we want to get your help. Tell us what you think should be in the image and what shouldn’t. Let me know your thoughts because the more ideas we have the better it will be!
I also wanted to call out some guys that are helping me out from Microsoft in the US. Jeremy Chapman, Adam Carter and Mike Niehaus will be helping with the creation and loading of the images. These guys have heaps of experience in OS deployment and are going to be at TechEd as well! We are really grateful to have them involved in this project!
Now the fun begins!
Perhaps the current version of the TechNet library (the local documentation part) - could also drive TechNet sales ;-)
XP Mode (assuming that the edition is appropriate)
Cool offer. Are you planning on maybe keeping a diary on here of the experience/ writing a technote/ whitepaper on what you did, how and how it all came together as that would be cool?
Yes we will be creating a session at TechEd on how we did this as well as sharing the best practice of what we did..
And if we offer suggestions that you use will we receive a Netbook as well?
How about making some use of the Side-bar widgets? I would say a Twitter widget, and RSS feeds from the event would be good. With the increase hype around social collaboration at the event it would be good to put something into the Netbook to enhance the experience for people (like me) who haven't got around to purchasing a smart-phone device.
Would be happy to help with the dev work if you need a hand with the turn around.
Works for me - just chased up my manager to ensure that my pre-reg gets paid and my place gets locked in ASAP!
As you said Jeff - my 2008 bag is still doing great duty, but a netbook - that's awesome. Just a really geeky & pointless question - are you going to co-brand them? Maybe laser-etch the lid with HP & MS TechEd 2009 logos, something like that?
As far as suggestions for the content on them, I still use my old Tech Ed DVD sets quite a bit. It's annoying that last year's DVD contents pages don't work anymore with the whole Silverlight/beta thing, so my suggestion would be to pre-load the entire DVD set onto the laptop, with some form of easy front end to navigate them. That would be something that I would use frequently, and would really benefit from being able to take with me.
This would also have the side benefit of saving MS money in making/giving away the separate DVD sets, and would be a little eco-friendly, in the reduced physical media + supply chain requirements.
Other than that, +1 vote for cool, unspecified sidebar widgets. :)
Good luck with the build!
Found out last Friday work was not sending me to Tech Ed this year. (bad)
Had already decided I would pay my own way if need be, so I started sign up process yesterday. (good)
Netbook offer popped up while I was signing up. (AWESOME!)
Looking forward to TE2009!!
I'm in the same boat as Tim and have followed the exact same path (even to the point of my response to finding out about the Netbook;-).
Perhaps you might consider including some/all the available documentation, etc, for Windows 7 so that it is instantly available (perhaps to then be able to spend time reading it on the flight home afterward).
I remember MS used to do "Notes From the Field" books.
I'd like to see (as Cliff mentioned) the "how we did it" doco.
I think a lot of IT Pros would be able to take that info, scale it down (if needed), and use it as a way to plan their own rollouts.
@matto - the teched DVD's from last year can still be made to work. Laurent Duveau has created a fix so you can use them again - http://weblogs.asp.net/lduveau/archive/2009/02/11/the-teched-2008-north-america-dvd-fix-you-ve-been-waiting-for.aspx
@Kyle - Awesome! I'd been using the site here : http://timheuer.com/blog/archive/2008/10/31/teched-north-america-dvd-silverlight-update.aspx to sort everything out, but having a local HTML file will be even better!
Thanks for the tip-off!
Currently working with Jeff on the build for this netbook. By the way - @Orin: XP mode will not be available due to hardware restrictions on the machine (no hardware assisted virtualisation...)