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And by "cool", I mean "laughing-so-hard-I-can't-breathe FUNNY"...
(DISCLAIMER: This is a spoof! Some people at Microsoft DO have a sense of humor!)
"...but not if you're a competitor!"
An interesting e-mail discussion thread was generated early this morning among IT Evangelists at Microsoft. It all started with this forwarded e-mail (thanks, James, for blogging it).
In summary - A Google product marketeer e-mailed a set of attendees registered for a Google event, politely asking them not to attend because they are competitors. Ouch.
Like many of us, this struck me initially as quite amusing. I mean, c'mon! Who or what company would dare to send out such an e-mail to some of their event registrants?! Are they really that concerned about what we might hear? Or is it because they're afraid we might heckle the presenters or somehow preach Microsoft's products to their attendees?
To that latter point, I should mention that we (Microsoft employees) are well trained on how to behave ourselves in such a situation. We must always be very clear about who we work for. In fact, I and many of my team mates even go as far as to always "wear the logo" into events that are put on or sponsored by competitors, so there is no chance for mis-representation. We must not cause trouble, and must always be polite. Represent the company.
I've sat through competitive presentations where the speaker decided to take advantage of having me there; making funny comments at Microsoft's expense and then apologizing to me (sort of - though often mainly just for effect). I've been in other events where the speaker was mis-informed about a particular topic; maybe pointing out features of our older products in relation to theirs. In both situations, I basically just "sit on my hands". Smile. Nod. Appreciate the humor (like I appreciate those very funny PC vs. Mac commercials). And then if needed, and after the event, privately and constructively correct any inaccuracies directly with the speaker or via e-mail. But never never ever be confrontational or rude. "Smile and wave, boys. Smile and wave."
Getting back to the e-mail... it also did occur to me that perhaps they have some other reason for not wanting us in the seats. As you may know, a big part of my job at Microsoft is to speak at events. (Give me a roomful of geeks, and I'll get on stage with my laptop.) I know that if we're spending big dollars to get "cheeks-in-seats", we certainly would like to believe that those cheeks are going to learn something useful, and even better, someday spend some dollars on Microsoft products as a result. From Google's perspective, they're probably right in assuming that firstname.lastname@example.org won't spend a dime on their products. And if seats are limited, it's even more important to get the right cheeks (as in "correct" cheeks, not "opposite of left" cheeks) in the seats.
So.. was the Google guy right/correct in sending that e-mail?
Should any company go so far as to have open registration to a free seminar, and then ask certain people not to come?
At least I've been told as much. But then I respond, "No.. I'm certified!" as I whip out my Microsoft Certification card with my low 5-digit MCP number. (MCP since '94 on Windows 3.1, and currently an MCSE:Security (2000) and MCSE (2003).)
What about you?
"I'm wondering what the future of the certification programs at Microsoft are, what with Windows Vista out now and with 'Longhorn' Server coming out."
You're not alone. Good news, though. Trika just e-mailed a bunch of us to let us know that there are some webcasts that will answer many of your questions about the future of Microsoft Certifications coming up:
Protecting the Integrity of Microsoft Certification - May 23, 20077:30 A.M. Pacific Time or 5:00 P.M. Pacific Time
Review of Windows Vista and Exchange Server 2007 Training and Certification - May 30, 20077:30 A.M. Pacific Time or 5:00 P.M. Pacific Time
Introducing the Windows Server “Longhorn” Certification Roadmap - June 13, 20077:30 A.M. Pacific Time or 5:00 P.M. Pacific Time
1 Year In: The Microsoft Certified Architect Program - June 20, 20077:30 A.M. Pacific Time or 5:00 P.M. Pacific Time
Don't worry if you can't make the live events. They'll also be recorded. But if you're at the live event, you can ask questions of the presenters.
Here also are some recordings from recent Live Meetings
Find recordings of past MCA-led live meetings on the MCP home page.
...and here I come!
I am so excited. You'd be hard-pressed to find a bigger fan of TechEd than I am. And this year Microsoft is celebrating 15 years of TechEd.
I missed the first year (1993 - Orlando), but I have attended nearly all of them (Only missed two others - '96 and '97), and have may wonderful memories both as a Microsoft Employee and as a regular attendee.
Some of my memories:
Even though it's broken, I still have the TechEd '94 watch that was in my attendee bag. I also remember the Mardi Gras parade they held for us in the convention center hall.
I remember how mad Aaron Neville looked when some idiots started hurling those little TechEd '95 pads they gave us to sit on at the Neville Bros. concert. (I still have TWO of those pads.) And while sitting in the official LAUNCH of Microsoft Access 2.0 (featuring Kevin Nealon), the guy next to me showed me his beta installation of Windows 95, which was my very first look at the new UI.
The rest of the TechEd memories tend to run together... but I've seen some amazing concerts (Cheap Trick, Blondie, Steve Winwood, Faith Hill, Tim McGraw, and others), fantastic parties (amusement parks inside domes... Disney, Seaworld, Universal Studios, Horse Tracks)... lots of special MCP and Tech Influencer parties... Jam Sessions (I usually sing at least one song while I'm there), and many many wonderful friends I see and catch up with year-after-year.
"Great memories indeed! Do you have any photos?"
You know, I was looking through some of them earlier this evening. I don't have any earlier than TechEd 2000 (Also Orlando), because I didn't have the digital cameras before then. But perhaps I'll post some of my favorite photos from each of those last 6 years. (Watch this space.)
"Wow! What kinds of things are happening this year?"
I'm glad you asked. TechNet Radio this week has a great interview with the two folks who are running the show. There are some really cool things happening this year. Check out the interview.
"In recent years you've worked booths or hands-on-labs. Are you doing anything like that this year?"
Yes, I'm helping out, though not on as much of a strict schedule. I'm going to be helping with Virtual TechEd; doing podcast and video interviews. Many podcasts may also find their way onto TechNet Radio.
NOTE: Come to the Jam Session on Monday (At "The Groove" at Universal Studio City Walk). I'll have a video crew with me for some interviews and footage of all the fun.
I'm also going to try to do my own video diaries like I did in 2005, and at least one daily blog entry like I did last year.
Are you going to be there? Let me know! We'll do lunch! (I'm serious!)
Yes! It's finally official! BillG announced it at WinHEC today.
Now we all have to train ourselves to stop saying "Windows Server Codename: Longhorn" and just say "Windows Server 2008".
"Kevin! I thought it was going to ship by the end of this year? Does this mean I'm going to have to wait until '08 to get it?"
Hey.. for all I know (not much) it may still RTM this year, and then "General Availability" in early '08. (Remember... Vista RTM'd in late '06 but most people couldn't buy it 'til 07.)
Here are some resources relating to the webcast I presented on May 16, 2007, entitled “TechNet Webcast: Windows Vista Reliability Improvements”.
I hope you find them useful.
Windows Vista Home Pagehttp://www.microsoft.com/windowsvista
Windows Vista Product Overview for IT Professionalshttp://www.microsoft.com/technet/windowsvista/evaluate/overvw.mspx
Startup Repair: Frequently Asked Questionshttp://windowshelp.microsoft.com/Windows/en-US/Help/5c59f8c1-b0d1-4f1a-af55-74f3922f3f351033.mspx
Windows Vista Reliability and Performance Featureshttp://www.microsoft.com/technet/windowsvista/evaluate/feat/relperf.mspx
Selected Scenarios for Evaluating Reliability Diagnostics in Windows Vistahttp://www.microsoft.com/technet/windowsvista/library/c3175f8c-0025-4293-9f4d-8bb660f04016.mspx
Windows Reliability and Performance Monitorhttps://www.microsoft.com/technet/WindowsVista/library/ops/53582ab0-24a0-411c-9c7a-7b2466741699.mspx?mfr=true
Windows Vista Securityhttp://www.microsoft.com/technet/windowsvista/evaluate/feat/secfeat.mspx
Windows Vista Deploymenthttp://www.microsoft.com/technet/windowsvista/deploy/default.mspx
For IT Pros: Key reasons to upgrade to Windows Vista http://www.microsoft.com/technet/windowsvista/evaluate/keyreas.mspx
Recorded Live PDC Session “What’s New In Software Installation for Windows Vista: Exploring The Windows Installer (MSI) and ClickOnce Options”http://microsoft.sitestream.com/PDC05/FUN/FUN222_files/Default.htm#nopreload=1&autostart=1
Live TechNet Events
Microsoft Events page:
Microsoft Events page:
"...If I buy X and Y, do I have to get Z also.. blah blah blah?"
Whoa! Hold on! I know just enough about Microsoft licensing to get me fired! Seriously... you can ask me, and I promise I will NOT make up an answer. I have no problem telling you those three special little words: I DON'T KNOW.
"Who does know?"
Well.. for starters you can go to the Microsoft Licensing site for information. But you now have another option... a webcast happening on May 24th. You can get all your questions answered there.
Here are the details:
Microsoft's Inside Licensing Webcast Series
(Are we selling our products at the local State Fair now?)
Apparently that's what Microsoft and SanDisk are planning on doing. I love it!
Check out this article: SanDisk, Microsoft in USB flash drive, memory deal
Imagine this... you don't need your own computer anymore to travel. You just go to a kiosk with your SanDisk drive.. plug it in to the USB port... and you have your own computing environment.
"Huh? You crazy, Kevin?"
Think about it. It can be done. Use Virtual PC, or some run-time (meaning: not installed on the host OS) version of that technology, maybe?
Take a really big USB drive and put a .VHD (virtual hard disk) and .VMC (Virtual Machine configuration file) that represents and contains an installed OS. And then have that run-time virtualization engine auto-run from the USB drive to just load that Virtual Machine into memory.
Presto! You've got your own virtual computer that you've carried with you... and it's not leaving any personal information behind.
"Oh yeah? What about keystrokes?"
Oh. Yeah... that's a problem. Personally I don't trust kiosk computers as far as I can thrown them. And they're anchored down, so they're not easily thrown. Trust me. So... until I can trust a kiosk, it's not a perfect solution.
But... if I am visiting someone that I can trust, and just need to get to my own apps or e-mail temporarily... it might be a really neat idea.
NOTE: My vision of using virtualization to do this is all just speculation on my part. I really don't know the details any more than what are written in the article as to how they're actually going to accomplish this "personal computing environment"-on-a-stick.