Right, listen up - loads of events coming up for May and June, all free of charge, and all packed with useful information.  If that's not enough, James Senior and I are presenting both of the "Vista After Hours" events, where we'll take a look at the really cool side of Windows Vista, and how everything comes together with other technologies such as the Xbox 360.

Other events that I'd personally draw your attention to would be the Longhorn Server event, on the 12th June and Windows Powershell on the 22nd May, both at the Microsoft Campus, Reading.

Windows Vista

01 May 2007 - Leeds: Vista After Hours

You may be familiar with Windows Vista at work - whether you have deployed it or are evaluating it - but have you ever thought about the possibilities of Vista outside of work? This session, aimed at IT professionals, explores not only the built-in elements such as Search, Photo Gallery, Windows Movie Maker and the Networking & Sharing Center, but also how you can extend your Windows Vista Experience with Windows Media Center, Xbox 360 and specific applications to open up a new world of gaming and home entertainment.

03 May 2007 - Reading: Vista After Hours

You may be familiar with Windows Vista at work - whether you have deployed it or are evaluating it - but have you ever thought about the possibilities of Vista outside of work? This session, aimed at IT professionals, explores not only the built-in elements such as Search, Photo Gallery, Windows Movie Maker and the Networking & Sharing Center, but also how you can extend your Windows Vista Experience with Windows Media Center, Xbox 360 and specific applications to open up a new world of gaming and home entertainment.

22 May 2007 - Edinburgh: Vista Deployment Using BitLocker Encryption to Protect Mobile Data - How to Keep Secrets

Windows Vista's BitLocker feature provides the means for you to secure data and ensure the integrity of your mobile systems like never before. In a lab it's a wonderful thing. This session will show you how to take advantage of BitLocker in a production environment.

29 May 2007 - Manchester: Windows Vista System Integrity Technologies

Windows Vista features new system integrity technologies including code integrity, secure start-up, service hardening, mandatory integrity control and Internet Explorer protected mode. In this session, Steve Lamb explains how these technologies work.

31 May 2007 - Reading: Vista Deployment Using Group Policy in Windows Vista to Control User Behaviour and Network Security

Ever feel that your existing operating system just didn't have enough Group Policy Objects? For your delectation we’ve added a whole host more. During this session we’ll take a look at the new XML based Administrative Templates and how to gain control of your environment using the powerful new features of Windows Vista.

20 June 2007 - Manchester: Everything you Wanted to Know About Imaging Vista But Were Afraid to Ask

At this TechNet event you'll find out how to deploy Windows Vista. We'll look at the new installation processes and tools, and show you how to capture an image, modify it and deploy it onto client computers. Come along and find out just how powerful Windows Vista can be for you.

Longhorn

12 June 2007 - Reading: Overview of Windows Server codename "Longhorn"

The new Windows Server operating system, code named "Longhorn", is in the beta phase, with many of the final features and components present and functional. In this session we'll look at some of the core operating system features and how they enhance productivity and performance, and at the new security improvements. We'll also discuss a new feature called Network Access Protection and explain its uses. Finally, we will look at the significant changes and improvements in Terminal Services over previous versions of Windows.

Management

01 May 2007 - Reading: Microsoft Management Summit (UK)- Are You in Control? How to Manage and Secure Your Infrastructure

The Microsoft Management summit will provide a selection of the most valuable content from the year's global event held in San Diego from 26 – 30 March. This year, we plan to deliver a much wider range of essential technical content than previously. There will be three keynotes, followed by three parallel tracks of four sessions, enabling you to build your personal agenda.

Powershell

22 May 2007 - Reading: Windows Powershell for IT Administrators

In this session, we'll introduce you to Windows Powershell: what it is and what you can do with it. We'll take a look at how you can use the shell to perform day-to-day administrative tasks. Starting with a basic overview of shell concepts, commands, and cmdlets and how to construct them, we'll move on to build more complex scripts, before rounding up with ways to administer windows using some of the reporting facilities available in the shell.

SharePoint

20 June 2007 - Manchester: Planning and Deploying Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007

In this session we will provide a detailed overview of the SharePoint 2007 architecture. We will present the concepts of topology, server roles and network conditions. The session will also provide an overview of administration features within SharePoint 2007.

SQL Server

31 May 2007 - Reading: Advanced SQL Server 2005 Reporting Services

Learn about the advanced techniques for building reports with Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Reporting Services and the Microsoft Visual Studio-based Report Designer. Other topics at this event include using the built-in expression language, report parameterisation and supporting multiple data sources. Receive a walk-through of sample reports and discover tips and tricks for using the Report Definition Language (RDL).

Licensing

01 May 2007 - Leeds: An introduction and overview of Microsoft Licensing

Licensing can be confusing – but it needn't be! Attend this course to understand Microsoft Licensing and how to best apply it in your company to fit in with your business needs. This session is aimed at IT professionals who wish to gain a better understanding of Microsoft's Software Licensing. The briefing assumes no previous in-depth or technical Licensing experience.