There is a great listserv for technical discussion of Microsoft and other technologies in high ed environments.  Subscription information is available on http://windows-hied.org/.

The participants of the listserv have an annual conference in Redmond.   The event is held on campus but is not a Microsoft event.  It is organized and hosted by active members of the list.  I am hoping to attend this year on my way back from the Nacubo conference.

More information pasted from the windows-hied.org website -

<from windows-hied.org>

Windows in Higher Education Conference 2006

Date: July 10-12, 2006 (Sunday the 9th will be an optional evening 'meet and greet' event)
Location: Microsoft Campus, Redmond, Washington
Cost: No registration fee, breakfast and lunch will be provided - attendees are responsible for airfare and hotel
Attendees: Higher education IT staff from anywhere (max of 75? attendees)
Hotel: Will be announced
Transportation: Shuttle from hotel to event and back provided each day - attendees are responsible for transportation between airport and hotel

As with prior events, this is a technical conference with about half of the content provided by Microsoft speakers and half by peer speakers. We focus a lot of attention on content and presenters and strive to bring together excellent content from both Microsoft and peers. A large part of the motivation for holding the event on the Microsoft campus is greater access to high level Microsoft presenters.

The event is a relatively small one, historically no more than 75 attendees. This year that number might increase, but only slightly. It is a great opportunity to connect with both peers and Microsoft experts.

</from windows-hied.org>