TechEd is on in the USA (Orlando, Florida) right now, Steve Ballmer did the opening Keynote (titled "Enabling People to Drive Business Success) which was on about 1AM Tuesday NZ time

There were several announcements that are interesting from Steve for Windows infrastructure people.

Transcript http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/exec/steve/2005/06-06TechEd.mspx

On demand webcast http://www.microsoft.com/winme/0506/24850/TechEd_2005_MBR.asx

PPT http://download.microsoft.com/download/f/9/d/f9dd899b-0c6d-455e-9415-61acbdecb9d3/Ballmer%20060505%20TechEd%202005.ppt

 

1. Windows Server Update Services is RTW!

Yes it has Released To the Web and can now be downloaded from http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserversystem/updateservices/downloads/WSUS.mspx

Microsoft Update (MU) is also live at http://update.microsoft.com/

Here are some of the other downloads that are available for WSUS too, the last one is particularly useful - migrating SUS to WSUS:

WSUS ReadMe Release Notes for WSUS

Read the WSUS FAQ

Compare Microsoft Update, Windows Server Update Services, and SMS

WSUS Step-by-Step Guide Getting started with WSUS on Windows Server 2003

WSUS Step by Step for Windows 2000 Getting started with WSUS on Windows 2000

WSUS Ops Guide Comprehensive guidance on administering and troubleshooting WSUS.

WSUS Deployment Guide Comprehensive guidance on deploying WSUS.

WSUS Step-by-Step Migration from SUS Guidance on migrating from SUS to WSUS


2.  Exchange 2003 SP2 is announced

SP2 is out the 2nd half 2005, http://www.microsoft.com/exchange/downloads/2003/sp2/overview.mspx has the overview.

The main new features include:

Direct Mobile Messaging with Exchange 2003 SP2 and the Messaging & Security Feature Pack for Windows Mobile 5.0

AUTD (Always Up-To Date) v2 which no longer relies on SMS text message notifications.  SP2 will use an HTTP connection, maintained by the device, to push new e-mail, calendar, contact, and task notifications to the device.  Great info on the design of Exchange Direct Push / AUTD v2 in SP2 http://blogs.technet.com/exchange/archive/2005/06/07/406035.aspx  Great feature that will remove many deployment blockers by being network operator/carrier agnostic and moving from scheduled sync to direct push.  This is out of the box with SP2, no middleware or extra infrastructure required.

Some additional compression for Exchange ActiveSync (EAS) should see around 30% less traffic over-the-air

Device Management and Security policy settings including:

Policy setting. Force a password to unlock a device.
Local wipe. Reset the password after x number of incorrect logon attempts.
Remote wipe. Reset remote devices over the Web.

SP2 also includes improvements to the Exchange Intelligent Mail Filter - an update to the filters as well as additional technology to help stop Phishing attacks, and also support for Sender ID checks to help stop spoofing.

Another big improvement for SBS 2003 and Exchange 2003 Standard admins will be the increase in mailbox storage limits from 16GB to 75GB! (hard drives and mailboxes are a bit bigger these days than they were when Exchange was originally designed)

For the details on Public Folder admin enhancements, see http://blogs.technet.com/exchange/archive/2005/05/16/404997.aspx

More details on Exchange SP2 at http://blogs.technet.com/exchange/archive/2005/06/06/405993.aspx

SP2 FAQ http://www.microsoft.com/exchange/downloads/2003/sp2/faq.mspx

 

3. Messaging and Security Feature Pack for Windows Mobile 5.0 is announced

Direct Push will require Messaging & Security Feature Pack for Windows Mobile 5.0 with Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 SP2

AUTD v2 will keep Calendar, Contacts, Tasks, and Inbox up-to-date using Direct Push Technology

The new Feature Pack includes an application that lets you browse your corporate address book over-the-air with Exchange 2003 SP2.

More details at http://www.microsoft.com/windowsmobile/business/5/default.mspx including a streaming demo http://www.microsoft.com/windowsmobile/_assets/video/TechEd/Final-MobilityV7-300K.wvx

Signup for news about the Feature Pack at http://www.microsoft.com/windowsmobile/business/5/learnmore.mspx

Fact sheet about the Pack http://download.microsoft.com/download/3/d/e/3de2470b-ab9a-4a7f-b760-ee2421df294a/MessagingSFPFS.doc

 

4. IBM (Lenovo) ThinkPad Tablet PC

The public debut of the IBM ThinkPad X41T was at TechEd, during Steve's keynote too.  A long time coming and hotly rumoured device - by all accounts a very desireable device - light weight, long battery life, pretty fast and a convertible Tablet, complete with fingerprint scanner.  Picture at http://news.com.com/Photo+Say+hello+to+the+ThinkPad+X41/2009-1044_3-5734152.html

Can't wait to see and play with one in NZ.