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