So, Aussie Tech Ed 2004 in sunny (but wintry) Canberra is over. I can't wait for next year!

I'd volunteered to answer questions at the Just Ask Microsoft stands, and had a great time talking with our customers, MVPs and other Microsoft folk about Windows, ISA Server and our Support Offerings. It was really good to meet you - some familiar names from past support cases, some excellent questions, and hopefully some new insights discovered!

I thought I'd throw a couple of comments out there - if anyone who attended has other feedback they'd like to share, I'll make sure it's seen by the TechEd organizers.

  • Scrawling “Windows + ISA Server” on my name badge seemed to be a Good Thing, rather than just loitering near the Windows stand at the Ask The Experts area. It might not be practical to print this sort of thing on the name badges, so whiteboard marker might be the way to go for the future as well.
  • The final presentation included a Longhorn demo (the legal application) - and to be perfectly honest, it wasn't that impressive unless you understood the amount of code you didn't have to write to achieve all the stuff in the demo - and the impression I got was that the audience in my immediate vicinity thought they were looking at something easily achievable today, and that they weren't that impressed.
  • I'm hoping more understandable Longhorn killer demo apps appear down the track (I loved the Real Estate demo, though it was even more Hollywood than the legal demo). Still, it's early days yet.
  • I was consistently impressed with Kleefie's breadth and depth of knowledge on so many subjects.
  • My apologies to anyone who had to sit through the ISA architecture whiteboard scrawling I was doing.
  • Next year I'll try to get to more sessions as well - the three sessions I attended were pretty good, I thought!

If anyone had any questions I was discussing with them that went unanswered (or, say, pretended to run away screaming, then stopped pretending), leave a comment below and I'll see if I can milk some good blog topics from them cover them in the future!

In other news:

  • XP SP2 is DONE and now available from MSDN Subscriber Downloads - I'm using it here at home in my miniature domain - so far, so good - give it a try! (Michael Swanson has more on the timeframe for the various stages of release - it'll be staggered)
    • For IT Pros, the jump point for all your SP2 deployment, maintenance and configuration needs is here.
  • Web Messenger (MSN Messenger “reach” edition) is in beta, go have a play with it (seems good for when you're on someone else's PC and don't want to install anything unbidden)