TechEd is going good. This years TechEd is a bit different than the many that I have been to before. The keynote was ok - not great, but not bad. I was hoping for some customers to come out on stage and present the really cool things they are doing with Microsoft's technologies. I love seeing front line implementations and the hills they had to climb to get to what they have. But there was none of that this year.
They brought out a robot as part of some new Robotics group in Microsoft and they brought out a robot as a demo of what they are talking about. They had the robot play back an old voice recording of S. Ballmer saying "developers, developers, developers". The sad part was this fancy robot was connected by an XBOX controller *with a cord* and a guy following behind controlling him to go this way and that. (wireless anyone?). Here is a good photo of how happy BillG was with the robot:
Beyond the keynote - it is a smaller TechEd in that the IT Pros are not part of this TechEd but they are part of next week's TechEd. I have heard that there are around 5 thousand people at this one (maybe less) and that there is double that next week for the IT Pro event.
I met up with a lot of vendors including FarPoint, Infragistics, ChartFx, Oracle and some others that I have to deal with as part of my job at Thomson Reuters. I have also been attending some of the sessions and meeting with all the various Microsoft teams on the floor of the convention floor. Meeting with the team members in the technology booths is probably the best thing about TechEd as you get some one on one time with them to go over your specific questions and issues. That part of the conference is worth the entire trip.
So far so good. BTW - Florida is hot.
BTW - on another note with the keynote - this is probably BillG's last keynote and there was no real kickoff for him, which is sad considering all he has done for the developer community. I really would have liked more on this topic rather than the joke video of his last day in the office (most of which has been seen before). The conference ended with a Q&A with BillG and most people had walked out by the end of that. I think most people left because of the really silly questions that were being asked of him.