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Tech Ed: Honk! Dynamic IT for People-Ready Business

Server Core, Forefront, and SQL Server,

Bob Muglia, Microsoft senior VP of Server and Tools Business, opened the keynote with a funny takeoff on Back to the Future. Christopher Lloyd made an appearance, taking Bob back to the past to revisit past product visions that never became reality. (Cairo, anybody?) The premise was that Microsoft needed to stop talking about “vision” and stick to real products. Christopher Lloyd threatened to honk a horn if Bob’s keynote speech veered off into “vision.” Good start!

Then Bob’s first slide appeared with the title, “Dynamic IT for the People-Ready Business.” HONK! HONK! Where did Christopher go? OK, I understand that marketing slogans are necessary and that Microsoft has to articulate its strategy. As the TechEd press release said, “Dynamic IT will serve as the framework for Microsoft’s development efforts in the coming years.” But that sounds like vision to me.

I interviewed Bob Kelly, general manager of product management for Windows Server, and asked him to talk about the specifics behind the slogans. Check out this video:

(Having trouble viewing the video? Click here.)

To be fair, in addition to the slogans, the keynote also had lots of demos and product announcements. Highlights:

  • Server Core, the stripped down version of Windows Server 2008 (formerly, Longhorn) will support IIS 7.0, which provides a small-footprint Web server platform and positions IIS competitively against Apache on Linux. You can get a free “Go-Live license” for IIS 7.0 here, which lets you put beta releases of Windows Server 2008 into production.
  • A new integrated version of all the Forefront security products, code named Stirling, which “integrates comprehensive protection technologies across client, server, and network edge” and will be available in a limited beta by the end of 2007.
  • Microsoft’s acquisition of Engyro Corp., which gives interoperability capability to the System Center family.

SQL Server and Visual Studio Announcements
Check out my interview of Kim Colley, a SQL Server product manager:

(Having trouble viewing the video? Click here.)

Kim talks about SQL Server 2008 (the official name for the briefly code-named Katmai release). The first CTP is now available for download here. One SQL-related announcement that was demoed in the keynote was Microsoft’s acquisition of Dundas Data Visualization products, which will now be included with SQL Server 2008 Reporting Services.

I also talked with the Visual Studio 2008 team, and you can check out the video here:

(Having trouble viewing the video? Click here.)

And yes, Visual Studio 2008 is the not-surprising official name for the Orcas release.

Today’s Agenda
Today, I’ll be recording meetings with the Windows Mobile and Unified Communications teams, as well as Vista and IIS 7.0. This should be an interesting and fun day here in Orlando. Watch this space tomorrow for more.

Random Thoughts
Note to Mike Dragone: I tried to ask your questions, but they were not part of the programmed agenda for TechEd. We’ll follow up and get some answers later.

Note to people meeting with a male and a female: Don’t assume that the male must be the person to focus your attention on—especially if you’ve made the appointment to talk to the female. ‘Nuff said.

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