I’m just heading out of Monday’s Keynote address here at TechEd Europe 2009, and it was definitely a stunner. If you couldn’t attend, here’s a short summary, and if any of this floats your boat, check back to the New Efficiency Virtual Launch Event in a few hours because we’ll be posting a recording of the session there.
The session began with an intro by Achim Berg, Chairman of the Managing Board Microsoft Germany and Area Vice President International, who explained why I was left with standing room only: over 7200 people from 104 countries completely sold out the TechEd Europe 2009 event a few days ago and a large percentage of them had filled the keynote theater to capacity! Achim then introduced Stephen Elop, President of the Microsoft Business Division, but first he paid homage to the historic celebration happening in Berlin today. It’s been 20 years to the day since the Berlin Wall came down, symbolically ending the cold war and re-uniting both Germany and Europe. He also pointed us to an impressive artistic project focusing on today’s celebration of the event and using several Microsoft technologies to build a mosaic of impressions, remembrances and opinions of the Wall from people around the world.
Stephen Elop also paid homage to Berlin’s history, but then got down to business, explaining just what Microsoft means with our New Efficiency campaign. With help from Microsoft execs and customers deploying our newest platforms, he did a great job of clearly explaining the New Efficiency and what it means to businesses and IT operators today. Tune in when we post the recording for a fascinating discussion with IT operators on the cutting edge. All are facing challenges like a workforce that now spans four generations, an economic landscape that can shift on a dime, and new competitive technologies, including cloud computing and virtualization, and balancing them against a cost-conscious management mind set. My favorite line? “Ninja-proofing your IT infrastructure.”
He also oversaw a great demo of Exchange 2010 – loads of stuff I didn’t even know Outlook 2010 or Exchange 2010 could do, even though I’ve been using both for over a month now! Get set for much smarter voicemail, email discussion views and way easier Exchange server management.
Stephen then introduced Robert Wahbe, Corporate Vice President, Server and Tools Marketing, to talk about all the new capabilities of Windows Server 2008 R2. We’ve covered them here in depth, but even so Robert dropped a few new facts, like that 460,000 customers have so far downloaded Windows Server 2008 R2 since it became available and that all major server makers are already offering it on new hardware. He also monitored a great demo of the synergy between System Center 2010 and Windows Server 2008 R2, including not just an easy dashboard-style interface but the cool capabilities of PowerShell.
All this is well worth the look once the recording posts. Meantime, check out a new Forrester study on the Total Economic Impact of Windows Server 2008 R2. I’ve sat through many a keynote in my day, and this one really is worth the time; thanks to Stephen and Robert for making it so interesting.
Sr. Product Manager
Windows Server Marketing