It’s interesting going to a conference in your home town as although its a lot closer and easier to travel to, the issue is that it then has to fit in with your normal work routine including family and any other responsibilities.
I guess there really is something special about travelling away to another city/country to attend a conference? I’m also not doing booth duty today so it makes a pleasant change to be able to see the event from a delegates perspective.
Finally, this is my first TechEd experience so I’m looking forward to comparing the event to my knowledge of holding User Conferences, presenting at events and assessing the ‘community’ factor…
Microsoft have a lot of apologising to do (WARNING: I’m just having a bit of fun here!), they’ve spent the last 15 years convincing us about the value of client/server application architecture coupled with backoffice (been a while since I heard that one) infrastructure integrating Operating Systems (think Windows Server) to infrastructure applications (think Active Directory, Exchange, SQL and more recently Lync).
But the focus of the conversation for this event has now moved to Cloud… Microsoft are now all about Cloud, be it moving those said infrastructure applications to the cloud with Azure, moving infrastructure off premises into Azure infact maybe you should drop your ‘Virtualise First’ policy in favour of ‘Cloud First’? As everything can/should? go there…
A Future Vision…
You no longer pay for the hardware or the services, you move completely to a software subscription model. Pay as you go OPEX models are the Crown Jewels of Cloud and Microsoft are all in with this and are in a unique position to carry everyone with them.
It’s really about ‘Cloud Enabling’ businesses to run their applications in the cloud and access their data via the internet from any device without worrying about any of the current Enterprise challenges of application compatibility or software version control, think cats and dogs living together kind of stuff, I almost expected a Unicorn to leap out of the screen… But this is all about Vision and not the Roadmap to get there.
Seriously though, Microsoft are probably in the best position to do this, they’re in your data centre running your enterprise applications and are now starting the change in re-architect those applications right under your nose (oh look Hyper-V is now included, oh look I’ve a cloud connector built into SQL) they are on the journey to hotel California, will you be joining them, do you in fact have a choice?
Enough cloud busting, what I do like is the big focus for this event being ‘about the applications’ and how they enable people, not the tools/infrastructure underneath, the keynote had a great intro into the internet of things describing our move from shared internet services to everyone owning their own smartphone connected to the internet (through analogue modems and Internet cafe’s). This leads us to the fact we are all connected to the internet, all the time, so why would you want to host your own applications when they are always of things where we want the same application experience regardless of the device we use.
Some great examples were FoodBank and FarmBot – cloud based services with device apps to control sensors / read information that’s being created all around us, awe inspiring/visionary stuff, the thing of keynotes really…
Your Window to the Cloud
So when your enterprise application and it’s backed systems have been moved to the cloud what device will you be using to access it? Microsoft have experimented with Surface for a while now, from Windows RT on Atom through to Windows 8 on Intel, when you look at the surface pro 3 you see a device built on windows to be the device for all, from content consumers to content creators – it looks like a cross between a desktop/laptop and table – all in one… It has USB, it has MicroSD, is has Mini DisplayPort yep all the standards you’d expect unlike…
Apple, they really need to look at this approach and question whether the ‘closed system with limited expandability to only provide you with what you need, when you need’ approach will work longer term. Although I’d appear from the exterior to be a fanbouy with my iPhone, iPad, MBP I mainly like the user experience (I’ve been a Windows user since 3.11) and so farApple have been probably the best (in my opinion) as being able to deliver a similar user experience between devices, but this may be about to change with Microsofts ubiquitous offering… (DISCLAIMER: I’ve never used a Windows phone).
Sessions I attended
300 – Windows Universal Apps – Lars Klint @larsklint (WPD305)
300 – Moving your Perimeter Network into Azure – Orin Thomas @orinthomas (DCI306)
Tomorrow I’ll talk more about more sessions, the venue and the community..