Enemy Territory - Tech.Ed 2008 Day 1

"Enemy Territory" -- because I went to a conference promoting Microsoft products and were surrounded by Microsoft-worshipping geeks today, from 8:30am to 6:45pm. Not the greatest experience, and I was totally overwhelmed at how many "stormtroppers" who actually attended Tech.Ed. It did not end up as bad as I thought would be (i.e. I did not get bashed in the toilet by Microsoft fanboys yelling "die! Open source moron!") and I was actually quite impressed by -- not the technology -- but the marketing power of MSFT and how they produce the show.

So here we go. Left house at 7:40am and arrived at the Sydney Exhibition Centre at 8:15am to queue up for registration. Got my show bag -- a nice Targus bag -- and my name tag with an RFID on it (which I later find out doesn't always work).

Keynote kicked in at 8:30am and I already felt sleepy 20 minutes through. Well. I wasn't expecting Steve Jobs. I thought there should be at least some developer rock 'n' roll but I was disappointed that there wasn't any. Amit did his job -- so did I (trying to stay awake).


After keynote you can then start going to the sessions. First one I went to was on "Software + Service" by Anna Liu. Interesting break down of software/deployment components stack by stack. But Software + Service? They say it is more than software as a service (SaaS) but maybe I just can't see the difference. That reminds me a similar presentation I went to back in 2000 when everyone raved about being an application service provider (ASP) -- same thing! Might as well bring back the old main frames where all software is centrally deployed, administered and executed. Nothing new under the sun.

Also went to a few "usability" presentations by Shane Morris and Susan Wolfe. A Silverlight presentation. A VSTO presentation that I have completely no idea (but have no idea where else to go and two of my colleagues are going to that one). They are all "interesting" talks, but I can't say I've learnt anything new. Maybe I am just repelling whatever is fed to me... Hopefully tomorrow's sessions are going to be better.

Big ass table

Here's one of my colleagues playing with the big ass table. Cool technology. All UI done in WPF. It does take some practise to get use to the inputting method. There are other exhibitors there showing their products and I managed to get a beanie from Citrix. Looking forward to more freebies on Friday...