Heroes Happen Here, eh? What’s going on up north for Launch 2008 Activities.

If you remember way back - I posted the initial confirmation and tickler that Canada was having a major event on February 27th to mark the Launch of Windows Server 2008, Visual Studio 2008 and SQL 2008.  As you have probably read online over the last little while or so, the US have stepped up their marketing activities talking about what's going on all over the States. We just opened our Canadian Launch portal last week and started staging out notification emails and invites to people all across Canada... and so the noise begins. The Launch event in Toronto is February 27th and it's only 42 days away - I am constantly reminded by my 2008 Global Launch Wave countdown gadget in my vista sidebar - I figured that since now it's public, we're due for a no nonsense post about what's going on across Canada up here on the blog.

I'd like to get something out in the open right away - we get a lot of email and comments on the blog asking us "hey you aren't coming to X - why not?".  Trust me - we hear you and we'd love to come out and see you and meet everyone possible, but you know, like any IT Project you've worked on before - we are constrained by three things. Time, Resources and Money. I say Time and Resources - hey, there are only 4 of us in Canada on the IT Pro side of the house - we each cover different geographies and the more places we visit - the longer we're out on the road and away from friends and family. Money? That's easy - the longer we are out and the more places we go - the larger the bills become and we have a budget that we have to work with. Not one of these resources are unlimited and each are connected to each other. All that being said - we're trying to do something a little different this time around and I hope that you like it.

Let's talk about activities / events. There are currently 4 types out there in our Canadian Launch Activities. Launch Event, Technical Readiness Events, Community Connection Events and a US driven activity called Community Launch events (I didn't choose the name).

Launch Events

There are two of these.  What are they? Think Marketing, product positioning and keynotes with some serious demos and hardware involved. I don't want to use the term "high energy" (too marketing for me) but they will certainly have a lot crammed into the scheduled time slot. We've got Kevin Turner (COO of Microsoft Corp) speaking in Toronto and Steven Guggenheimer (GM of Application Platform Marketing) in Vancouver. I get the pleasure of being "10 feet from termination" driving some of the demos for Steve and Kevin - it should be a lot of fun.  There will be partner fairs, community zones for UserGroups and Professional Organizations, Ask the Experts areas with demo pods - it will be one wild ride.  At these events, since there is room and the venue is booked for the day - we're also putting a full Technical Readiness track for IT Pros and Developers (details below) as well as special mini tracks for IT Managers and Architects.

Resources from this:

  • The keynote and demos will be recorded as an entire session for viewing at your leisure.

  • The demos will be screencast and available if you want to cut to the chase.

  • The build and leadup to the keynote (how we did it, what we're using, how it all works) will be in a series of posts on the blog.

Cities these will be at and registration links:

Toronto February 27th Register now
Vancouver March 4th Register now

Technical Readiness Events

There are eight of these.  What are they? We're taking the technologies that are involved in the launch (Windows Server 2008, Visual Studio 2008 and SQL 2008) and choosing the highest impact features that you can take advantage of NOW within your existing environment while minimizing the disruption change brings. Don't worry - this isn't SlideWare with loads of "feature, feature, feature" talk which would leave you dazed and confused... To help ensure this content is relevant to you - we've been engaged with a volunteer content review board made up of IT Pros and Developers like you from across Canada who were pitched our ideas and approach, acted as a reality check safeguard and provided input throughout the entire development cycle of content.  (side note: this process was FANTASTIC and it's something we're planning on continuing to do going forward - but that's another blog post) There are two separate tracks (Developer and IT Professional) that will run simultaneously at the same venue.  Each track has three sessions - first one being more of a "this is possible - check it out" followed up with 2 deeper sessions focusing in on deeper knowledge and specialization. As I previously mentioned, we're coming at it from the angle that by the end of the session - you'll be excited and interested enough to start exploring how to get these technologies into your environment today without doing a major rip and replace or 24 month planning cycle. 🙂 Let's face it - by implementing these technologies, you'll be solving problems you are facing today and you'll come out looking like a Hero!

Resources from this:

  • All the sessions will be screencast and recorded for viewing at your leisure.

  • Demos will be screencast and available individually so you can see them whenever you have time.

  • The pre-work leading up to the demos (how things were built. what you can do to set it up yourself. how you can scale it) will be in a series of posts on this blog.

  • Post event resources including links, whitepapers, podcasts, additional readings will be compiled and shared throughout the launch events.

Cities these will be at and registration links:

Toronto February 27th Register now
Vancouver March 4th Register now
Calgary March 11th Register now
Edmonton March 13th Register now
Winnipeg March 26th Register now
Montreal April 8th Register now
Ottawa April 10th Register now
Quebec City April 17th Register now

Community Connection Events

Building on the success of our recent Developer and IT Pro "Ignite Your Career" webcast series, we've decided to try something a little different. We're partnered with CIPS and ICTC to put on a special workshop format event that is designed to allow you engage with local experts and peers in order to discuss and gain insight on three important areas (Technology, Community and Career) that are having an impact on today's ICT professional. We're going to be taking 5 discussion topics that cover industry challenges across 14 cities in Canada and share the collective insight back with the community and the industry.

Resources from this:

  • An workshop workbook containing reference material and discussion topics

  • a blog posts and/or podcasts from the events that share insight back to the community

  • A growing resource page that summarizes the collective insight after the final event concludes.

Cities these will be at and registration links:

Toronto February 26th Register now
Vancouver March 3rd Register now
Victoria March 5th Register now
Calgary March 10th Register now
Edmonton March 12th Register now
Regina March 18th Register now
Saskatoon March 19th Register now
Winnipeg March 25th Register now
Kitchener-Waterloo April 2nd Register now
London April 3rd Register now
Montreal April 7th Register now
Ottawa April 9th Register now
Halifax April 15th Register now
Quebec April 16th Register now

Community Launch Events

These are also very cool and completely driven by UserGroups, Professional Associations, MVPs and well - ANYONE who wants to put a flag in the ground and put on an event in your local neighbourhood.  Are you an uberGeek or are you passionate about Technology and want to get something started in your neck of the woods? If you decide to put on of these things on and host it in your neck of the woods - we're going to give you as many resources as possible to pull it off. There's online training, slide decks, demo scripts, virtual machine images - everything you need for an "event in a box" - including publicity. The website that you can inquire about events already scheduled in your area OR for you to APPLY to put one of these on can be found here at the Heroes Community Launch page. Because these events are going to be taking place later in the spring, a complete list for Canadian events is not available just yet. If you are interested in putting one of these on - you'll need to register your intent by January 21st on the site. Check back here for an update on how these are shaping up.


I hope I have been able to clarify a bit on the different approach we're taking to try and reach as many people as possible within the constraints we have. As you can see from the resources from each event - we're doing as much as we can to make these activities accessible to you, even if you are not in the city they are taking place. Do you have any other suggestions on how we can improve our outreach to you for this or future events?  This blog will be your best resource for connecting all the dots of what resources are available and giving you the tools and information to dig into the meat of what these products can do for you, what you can do with them and more importantly what you can leverage today to make a difference in your current environment and your current stage of your career.

Rick Claus
IT Pro Advisor
Content Development Lead for IT Pro track

Comments (16)

  1. Sean Kearney says:


    I THINK you’ve done this before but are any of these events broadcast live for those that can’t reach them?  You know for that "remote interative" kind of deal.

    I promise I will be quiet for the others and no "LOUD ONION" jokes.   (Sorry Rodney!  I really wasn’t feeling that good that day!)

  2. Sean Kearney says:

    I know Microsoft has a PILE of Virtual labs based on the technology.   What about hyperlinks for others to "play with the stuff" if they can’t make a keynote in person but want to watch?

    Maybe wifi at the launch to connect to the pile of Virtual labs?

    Of course…. *cough* I personally wouldn’t recommend using my SmartPhone to run the Virtual Lab.  

    Could get a little expensive…. 🙂

  3. Anonymous says:

    Last year we launched Vista, Office 2007 and Exchange 2007. Not to be outdone, this year the big launch

  4. Tom Engelhart says:

    Hello Rick;

    Thank you very much for the detailed information on the Heroes Happen here Launch activities.  

    Please help me!  I am having difficulties registering on the Heroes Community Launch page.  It asks for a registration code and I am unclear what that is.  I am a member of some of the Toronto User groups but unclear what I need.  My email address is tne9@hotmail.com and my phone number is (416)233-8011.  I look forward to hearing from you.  Regards, Tom Engelhart

  5. Hey Tom Engelhart

    The "heroes Community Launch" page is currently for individuals who want to PUT ON AN EVENT somewhere in the world. They fill out an application, sketch out some ideas on who would be assisting them and where the event might take place and they can qualify to participate in the program.  The offer to join in and put one on is open for registraion up until the end of the week.  Then the portal changes to a training portal for those that signed up.  Eventually it will also contain details on the events that are going on across Canada and the world for ALL to see and register to participate.

    It’s really kind of cool!

    If you’re just looking to attend an event – stay tuned. I’ll post up when that change happens and we can see what’s happening.



  6. Hey Sean,

    There are loads of resources for getting ready to play with the technology. I’ll have a post up soon to set ya straight. If you happen to go to the "heroes happen here" website at http://www.heroeshappenhere.com – you will see links for resources and training on all the launch products – INCLUDING remote labs that allow you to run with virtual infrastucture for 90 minutes in free form play mode or "follow the demo script" mode.

    Check them out and let me know what you think.


  7. Gisabun_1 says:

    Of course forgotten in all of this is the “promo kit” feature all three products. 🙂   Hope it’s like the VStudio 2005/SQL Server 2005/BizTalk 2006 launch.


  8. ye110wbeard says:

    Hey everybody, if you didn’t see it on the site?  There’s a comic Microsoft and Seagate are sponsoring!  You’re stories from the field (devs and ITs and geeks) can help drive the story line.  


    Sign in, share your stories.  Show the rest of the world just how BAD we have it.  Just how much we LOVE it.   Just how much it DRIVES you!

    I’m doomed already,  maybe you can save yourselves today… B)

  9. Costin says:

    Not at all! I’ll check twice if I were you

    Back here in Sydney/AU the promotional kit includes:

    – 1 year evaluation licence for Windows Server 2008 (64/32 bit)

    – SQL Server 2008 CTP 5.0

    – VS 2008 Team System 90 days evaluation

    Here’s the link so you can see for yourselves (http://www.microsoft.com/australia/heroes/event_agenda_why_attend.aspx)

    Only today after I’ve send a few emails they’ve updated their website. Just cancelled my ticket (pay $200 for eval versions that you can download anyway ?!?!?!)

  10. Anonymous says:

    In 37 days we’re having the Canadian kickoff of the 2008 Launch Wave. This is the launch of Windows Server,

  11. Anonymous says:

    In 37 days we’re having the Canadian kickoff of the 2008 Launch Wave. This is the launch of Windows Server

  12. Anonymous says:

    In 37 days we’re having the Canadian kickoff of the 2008 Launch Wave. This is the launch of Windows Server

  13. olivier says:

    The Montreal session is already all filled up? Maybe I’m missing something?

    The IT and Developer tracks still have ‘Registration Status : Open’ but at the end of the page, there’s a message that says ‘We are sorry, due to the popularity of this event, registration is now full. Please search for another event.’

    Anyway, if this is the case, is there any chance you could add more places? You announced these sessions only 11 days ago; it’s not like I procrastinated a lot this time.



  14. terry says:

    Are the Promotional software all trial software or non-trial like the last launch?

  15. Anonymous says:

      As everyone knows, we are on the eve of a major launch event for Visual Studio 2008, Windows Server

  16. Anonymous says:

    One of the things that is keeping me busy right now is the upcoming Heroes Happen {Here} launch wave

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