Day 1 at TechReady was great. There were several keynotes in the morning ending with one by Steve Ballmer who always revs up the audience. As for technical content, that started in earnest in the afternoon sessions. I attended sessions on RMS, ADFS, and a great session on Longhorn.
For those of you who have not looked at ADFS yet, I highly recommend checking out the whitepapers and training available on the web. This technology provides many options for federating identity between business partners. While I can’t disclose specifics, there is a real push to extend the abilities of ADFS and have other products such as RMS and Sharepoint leverage it even more than they currently do. This is an area of significant investment. Also, for the skeptics out there, the current version of ADFS can interoperate with several of our competitors products so you don’t need to have AD on both ends.
Next, I attended a whirlwind session on Longhorn features. This was a heck of a session. Many of the features have been discussed publicly but this is the first time I saw a bunch of them in action. Server Core, the stripped down version of Longhorn that fits into a couple hundred meg with no GUI is a big deal. Substantially reduced attack surface. My guess is that Server Core will be very high performance for the dedicated roles it serves like AD, DNS, etc. Roles are a theme that you will continue to hear a lot about. In an effort to reduce complexity and increase consistency, detailed server roles and management are a big part of longhorn. The roles tie together configuration, management tasks, security, events, etc. Big changes to terminal server will make it much more usable, particularly from outside the firewall. There are a large amount of other changes as well such as network stack improvements, IPSec improvements, a great server management console.
All in all it was a great day, looking forward to Day 2!