Yes the secret squirrel is out! As Nick and Long have already posted we are giving each paid delegates to TechEd Australia an HP 2140 Mini Notebook with Windows 7 pre-installed. Pretty cool eh? in my opinion this has to be the coolest and most useful thing we have ever done at TechEd. Yeah bags are nice but you can only use so many of them right? But a Netbook? Very cool indeed!! So what are the details of this machine?
Hard Drive: 160GB 5400 RPM
Processor: Intel Atom 1.6GHZ N270
OS: Windows 7 Ultimate – You might have guessed that from the boxshot!
So my role in this process is to own the image that gets put on these 2300 machines. Yes I have final say on what we put on the Netbooks. Fun and scary all at the same time. My goal is to make sure delegates have a great experience during TechEd with the devices and be able to take some learning's back to their office around Windows 7 Deployment. After all this is a pretty good size deployment to gain some good insights.
So right now I’m in the early planning stages of working on the image and what’s going to be included. The good news is I’m working very hard to make sure the image is built with Windows 7 RTM code. Could be a bit of a challenge since we don’t know exactly when that will be. So in the early discussions with folks we are look at using the following technologies.
- Windows Automated Installation Kit (WAIK)
- Microsoft Deployment Toolkit 2010
- Deployment Image Service Management (DISM) – Part of Windows 7 by default
- Windows Deployment Services in Windows Server 2008 R2
The idea is that delegates will open the laptop at TechEd when they receive it and the machine will go through a Lite Touch Deployment of Windows 7 and the applications we include plus give you a chance to choose from a list of additional applications. We think that developers and IT Pro’s might not choose the same applications so we want to give you a choice.
So if you are on the fence with attending TechEd this year maybe this will get you over the line. Click on the button to the right to go to the registration page and don’t forget early bird registration is open until July 14th. So get in before then to get a discount!
So given we are in the early stages of developing the image we want to get your help. Tell us what you think should be in the image and what shouldn’t. Let me know your thoughts because the more ideas we have the better it will be!
I also wanted to call out some guys that are helping me out from Microsoft in the US. Jeremy Chapman, Adam Carter and Mike Niehaus will be helping with the creation and loading of the images. These guys have heaps of experience in OS deployment and are going to be at TechEd as well! We are really grateful to have them involved in this project!
Now the fun begins!