TechEd Europe 2010 – Day 2

IMG_0877Day two was pretty interesting and normally I would have posted something before dinner, but I got hijacked into “extra curricular activities”.  We’ll talk about those later.

As you can see at right, one of the most popular attractions in the Exhibit Hall is the XBOX 360 KINECT demo area.  Customers an partners have been trying their hand at the games and in this particular case, this gentleman is slamming the final shot for the match win.  I intend to buy one of the KINECT units when I get back to the states assuming of course I can find one.

Day 2 Sessions

IMG_0821The TechEd Europe team has strict policies around filling the rooms due to even stricter fire codes.  As a result, they really don’t like Microsoft employees taking seats for sessions that are high demand.  Joe Snow’s morning session on Azure for IT Pros was full so I was not able to listen.  However, they did let me take a few pictures and here’s Joey holding court.

Later that morning I was able to sneak into the session Jeremy Chapman and Stephen Rose did on Physical to Virtual (P2V) migrations.  The context of this session was around the Pros and Cons to migrating physical Windows XP desktops to a virtual machine.  I would say the cons outweigh the pros in most cases.

But in the event you have a particular desktop that must be captured in it’s entirety, and moved to a virtual machine environment to remove a Windows 7 deployment blocker, how do you do it?  All of the tools have actually been around for some time and it can be accomplished manually.  However, recently we announced the P2V Migration for Software Assurance which can be downloaded at

IMG_0827Jeremy and Stephen demonstrated capturing the full Windows XP desktop environment of a Lenovo ThinkPad T60, installing Windows 7, installing the XP Mode virtualization environment, then bringing up the applications and environment so the user could access the applications that will only run on Windows XP.  From start to finish it took 50 minutes and I must admit it was a pretty impressive demo. 

The best thing about the P2V demo and toolset?  Fully automated with the Microsoft Deployment Toolkit! Look closely at this new toolset and in particular, look closely at the three new sequencing scenarios that have been made available to support these types of deployment scenarios.

After the deployment session, I headed over to the Michael Kleef’s “Hot Topics about R2” session.  This session was in one of the larger rooms and Michael proceeded to discuss a variety of the R2 services like DirectAccess and things to think about when deploying them in medium or large enterprises.

IMG_0850One of the more interesting sessions I attended and recorded in full was the session on Office365 delivered by David Anderson.  I’m a customer of Exchange online and after seeing the new version that is coming it’s obvious this is going to b a huge release.  Although David showed a recent build on the data center, the environment looked very polished. 

When I get back to the USA I’ll encode the session and publish the entire hour.  If I tried to do that here it would still be uploading by the time I got home.  The network speeds at the hotel are rather slow and as  you might imagine, uploading HD video at even low bit rates can take a long time.

The last session I went to I got kicked out of.  Ok, not really.  I was asked to discontinue the use of my video camera.  Apparently there’s some conference law against it, even for Microsoft TechNet team employees. 

So, being the law abiding citizen that I am, I packed up my gear and left.  I wish I would have known before I left the USA that the conference polizei were going to do that.  I would have been happy to leave the camera, tripod, tapes, battery packs and all of the other associated stuff in my office.  No big deal really, but I guess I should have checked beforehand.  Needless to say, David’s talk is the last recording I’ll post.

WP_000012After the sessions, my manager invited me to a little get together at the Savoy Hotel or more accurately the Casa del Habano for some Cuban cigars.  I don’t smoke cigars but I tagged along anyway.  Bad idea. 

There’s nothing worse than waking up the next morning and smelling your jacket and it smells like cigars.  Gross.  Thankfully it’s not holding the smell too richly.  Good thing it’s nylon and not wool.  If you are ever in Berlin, Casa Del Habano is an interesting place.  It feels like it has ghosts of past meetings on interesting subjects.

The day concluded with a fabulous meal at a French restaurant not far from my hotel. The blurry cam shot it pretty appropriate because it accurately reflects my headache at about 5:45am.  LOL.  It isn’t clear if it was the wine or the final shot of absinthe.  I don’t think it was the real thing, thankfully.

More later on the sessions I attended today (day3).

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