I was happy to be able to attend TechEd 2010 in New Orleans this year. Hopefully this post will provide a small recap of what happened from my Point of View on Day 1.
We have been hearing all year from Microsoft that they are “All-in” when it comes to cloud computing and the keynote drove that home even more. The entire keynote was dedicated to how Microsoft see’s cloud computing and what they are doing to assist companies use the cloud in various ways. In addition to the normal marketing stuff they threw out there, they did make some other announcements.
Service Pack 1 is coming in July for Windows Server 2008 R2 and Windows 7. They didn’t go into any specifics on any new functionality that will be built in with these releases, however they did emphasize how quickly both the commercial and personal sectors have embraced these platforms.
There were two fairly neat demos during the keynote, the first one being on the developer and testing end. They were able to show using IntelliTrace to script out testing scenarios for a Cloud application in order to streamline the testing process and provide recorded sessions of the test and results.
The other good demo was looking at the new features of Communicator “14”. The thick client has been redesigned to empower users with integrated voice and video but also showed some tight integration with SharePoint 2010. No longer will the base integration with SharePoint be the presence pawn (or status indicators), now Communicator will show the user photos that can be pulled right from the SharePoint 2010 User Profile store. In addition to the profile pictures, users can now search for people based on skills that pull directly from SharePoint 2010 User Profiles. This will enable administrators to really start to use the User Profile database as a single source of information that can read and write back to Active Directory.
Of course it wouldn’t be 2010 without Microsoft showing off some of the new Windows Phone 7 features and how that fits into the cloud. The best part of the demo for me was the direct integration with a SharePoint document repository, updating documents on your phone and pushing that directly back to the server using SharePoint Mobile Workspace.
After the keynote I went down to talk to some of the mobile guys and found out that in order to connect ANY Windows Phone 7 devices with your internal SharePoint system, you will NEED to have UAG in your environment, not just ISA or TMG, but UAG. Hopefully they will re-think this as many people will already have an existing investment with ISA or TMG, however they couldn’t tell us any specifics (and couldn’t even show me WHERE you configured the SharePoint location on the Windows Phone 7 device).
With more and more emphasis on cloud computing Microsoft decided to show many of the partners that are already running applications on the Azure platform. One of the partners shown was 3M which Inetium’s own Mike Hodnick has spent months getting that application up and running. So here’s a little shout out to Mike and the 3M team.
Throughout the rest of the day, I attended various sessions ranging from new capabilities of SharePoint Server 2010 Search where they highlighted items such as the new refinement panel, FAST integration and built in capabilities for logical operators such as searching for all books in a specific price range (Price > 10 AND Price < 25).
Another session was the new improvements in Office 2010 for client side caching and the Office Web Applications (like the PowerPoint broadcast service and multi-user editing).
The last session of the day was spent diving more into the out of the box features in SharePoint 2010 in regards to Social computing. If you are interested in more on the Social computing topic, I will be presenting at Benchmark Learning on June 22nd.