While it was hard to keep the cloud out at Microsoft TechEd 2010, there were several topics that weren’t primarily focused on the cloud, though they might have laced it in. Here’s a brief rundown:
During the opening keynote, Muglia and co. showed a nice demo of Visual Studio getting a little dev/ops friendly: deploying to clouds directly from Visual Studio. The idea wasn’t really to deploy production, but to deploy to test and QA clouds. Also, the bug recording feature was a nice application of cloud-inspired technologies into the development process.
In previous years, Silverlight has had a significant part in TechEd. Not so much this year. To be fair, Microsoft’s PDC and MIX conference are more the spot for that. Though TechEd usually does a good job at lacing in development and operations concerns together, this year’s cloud focused made it sway more operations.
Silverlight did show up in excellent data visualization and BI demos: something resembling DeepZoom was used to nice effect to explore large sets of data, in this case, DVD sales. Also, of course, Silverlight was mentioned in the context of Windows 7 Phone.
Windows 7 Phone
Onboard the Creole Queen docked booze cruise, I met with some Windows 7 Phone folks who were, of course, enthusiastic. They had their concerned split between consumer and business use. The platform itself is looking impressive, but Microsoft has a terribly difficult path ahead of them.
The team was doing a good job floating FUD on Apple (closed and whacked language to develop in) and Android (just “the other white meat”). Their attitude about the phone as a remote control for the cloud (I can still never remember who came up with that metaphor) was nice and welcome.
We’ll see what happens with Windows 7 Phone once it gets out more, there are marketplace(s) (or ways to make money on apps), and wide availability. It seems like it’s destined to be a damn fine business phone for those on the Microsoft stack: the problem will be using consumer sales and desire to drive corporate IT procurement plans.
As I tell most all mobile and developer people now-a-days, the primary strategy is to allow developers to find the shortest path between compile and cash. The phone play is all about bubble-think, and there’s plenty of developers who didn’t get burned last time that’ll be real goers.
Desktop Management, VDI, Application Virtualization
While desktop virtualization has seen a huge rise in vendor interest over the past year, all the cloud talk pushed it off the agenda. At past events, application virtualization was a huge topic for Microsoft.
Among other “good old fashioned IT management topics,” I talked about this with Anders Vinberg on the topic. Microsoft is still very interested in it.
One of my pet thought exercises at the moment is to think about doing away with desktop management in the corporate world: if you can’t manage you’re own desktop, you’re fired. That’s of course exaggerated to prove a point, but I do feel like “desktop management” as we know it is just a really expensive hack to put up with crappy operating systems and an assumed (and allowed for) lack of computer literacy among the workforce.
Also, of note, he has an interesting 2009 presentation somewhat on the topic: “What Could New-Era Corporate Systems Management Mean For The Home? And Vice Versa?”
A large part of Microsoft’s 10 year vision for IT Management transformation – the Dynamic Systems Initiative, or DSI – is modeling out IT assets, services, and so forth…