June 06, 2005
Live from TechEd: Ballmer's keynote

Thanks to the magic of Verizon Wireless, I'm posting live from Hall A at TechEd, where Steve Ballmer is about to take the stage for his keynote.

Update: Samatha Bee from The Daily Show is the emcee for the opener. She's doing some funny bits skewering Apple, IBM, eBay, and Google.

Update: Ballmer takes the stage and says "we got through the bubble" and we're "in a period of long-term, sustained, and positive growth". [ed: everything here on out is paraphrased unless it's in quotes] More pep and excitement in the industry. "I don't think there's ever been a better, more exciting time to be in the IT industry than right now." Impact of IT in the next 10 years will be bigger than the IT's impact in the preceding 10 years.

10-yr anniversary of Win95 launch, which had the most palpable excitement and energy of any product introduction. The next 10 years will be even more exciting and create even more opportunity for everyone in the room. Theme for my speech today: enabling people to drive business success.

"Each and every one of these scenarios is unfulfilled today": improving cust interaction, personal productivity, unified comms, supply chain optimization, team collab, finding information, spotting trends, engaging in business processes.

Update: Samantha Bee again (disclaimer: I don't know who she is and she's not all that funny). Employees are now repositioned as "free-range information workers". She's slagging users pretty bad. Top 5 most requested requests from information workers: one identity and password, online presence, network access, synchronization ("can't my BlackBerry do this now?"), self-service, rights management (labeled as "5 1/2").

Update: Ballmer takes the stage and introduces Avanade video. Ricardo Arroyo: can easily measure the benefits of self-service infrastructure. Closing line: "It's a great time to be an IT guy".

Ballmer again: Avanade wants to connect people and information. Need the tools to facilitate them delivering that connection. IWs inside Avenade are all IT professionals themselves. "Flywheel of activity": design & build with .NET, deploy and operate with Dynamic Systems Initiative (DSI), act and interact with "New World of Work" stuff. "We think we've come a long way" with .NET. Thanks to the .NET RDs.

Next piece: make sure those apps can be deployed and operated. Want to connect closely to design / build of new applications. Big DSI milestone: shipment of Visual Studio 2005, which will "actually connect the flywheel" where "you build the management instrumentation into every application you build".

New world of work builds on 3 principles: access without compromise, self-service infrastructure, "policy gives IT mgt control". built on presence, identity & rights mgmt, network access-- all implemented as shared infrastructure services. "More and more of what you provide, instead of being point solutions, can be infrastructure that IWs can provision themselves."

Rich comprehensive roadmap based on AD: 86% of large enterprises that use directories use AD, 41% use NT4 domains, 15% use NDS, 9% use eDirectory. "When we first brought AD to market, you were slow to adopt it... Good concept, but go back to work".

Windows R2 ships within the next 12 months with better branch office support, ADFS, and storage virtualization and support. New "Compute Cluster Edition" for grid computing. "We want to be the best" at a long lis of areas, including messaging, directory, and "all applications that are about connecting information workers to information. I think that is incontrovertible." "Investing in new scenarios where, if you will, we still have improvements to make and market share to gain."

"You can know without hesitation, no matter what you're trying to do, around Windows Server, it's the right tool for almost every job.

Update: Exchange 2003 SP2 and Messaging and Security feature Pack for Windows Mobile 5.0. "Some people say Microsoft's a good marketing company, but I have a hard time saying all that." "Direct Push" delivers always-up-to-date connectivity over a persistent IP connection. "The kind that we have not delivered, and RIM has historically. But we have also delivered that with no additional management cost". Policy based control for remote device wipe and PIN management. All included with Exchange. No additional licensing cost.

Exchange 2003 SP2 also ups the 16GB limit for Standard Edition and Small Business Server to 75GB. Install SP2; no other changes necessary.

Mike Hall joins Ballmer on stage. He's toting an X41 ThinkPad Tabler. [ed: I'm going to buy one as fast as I can] 6hr battery life, fingerprint reader. Ballmer took it offstage; now there's a video with a buy wo looks like Ed Brill sitting in the back of the cab calling his kids, his office, checking his email, etc. Guy drops his device as he gets out of the cab. Punk kid finds it. "Last year in Chicago, 85000 cell phones were lost-- that's 4 for every cab in Chicago". Guy's admin gets a call from his house telling her that "Dad lost the phone". She calls IT who says they can remotely wipe the device. Punk kid gives it back to the taxi driver.

Now Hall is demonstrating VoIP with Office Communicator and Exchange 2003 SP2 security features, along with MSN Desktop Search. Longhorn demo: "it's not so much about search, as about how you visualize information". Demoing filtering based on metadata (e.g. author, keywords). [ed note: Better UI than Apple's Spotlight.] Controls for minimum PIN length, inactivity lock time, local and remote wipe. Can define exceptions to wipe settings.

New Symbol MC50 device-- nice-looking device with QWERTY keyboard. Greatly simplified device-side setup user interface. Virtual Earth preview. [ed: this is wicked cool!]

Update: Samantha Bee again with interview on "IT pro-developer mediation techniques". Puppet show. Pretty funny.

Update: Ballmer again. .NET momentum is building; 43% "of all developers" use .NET as primary tool vs 35% using Java (Win32 non-.NET is #3). 90% of MS global accounts are using .NET in some way. Three important products: SQL Server 2005 with embedded .NET runtime; Visual Studio 2005 with .NET 2.0, and BizTalk Server 2006. Ideal for connected systems (instead of J2EE), lifecycle dev (instead of Rational), most demanding DB apps (instead of Oracle or DB2), and "lightweight web app development" (instead of LAMP).

.NET 2.0 is 25%-40% better than .NET 1.1 on Sun's WSTest 1.1, and up to 200% faster than WebSphere.

Update: BJ Holtgrewe showing VS 2005 features. New Outlook add-in support. Demoing integrated CRM and Maestro (new tool for BI, reporting, and scorecards). Links Outlook to SQL 2005 Reporting Services. Access to SharePoint, database, syndicated wbe search, and Outlook data. All synced using SQL Server Express for offline/mobility sync. Customer video: Bank of America and Korn/Ferry. "Everything revolves around your inbox, so why not plug everything into Outlook?" "Now it's all about funneling all of our information into Outlook." "We see Office as a platform."

Update: Ballmer again. Talking about Office 12 XML format. VS2005 delivers System Definition Model (SDM) info; SDM will be consumable by MOM and SMS in "System Center wave 2" coming in future. Bill Anderson from mgmt team doing demo showing remote reimaging and managing Solaris servers. Ballmer pulls two fans from the Sun server and MOM generates an alert. MOM-driven failover to backup Solaris box.

Update: Ballmer again. Security is job #1. Showing vulns YTD for Windows 2003 vs SuSE 9 vs RedHat 3. 1 high/29 other for Windows vs 28/136 and 14/174 for the other two. Similar counts for web server role (33 high/19 other for Win2003, 48/84 for RedHat minimum config, 77/97 for RedHat default config). Patching costs 13-14% less for Windows than Linux. "None of this is designed to tell you that our job is done. None of this is designed to tell you that we think our security job is done".

Announcing Microsoft Update: consolidated update service for consumer, small biz, medium biz, and enterprise. Automatic updates for low end, MBSA 2.0 for medium, Windows Server Update Services and SMS for medium-to-large.

Wrapup: "flywheel" graphic again. "We are committed absolutely to making sure that you have the leading-edge innovations that you need to be successful connecting people and information." Closed by thanking audience and giving out his email address.

[Ed: they handed out RFID tags at check-in, with a promised demo-- but then they didn't do the demo. I bet there's an interesting story there!]

Posted by Paul at June 06, 2005 10:40 AM
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