I just got back from Europe last night.  I spent one week in Rome at a partners summit and almost a week in Berlin at Tech Ed.  I had 4 talks in each city (wow, it was a lot of speaking :)).  It was really a terrific trip.  It's the first time I've had the chance to spend a lot of time face to face with customers since Beta 2 shipped.

The excitement is really encouraging.  People are really psyched about the 2010 release.  There's a ton of good stuff in there pretty much no matter what angle you come at it from.  Of course, there are tons of questions too - particularly about the licensing changes and upgrade/compatibility.  At both events, I'd say all of the new capabilities around testing were the highlight.  We did a ton of demos - including of the new Lab Management features.  It really felt great.

One thing that struck me on the product front is that 2010 performance still isn't quite there yet.  As I said, I was doing a bunch of demos and there were some very uncomfortable demo pauses as I waited for VS to catch up with me.  I can caveat it all I want - VPCs, slow hard drive, not enough memory, etc, etc, but the reality is that it's not where I want it to be.  For the past month or so, we've been working very hard on virtual memory usage and working set.  This trip was a good reenforcement that the investment is worthwhile.  Now that I'm back, I'm going to go dig in and see how much progress we are making and make sure that when we release this it's a great experience.

On a personal note, I took my 11 year old daughter with me (first time on a business trip).  I had 5 days (including the weekend) between the two events and she and I did some sightseeing in both Rome and Berlin.  It was really cool and I think she really loved it.  It was the first time I'd been to Rome.  I've always been a fan of Roman history and Kathleen is studying Greek and Roman history in school now.  It was really humbling to be walking through those ruins - thousands of years old.  It really gives you perspective on human history.  I'd been to Berlin before but it was almost 25 years ago (before the wall came down).  It was really cool to walk along where the wall used to be and see how much has changed.  The germans have really accomplished a lot in 20 years.

Brian