A Canuck In The Machine

Mark Relph - Senior Director - Startup and VC Team

October, 2005

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    The Importance Of Blogging The Launch and The Mystery Of The Free Software.

    We are less than 2 weeks away from the single largest activity for us this year - the launch of Visual Studio 2005, SQL Server 2005 and Biztalk Server 2006.  (www.microsoft.ca/launch2005)  The team is heads down preparing to make the cross-Canada tour the best Developer and IT Pro event in Microsoft Canada history.
    As part of the launch we decided early on to make blogging a major part of our communication with the community and the attendees.  Not only did we feel that hearing directly from the presenters and other members of the team would provide everyone with even more information, but we felt it would be a great way to maintain an open and active dialogue with the community.  So far our RSS feed has been accessed 30,000 times!  (http://blogs.msdn.com/canadian_launch_tour_2005/rss.aspx)
    From the blogs we have heard several questions regarding the distribution of software at the events.  We know that the Developer and IT Pro communities are eager to get access to the final versions of the products and getting the software into your hands is a priority for us.  The Launch Team is pleased to confirm that Special Edition copies of Visual Studio 2005 and SQL Server 2005 will be made available to everyone who attends the launch events.  This is full functional "non-evaluation" software.
    This means that you will be able to start developing and implementing solutions right away!
    These Special Edition copies will be in addition to all of the other materials (like the presentations, code samples, etc) that each attendee will receive.  Everyone who attends will also be able to mingle with some of Microsoft Canada's technical experts and will be eligible to win some awesome prizes.
    Hopefully this clarifies any confusion around the software.  We are looking forward to seeing you on the Canadian tour!!
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    Launch Tour ReadyBuzz Audio Now Available!


    Technorati : [Launch2005]
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    The Latest From The Launch 2005 Blog

    One of the biggest projects for my team this year is the Launch of Visual Studio 2005 and SQL Server 2005.  We have established a blog to give everyone a "behind the scenes" view of the preparations for the cross-Canada tour.

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    X05 - The "VIP" Event

    Ok - I want to let you in on a secret.  After the X05 event we will be inviting everyone who attends to a special hands-on Xbox 360 preview from 7-9pm.  You have to be registered for the X05 Dev Track to attend - consider this your incentive to attend!
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    X05 - Reg Problems - Fixed.

    Sorry again for those who tried to register.  Everything seems fine now!
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    X05 - Reg Problems.


    There seems to be an issue with the registration servers.  Stay tuned, should be fixed shortly.  :-(

    You can call the 1-800 if needed in the meantime.  Sorry.... :-(

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    MSDN Canada Presents The X05 Developer Track

    MSDN Canada Presents The X05 Developer Track
    Join us for a unique event targeting game development on Microsoft-based platforms.  The session will provide an overview of Microsoft’s continued commitment to gaming and game development.
    We will review upcoming technologies in Windows Vista®, specifically Windows Presentation Foundation®, Visual Studio 2005® and XNA Studio® for developing games in a team based environment and other core media technologies in Windows Vista.
    The event will feature guest speakers from Microsoft Canada, ATI and local game development studios discussing Xbox 360™ and the future of gaming.
    You will also get a special opportunity to preview the launch of Xbox 360.
    October 26.  4:00 – 7:00pm (Registration Begins @ 3:30)
    Paramount Famous Players - 259 Richmond Street West, Toronto
    Then join us for a VIP hands-on preview of Xbox 360 from 7:30 – 9:00pm at a special location (announced at the event)
    This event has extremely limited registration.  Only 150 Seats Are Available and registrations are not transferable. 
    Register early to ensure your place!
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    My Slides From The Ottawa Venture Summit

    I have had a lot of requests for my slides.  I have created a OneNote file containing the slides.
    Why OneNote you ask?  Well, a couple of reasons…. It's a kick ass way to take and share notes.  Second, I don't really want my raw PPTs floating around the blogsphere.
    Don't own OneNote?  Well, you can try it for free - http://www.microsoft.com/office/onenote/prodinfo/trial.mspx 
    Simply expand the zip into your "My Notebook" directory.
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    More From Behind The Scenes Of The BillG Visit to Waterloo

    Kevin is a general manager in Microsoft Research and is working as part of the staff traveling with BillG to the various schools.  He is writing some "behind the scenes" entries - http://spaces.msn.com/members/kevinonthejob/PersonalSpace.aspx
    I am heading to the event in the morning.  I will let you know how it goes! 
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    More From Rick On Web 2.0

    Rick continues his "analysis" of the topic of the month - http://feeds.feedburner.com/ThePostMoneyValue?m=189
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    PDC Summary and Launch Preview On Developer.com

    "For Developers, Microsoft Has More In Store Than Ever Before"
    An interesting, although biased, view on PDC and the upcoming Launch.
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    Bill Gates Is Visiting The University Of Waterloo - Oct 13

    Some exciting news from our work in academia - BillG is coming to town!
    "Bill Gates will visit the University of Waterloo on Oct. 13, as part of a six-stop campus tour encouraging students to pursue careers in computer science and technology."
    Bill will be speaking to a group of faculty and a large group of students.  If you are on campus, Bill's talk to be broadcast into the Student Life Centre.  It gets started at 10:30am.
    I'll be in Waterloo that day, so I will be sure to let you know how it goes. 
    If you are UW student, let us know if you are planning to attend!
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    The Web 2.0 Thread

    I have to side with Rick on this one.  Web 2.0 is just a little too "fashion" and not enough "substance" for me.
    He is just hot and heavy about this phrase.  Don't get me wrong, I love the technology.
    It moves on to this thread about Scoble buying a company - http://radio.weblogs.com/0001011/2005/10/01.html#a11324
    It goes on to talk about a series of "Web 2.0" tools - http://radio.weblogs.com/0001011/2005/10/02.html#a11331 (not many of which are even built with .NET, which is a shame)
    This love fest only can last for so long however.  I think my good friend Mr. Segal sums it up well - http://radio.weblogs.com/0001011/2005/10/03.html#a11345
    I have to agree with Rick.  These technologies, while awesome, are evolutionary.  Yes, there impact on how people use technology is potentially revolutionary, let's not create a mystical label for it all.
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    Follow-Up From The Ottawa Technology & Venture Summit

    I returned back from Ottawa the other day and I haven't had a chance to follow-up from the Venture event I attended there.
    I have to applaud the organizers (OCRI - http://www.ocri.com/) for putting on a great event.  This was my first time attending and I have to say that the overall quality of the event was excellent.  Good speakers, quality attendees and great logistics.  It was definitely worth the investment in time to attend.  I wish all of the venture related events in Canada were run this well (they aren't).
    It was great to get exposure to what is going on in Ottawa.  It is just a hotbed of activity and although it has traditionally been known for more "hard-science" such as chips and equipment because of the telecommunications roots (i.e. Nortel) there are now more software companies than ever.  It was also great to see so many US VC firms attending the conference.
    I talked about "Enterprise Software" opportunities with a gentleman from Cisco.  My main message - there is a ton of opportunity in the Microsoft ecosystem for ISV partners to find the "white space" that we don't occupy.  i.e. vertical solutions, niche solutions and extensions of our platform.
    Maybe the biggest surprise was the list of Microsoft based software companies that presented during the conference.  It was just awesome to see such great innovation happening around our platform.
    Some of those companies included:
    Longview - www.longview.com
    The only downside to the event… it was at the Casino and I lost $100 :-(
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