It was a disappointing moment when I learned that SBS would not be represented at TechEd this year. But realizing the opportunity in being able to spend so much time in one-to-one conversations with so many customers in one place was just to good to pass up. So here I am in beautiful Orlando. It's a balmy 90 degrees right now, and I've just finished up my second day of "mixing in" with some of the most insightful, interesting, and amazingly bright IT Professionals that the planet has to offer. I have the pleasure of helping to staff the "Server Manager in Windows Server 2008" demo station in the TLC Yellow Zone of the show. And what an experience it has been so far. Now, I don't have a lot of experience with Windows Server management tools, and I am not vastly knowledgeable of WS'08. So I confess to being somewhat intimidated by being asked to represent a feature without much corresponding background knowledge. However, I am here to tell you that I am totally impressed with the work done by the development team to bring this great new centralized management experience to Windows Server admins. After a short amount of time exploring the UI, learning from my peer reps, and showing and sharing information with TechEd attendees, I have become very comfortable with the interface. And the key point here is that it was easy for me to learn about and adapt to a new (though not totally unfamiliar) management interface. And if it was that easy for me, then I know that server customers are going to be thrilled. If you are visiting TechEd 2007 this year, come see me at the Server Manager demo station. I'll show you what's got me so jazzed! 

By the way. Everyone knows that Orlando is one of the entertainment capitals of the world. Some of you may even have experienced the "Back to the Future" ride at Universal Studios Orlando. But in opening his Keynote address at this years conference, Bob Muglia attempts to deliver his vision for the future of Microsoft technologies in a clearly entertaining way. Check it out.

-Steve Holland

This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights.