The airports in Japan and Korea are ridiculously far away from the city.  I would just like to point that out because I spent around 3 hours in a car today going to and from airports.  Bleh.  What was even worse is that because of this, I had to wake up at 5:45 to head to the airport.  During the flight, Kirill and I worked on his presentation for the Korean BDM Summit and press event so there was no sleeping on the flight either.  Thankfully Steve Goh, the APAC sales director for management picked us up form the airport so it was very painless for us to get to the hotel. 

After freshening up, we headed to the Microsoft Korea office for a series of internal, customer, and partner meetings.  It was very interesting to learn about the Korean market.  Some interesting notes:

  • Korea has been slowly slipping back into recession
  • PC sales are practically not growing due to slowing economy and some degree of saturation
  • SQL Server is huge
  • Korea is dominated by a few big customers, therefore opportunities are limited
  • There is not a lot of NT 4.0 (YAY!)
  • AD adoption is similar to Japan
  • Unlike Japan, there are not huge local management vendors that control the managemet market
  • Biggest competition is from home grown tools
  • There is a partner, TechData, that provides extremely innovative add-ons to MOM
  • Like much of Asia, scaling out to partners remains a difficultly - technical readiness in our field is not as high as it should be

Other things to note:

  • Koreans can drink like no other and know how to have a good time (that being said, they were very respectful of us as guests and hence I have returned to my room and am writing this)
  • Koreans think I look Korean
  • People think I look around 30+ years old

Tomorrow is going to be a super long day. Hopefully I'll have some pictures and time to post, but we'll be heading to Sydney after a day of presentations and meetings.