MS has some pretty good offerings for developers (ISV and enterprise). They are even for free or almost for free as you have to cover your own T&E.

  • If you like rainy Seattle (I live here for more than a year now and cannot complain at all) and ever wanted to go to the Redmond campus, there's a cool opportunity for a attending a lab that runs every other month. 64-bit developer hands on lab or 64-bit HOL like we call it.

A great opportunity to bring your code or parts of it and start migrate it to 64-bit. This lab normally runs 4 days. There's a nice little building on campus where we host these labs. Each company that registers will have its own separate office (you can even lock the doors). The offices are equipped with all sort of cool HW. If you do not have the right stuff in your office, we may even be able to have a loaner system (according to your specs) avail. MS works with AMD, Dell, hp, Intel, UNISYS (alphabetical order!) and others to make Itaniums, AMD-64 systems and the latest and greatest stuff from Intel, Intel ® EM64T (what was called XEON CT), available to attendees.
Each office has at least one Itanium, an AMD-64 based system and some 32-bit workstations available for developers. If you do not want to bring your own bits, samples will be provided and working on samples will help attendees understanding the sessions that run during the 4 days. Yes, not only a separate office for you with plenty of great hardware, also lectures about all aspects of 64-bit code migration. Sessions that are meant as an optional offering for you; sessions that are meant to provide all necessary knowledge to start migrating existing applications to 64-bit Windows.
As most of you may have heard, the .Net framework is not yet ready for 64-bit. This lab has the early bits available for you to enable even 32-bit native migration to managed code migration.

Training sessions, loads of 64-bit hardware, sample code, the framework on 64-bit, need more? There is more. During the 4 days, people from the MS product teams and dev expertise from our partners are available to answer in depth questions, help you with coding issues or have separate discussion with you. MS does even provide all necessary MS developer tools for you, with the help of our HW partners the lab even can provide tools and support for their tools.

If you don't fear the weather, need a rest from the office, want to work on your migration uninterrupted by day-to-day business, want to network with colleagues from other companies, share your pain with MS, 64-bit HOL on Microsoft campus is the solution.

Unfortunately the next lab, March 31st - April 1st, is fully booked. But this is way too short on notice anyway. If you want to learn more about the lab, just drop me a line and ask for more details.

What we also do on day 3 is hanging out in some cool place in Seattle for some beer and pool billiard.

Did I mention that this lab is for free?

  • The second opportunity is something called Route64. I will talk about it in another blog soon.