Tracking the tracks at Tech Ed New Zealand

What happens at Tech.Ed New Zealand... Sara Ford jumps from Sky Tower

, posted: 24-Sep-2009 12:19

Sara Ford is the program manager for CodePlex, Microsoft's open source project hosting site. Prior to CodePlex she worked on the VisualStudio team... She was one of the speakers at the Microsoft Tech.Ed New Zealand 2009 and during the speakers dinner she decided to jump from the Sky Tower - 192m tall.

Here's the video:

We have some video interviews coming up in the blog later this week and Sara explains about CodePlex in one of the videos we'll be uploading. Keep an eye in this blog.

The technology behind Microsoft Tech.Ed New Zealand 2009

, posted: 17-Sep-2009 10:01

I just received an interesting set of stats that I want to share with anyone interested in what goes on behind the scenes of a technology show as big as Microsoft Tech.Ed New Zealand 2009:

Tech Ed content
• 11 tracks, 4 virtual tracks
• 128 sessions including 1 panel discussion
• 98 speakers
• 43 Microsoft speakers, 3 Regional Directors, 22 partner, 6 customer, 9 Microsoft Most Valuable Professionals
• Most common speaker name Michael followed by Andrew

Tech Ed Core Infrastructure
• 6 guys, 3 day pack in, 3 hour pack out
• 4kms of Ethernet cabling set up in Sky City
• 24 CPU cores, 48GB memory, 3.5TB disk
• 45 desktops, 43 laptops
• 20 plasma screens
• 38 HP ProCurve 24 port switches
• 100Mbit internet bandwidth + redundancy
• Expecting ~120GB of traffic
• 18 wireless access points around SkyCity

Hands on Labs
• ~200 different labs
• HP Hardware
• 64 cores, 522GB, 5.5 TB
• 80 Windows 7 desktops
• Dual head display - Green
• Hyper-V R2 & Citrix Xen Server

Microsoft Tech.Ed New Zealand 2009 Mobility Smackdown

, posted: 16-Sep-2009 19:33

One popular session at Microsoft Tech.Ed New Zealand 2009 was the "Mobility Smackdown". It's a 100% demo-based session, fast-paced, where delegates can see lots of Windows Mobile-based features - new mobile OS versions, third party software (this year SPB Mobile Shell was the highlight with some time spent covering Twitter clients) and win some prizes doing silly things. Sorry for the video quality (this was from my camera phone, and no it wasn't a Windows Mobile device this time). "Hula hoop" to win some Bluetooth headsets: The best haircut gets to win a Windows Mobile device (the winner was a Geekzone user, Paul Spain):

Distributing and monetising Windows Mobile applications with Windows Mobile Marketplace (and some bad pictures)

, posted: 15-Sep-2009 16:05

I've just attended the Microsoft Tech.Ed New Zealand 2009 session "Distributing and Monetizing Applications through Windows Marketplace Mobile" facilitated by Loke Uei Tan, Sr Technical Product Manager with the Windows Mobile group at Microsoft.

Sorry for the poor picture quality - light inside the room was conspiring with my poor photography skills against good quality...

Loke Uei is responsible for creating and deploying technical resources and content to over 1,000 field evangelists within Microsoft on all Windows Mobile topics and technologies.

During this session Loke Uei gave us a first glimpse on the latest version of Windows Marketplace for Mobile, a new feature being introduced with Windows phones based on Windows Mobile 6.5, launching from early October, and being released soon after as a free download for existing Windows Mobile 6.0 and Windows Mobile 6.1 devices.

Loke Uei told the audience about the characteristics of a good on-line marketplace - the most important for developers is perhaps the discoverability. There are already thousands of Windows Mobile applications available for purchase through third party online stores, but all those require the user to be able to use the web from a PC, download an install file, tether their mobile device, transfer the file and install the application.

Windows Marketplace for Mobile cuts through this long process allowing users to find applications directly from their mobile devices, as well as managing download and install without having to get near a PC.

Another characteristic of a good on-line store is "confidence", and Loke Uei says users will have confidence when purchasing their mobile applications because of an automatic instant refund process. Refunding will be available up to 24 hours from when the application is purchased and users will have the right to return the purchase with no questions asked.

We had a live demo of the latest version of this marketplace for mobile - which Loke Uei says was only possible because he got the "Go ahead" minutes before the session started:

Things developers should know:

- Revenue sharing is always 70/30 for developers. Even if an operator enters the mix, Microsoft will pay the operator share from their 30%.

- It costs US$99 to enroll your first applications - up to five "slots". Upgrades are free. New apps after this will cost US$99 each.

- Changing an application from "free" to "paid" is not considered an upgrade.

- Microsoft has a set of guidelines - applications have to follow these. For example applications that replace core functionality will be rejected. Mapping/routing applications will be rejected. Some applications may not be available in all markets.

- The marketplace launches in 29 countries - including New Zealand.

- Developers are paid through EFT, currently currencies include US dollars, Japanese Yen, Euro, Australia dollars, British pounds.

- If an application is approved but later removed from the marketplace it will then be automatically removed from all mobile devices.

- The marketplace client software will show available updates and users can choose to install them when they want.

- Software can be reinstalled and activated up to five times - for example if you lose your mobile device or change devices.

- Developers are able to specify hardware requirements that will be checked before the software is purchased.

- Even if an application is rejected from the marketplace it is still possible for developers to sell it through other channels.

Overall a good session with lots of questions. At the end Loke Uei reminded the audience about the "Race to Market Challenge", a competition to find the #1 application in the Windows Marketplace for Mobile - with a Microsoft Surface table computer as first prize.

Chris Liddell keynote at Microsoft Tech.Ed New Zealand 2009

, posted: 14-Sep-2009 10:38

Microsoft Tech.Ed New Zealand 2009 keynote started with the Hon Steven Joyce, Minister for communications & Information technlogy speaking to the audience about the New Zealand government's plans of investing $1.5 billion in national broadband, with urgent attention to rural broadband and education - including building computer literacy and investing so that all schools have fast broadband access and a new curriculum including computer skills. More on this plan will be unveiled in the coming weeks.

He also talked about bringing FTTH to 75% of the households in New Zealand in the next ten years.

Microsoft Corp CFO Chris Liddell also delivered keynote today, with some tech demos in between. Chris told the audience how Microsoft has one of the largest R&D budgets in the world, with plans to invest up to $9.5 billion in 2010 alone. He doesn't see an economic meltdown coming but give five points businesses should focus on during these times:

- Focus on cash
- Streamline cost structure
- Drive operational excellence
- Compete and grow market share
- Invest in innovation

The demos included Windows 7, Microsoft Photoshynt (which is being deployed worldwide in a partnership with Adidas showing New Zealand rugby icons in their website), Microsoft Azure (which is being officially released during the Microsoft PDC conference 17 November 2009 to 21 countries including New Zealand), and Unified Communications with Microsoft Exchange Server 2010.

Overall a good keynote, but I still think it hardly came close to the one delivered by Lou Carbone during the Microsoft Tech Ed New Zealand 2007 - the best keynote I've attended ever.

Microsoft Tech Ed New Zealand is a technology event run by Microsoft New Zealand. The Microsoft Tech Ed New Zealand 2010 is happening in Auckland (New Zealand), 30th August - 1st September 2010, at the SkyCity Convention Centre. If you are attending the Microsoft Tech Ed New Zealand 2010 and would like to contribute with stories, profiles, and feedback please contact us. This blog is written by Mauricio Freitas and published by Geekzone.

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