Conference day 1: Vision

First follow-up of an actual conference day.

Vision Keynote (Steve Ballmer)

The introduction was done by Circe du soleil and was very impressive, however, anti-climaxed in what was to come.

Actually, there wasn’t much new that directly concerns us. But here goes…

The strong growers this year were Office 365 and the Windows 8 momentum.
Office 365 is getting an “Open Program”, meaning that partners will be able to bill the customer their-selves to make the invoice more transparent and originating from the partner only.
This also allows the partners to realize higher margins.

Top reasons for the Yammer acquisition: the viral way of using it (no nonsense, no manual needed), there’s a very talented team behind it, it is a best of breed platform. Yammer integrates nicely with SharePoint (at least the activity feed), but I’m expecting more from the acquisition than just this simple integration, but only time will tell.

Kurt DelBene: Details about SharePoint 15 will be announced later this summer. There seems to have been a tech preview on January 11th, but I don’t recall that.
The only thing they will let go is that it will have “more partner opportunities”. I’m looking forward to that…
By the way, I ran into Gideon Bibliowicz today and talked about our NDA, in the next few weeks, it should be possible to arrange a meeting to get more details about SharePoint 15 under that NDA.
Update: I forgot the backside of my papers:
Tami Reller: Windows 8/RT will RTM first week of August (incl. enterprise agreements) and GA end of October.
There are over 100 designs of devices for Windows 8 going from laptops with touch screens, to laptops with huge touchpads, tables with detachable keyboards, … We haven’t seen everything there is to do with Windows 8 on a device yet! Both in x86 and ARM (system-on-a-chip). She even showed an impressive Lenovo laptop that allows the keyboard to flip 360 degrees to be flat with the screen.
Nothing new furthermore (strong SkyDrive integration, Windows 8 en RT share a lot of code, Windows To Go: Windows 8 on USB stick + data and security policies that can be managed by your IT department).
Microsoft also announced the acquisition of Perspective Pixel, showcasing a stunning 82” touch screen device, with incredible performance:

Short clip from introduction show:

No sessions today (for me)

I spent most of the time at the Solution Innovation Center, gathering information and checking out the booths.

AgilePoint meeting

Due to NDA restrictions, I cannot elaborate on the meeting, you will find more information in my internal report.

BeLux activity: Toronto Island

We went to the Toronto Islands for a bike ride, with some amazing views and a very interesting networking drink afterwards.