The History of MMS

  • The Computing Edge/ conference 1998 was held in Newport Beach, California. Attendance was less than 100 people, but the content was great. Paul Thomsen spoke at the conference (prior to working for Microsoft), as did Stephen Wynkoop and Duncan McAlynn (Larry Duncan at the time). The conference was hosted by Computing Edge (now Altiris) and (now defunct).


  • SMS User Conference 99 was held at the Ritz Carlton in Naples, Florida. To this day, those that attended still favor this conference over the others. But, the good news was that there were simply too many attendees the following year to hold the conference back in Naples. The conference continued to grow in popularity and attendance every year. The 1999 conference was hosted by Computing Edge — soon to be Altiris.



  • SMS & W2K User Conference 2001 was held at the MGM Grand Hotel. The conference was hosted by Altiris. This conference introduced the very first party, hosted by and Intrinsic (now part of the SMS Alliance). This event was also held in Europe (Berlin) and Australia.


  • MMS 2002 was held at the MGM Grand Hotel during the week of April 29th-May 3rd, 2002. MMS 2002 was the first year that the conference was labeled the Microsoft Management Summit. MMS 2002 was actually labeled as the 5th annual SMS & W2K User Conference. The MMS 2002 web site can still be viewed here on MMS 2002 was still being managed and maintained by Altiris, even though Microsoft stamped their name on the conference this year. Most folks complained about the horribly long walk from the hotel to the conference center, but it was still probably the best location for MMS so far (well, except for the one in Naples, Florida). MMS 2002 brought about the terms “cones“, “thongman“, “witchdoctor“, “hockeylady” and the phrase “how’d he do that?” among other things. MMS 2002 also introduced the very first awards at the party sponsored by Wise (now Altiris). This was also the first annual “changing of the shirts” between Chuck Young and Paul Thomsen. How important was the party? Rich Bentley, from Wise,counts it as one of his best memories.


  • MMS 2003 was located at the Mandalay BayThe Orchid Lounge became our meeting place. MMS 2003 saw two community folks tie the knot. Michael Schultz and Chuck Young were both married to their better halves. Wise, once again, sponsored the party, which included the second annual awards, and the 2nd annual “changing of the shirts” (once again by Chuck Young and Paul Thomsen).



  • MMS 2005 was located at the Mandalay Bay. Mandalay Bay was our first glimpse of the Aureole as we walked the long storefront hallway to the conference center. It was also our first foray into the nightlife known only as the Rum Jungle. MMS 2005 brought about cool phrases like the “Quartermaster“. Once again, The Orchid Lounge was our meeting place. This is also the year that the conference speakers stayed in the newly built THEhotel.


  • MMS 2006 was the first conference held outside of Las Vegas since Microsoft took it over from Altiris. It was held April 24–28, 2006 at the San Diego Convention Center. The closing party on Thursday was at the SeaWorld Adventure Park.  The first SMSExpert party was in San Diego in 2006 when Donnie Taylor dropped 2 bottles of Heineken.



  • MMS 2009 – MMS 2009 took place April 27th-May 1st 2009 at the Venetian Resort Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada. Once again, the conference was a huge success, bringing together community members worldwide.


  • MMS 2010 – MMS 2010 took place April 19th-23rd 2010 at the Venetian Resort Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada. Attendance was huge, yet the number of attendees was severely impacted by a volanco eruption in Europe. Ironically, one of the overshadowing themes of MMS 2010 was “the cloud”. Who knew that a REAL cloud would keep folks from crossing over to the US to attend? Despite the folks who couldn’t make the conference, it was still memorable. As always, the “running of the bulls” (the rush to the booth on Expo opening night) was incredible. Henry Wilson disappeared one night only to show up in a Vegas emergency room to have his appendix removed. An eventful MMS, this was also the year that McAfee released botched signature files, causing SCCM Admins everywhere to have to help fix Windows XP computers that would not boot.


  • MMS 2011 – MMS 2011 took place March 21st-25th 2011 at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, Nevada.


  • MMS 2012 – MMS 2012 took place April 16th-20th at the Venetian Resort Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada.  The conference sold out once again, but sold out extremely early, setting the record for MMS sellouts.  The event sold out on February 27, 2012, even with the increased headcount goal of 5,000 attendees.


  • MMS 2013 – MMS 2013 was the first year in a long while that the event didn’t quite sellout in time. MMS 2013 was the very last Microsoft Management Summit. Not a replacement, but a reboot, IT/Dev Connections is the next in the series of community designed and tailored events.


  • MMS 2014 – MMS 2013 was the last year for this most popular event. Microsoft decided to “absorb” the Microsoft Management Summit into their large marketing event, TechEd. This was a highly unpopular decision among MMS alumni. TechEd 2014 was Microsoft’s first failed attempt at bringing the two communities together. The company tried again in 2015, launching Microsoft Ignite in Chicago. Attendance was around 28,000, but it was a poorly architected event. Between TechEd 2014 and Ignite 2015, Microsoft culled several other events like MMS and attempted to consolidate once again, but still couldn’t seem to get it right.

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