It used to be that Sunday was the day that those with the flexibility of scheduling (and funding) to do so would arrive in Las Vegas ahead of the Microsoft Management Summit. Visits to the casino would be made, a few drinks had as friends caught up, and perhaps an enjoyable social event sponsored by one of the cool vendors. Monday morning was for the steady influx of registrations and the beginning of the actual sessions. Not so this year. The conference is open, sessions are in full swing, and those waiting to register tomorrow morning may just miss the keynote.
Sunday…it’s the new Monday! Welcome to MMS2013.
Opting to attend the 1E Academy Live training Sunday afternoon, I had to power walk from the Luxor conference center to the Mandalay conference center during a 15 minute break in order to get registered. Fortunately, the folks running the registration area were awesome as usual and I returned to the training with badge and bag in hand.
The general consensus I’ve heard so far is that this year’s conference bag is…umm…underwhelming. Microsoft opted to skip the backpack style in favor of the satchel style bag. I still personally like the light blue MMS2010 backpack myself, but I’m glad I did opt to bring a backpack for the week or I would have been disappointed. The MMS alumni shirt on the other hand is a step up from the one they had during my last visit two years ago…a nice, dry-fit style polo. Other items in the bag included a super-bright LED light, a decent touch screen stylus, and a pencil bag. No water bottle this year unfortunately. The Thursday Closing Party entry token is a laniard with a blue light up thing that honestly looks like a vial of alien blood…sort of an Angelina-Billy Bob thing if you will.
The 1E Academy Live training session was well attended, especially considering this five hour session overlapped the registration opening, Twitter Army kickoff, and MMS101 session (among others). The session was very thorough, providing a mix of high-level presentation of the “why” and demo-fueled explanation of the “how” when it comes to the new features of 1E’s 2012 products. Shaun Cassells, Troy Martin, Mike Terrill and Richard Threlkeld did a great job of answering very direct questions throughout the session, from the general to the very technical. It really was a “warts and all” affair, as the presenters were pretty honest when it came to scenarios that were less than ideal for the solutions.
In addition to all the great content, attendees were treated with a preview of a brand new 1E BYOD offering: 1E Workspace. This solution moves from server hosted VDI solution to a localized virtual Windows OS, allowing remote users to work with their standarized Windows image while on a non-standard system (such as a home pc or Mac) disconnected from the corporate network. Using FastBoot OS Streaming, you can bring down a full virtual Windows OS, booting it before it has even finished coming down. Per 1E: “From nothing to working in Windows in less than 20 minutes.” More info will be coming very soon.
Pre-Conference Get Together
1E sponsored the pre-conference party this year, commencing right after the 1E Academy training. Those who managed to successfully find the Egyptian Room at the Luxor were rewarded with pizza, beer and a great opportunity for meeting other attendees. It was great to catch up with some friends and see some familiar faces.
And there was evening and morning…the first day.