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TechEd North America 2010 – Day 1

Day 1 marked the official start of TechEd North America.  And while everyone else was in the keynote, I was scrambling slightly as I realized that our demo machine was completely empty, just a clean install of Windows 7 and Office 2010.  Fortunately, Brad Wilson came to the rescue, as he had been given a USB key with Visual Studio 2010, our demos and our rotating PowerPoint deck on it.  We snapped it in and got started setting up.

We took advantage of our large-ish screen and internet connection to stream the keynote live, even though it was happening right next door (though given the size of the exhibition hall, right next door is a long way away :)).  At the end of the keynote, the great voice in the sky (aka the announcer) told us the expo was open, and in came the swarms of people! Well, kinda. Of course, there were three "foundational sessions" (like mini-keynotes on more specific topics, like Developer Tools, etc.) going on soon after the keynote, and many people had sessions to attend, so it was pretty quiet in that first shift.

At 12:30, when my shift ended, Brad and I and a couple of people he knew from Patterns & Practices wandered over to the Meal Hall (Which is no small feat... the New Orleans Convention Center is 1.5 miles long! Granted, we're only using 1 mile of it :)).  There we ate "food" (convention food is a close approximation of food in most cases... it was edible and likely had some nutrients in it... close enough) and then I trekked off to my first (and only) session of the day.  Don't get too excited, I wasn't speaking, just attending.  No talks for me this time around, but I do plan to get into speaking soon.  Also, it is notoriously difficult to get speaking slots at TechEd if you haven't given a TechEd talk before.

I attended a talk on Windows Phone 7, which included a pretty good demo.  Aside from the demo it was mostly things I knew about already.  By the way, all the talks are going to be posted for FREE viewing by the general public on TechEd Online (, this talk was "WPH201 - Windows Phone 7: A New Kind of Phone"�. It was only slightly ironic that every once and a while, during the talk, I popped open my iPhone to check the latest news from WWDC :). Still, WP7 looks nice, and I'm basically decided that my next phone will likely not be an Apple phone.  It may be a Windows Phone or an Android Phone, but even after the iPhone 4 announcement, I'm not really convinced... yet. I'll save that rant for later though :).

That evening, the exhibition hall was open for a reception at which free food and beverages (read: alcohol) was offered to all attendees, while they wandered around the various booths from Microsoft and third-party Vendors.  It was basically all-hands-on-deck for that event, and we were definitely pretty busy.  A number of great questions from customers of all knowledge levels, from someone who was just getting back in to Web Development and had no idea what had been going on in ASP.Net, to some folks who used MVC and wanted to know about MVC 2.

After that, I basically just wandered back to my hotel and crashed. It was a long day, and I had another one ahead of me!

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