Microsoft TechEd 2009 Initial impression

Sorry guys, I’m not a MS fan, but I cover every Technical aspect, so here goes. Microsoft is plugging away at making Windows more manageable, completing Office 2010, and on making application virtualization as seamless as possible.

Windows business senior vice president Bill Veghte opened TechEd 2009 here by thanking the show’s 7,000 attendees for coming during “lean [economic] times.”

He announced that Microsoft will deliver a technical preview of SQL Server 2008 R2 in the second half of the year. Additionally, new support for Complex Events Processing (CEP) would be added to SQL Server some time in the second half of the year, though it will not be included in the SQL Server 2008 preview. The SQL and Microsoft Office Team are working in unison to add business intelligence to Office client applications, he added.

Microsoft is using R2 in production for the MSN ad center, processing 500 million events per day, he revealed.

Microsoft technical fellow Mark Russinovich confirmed reports that Windows 7 is on schedule to ship before the holidays, but a source at Microsoft told SD Times that the date could slip to January, mirroring the Windows Vista launch, should anti-trust action be taken against the company by the European Commission.

Russinovich also showed off some of Windows 7’s new data management capabilities that can deny access to removable storage devices such as USB keys. He highlighted Windows 7 AppLocker, an application security management feature that he called Software Restriction Policies “on steroids.” AppLocker-applied policies do not break when an application is updated to a new version, he noted.

Russinovich showcased Windows XP mode, an integration technology that virtualizes Windows XP applications. Virtualized Windows XP applications run from the Windows 7 start menu and behave as if they were native Windows 7 applications, so end users do not need to be trained about virtualization, he explained.

While XP mode targets small businesses with limited numbers of users; Microsoft offers Microsoft Enterprise Desktop Virtualization and Microsoft Application Virtualization for enterprise customers. App-V was formerly known as SoftGrid.

Iain McDonald, director of product management for Windows Server, discussed how  Windows Server 2008 R2 has reliability and security features that are designed to work with Windows 7. R2 will ship in the same time frame as Windows 7.

Making new announcements, Microsoft Monday said users testing Vista should abandon that effort for the Windows 7 RC candidate. Windows 7 RC should be the platform for users planning a client operating system migration.

Veghte said users that are already deploying Windows Vista, which first shipped in November 2006, should continue with those efforts. “Your investment will be protected, ” he said, though he did not define what that protection entails.

Microsoft said last month that it will not drop Vista when Windows 7 ships, which is now planned for the “holiday shopping season.”

Microsoft said it will continue at least until January 2011 selling Vista to computer makers, system builders, volume licensees and consumers, the company said.

There have been persistent rumors that Microsoft would abandon Vista once Windows 7 ships. Vista has not sold well in the enterprise since it shipped.

Forrester Research recently reported that Vista’s business penetration is still in single digits at 9%. The company predicts that number could hit 30% before year-end.

Monday’s recommendation for Vista testers to switch to Window 7 RC could cause that number to drop substantially.

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