Windows 7 Irish Technical Community Launch – Week 1
The first leg of the Windows 7 Community Launch is over, not without some issues but at the same time some great success. This week we visited Galway and Cork to deliver presentations on Windows 7, Windows Server 2008 R2 and Exchange 2010; as well as continuing our Microsoft @ Home evening sessions.
We took a very different approach to the delivery of the content for this tour, our goal was DEMO, DEMO, DEMO witha little PowerPoint to explain the story as the day went along. The upside to this is we are showing you the technology, not just telling you about it….but this can lead to some issues as demos like real life IT environments are prone to issues at times…this is why we all have jobs!
I thought it would be fun to keep a short diary of the events of the week and some of the lead up, it really shows how much preparation goes into a tour like this. This tour would not have been successful without the support of our friends over at Dell and I would like to thank them for the great support in getting us some servers and an iSCSI storage to run the server demos from.
For the 2 weeks leading up to the tour, Dave Northey and I spent every day locked in a conference room with a series of servers and desktops working out the delivery details of the tour while continuing to go out make presentations to customer, partners and internal staff. About a month ago Dave and I sat down and explained to everyone involved that we wanted to make this Launch event about the products and how they really worked. We invited Aidan Finn, Virtualization MVP to help present.
Sunday the 27th
We pack up all the servers, desktops and other materials into a couple of vehicles and travel down to Galway to begin the process of setting up. At this stage we ware still working through the process of getting the iSCSI storage setup at 3:00 AM from my hotel room/datacenter. We were working with 4 servers, 1 SAN, and a series of PC’s, laptops, home servers, Xbox, and cables all over the place. Aidan took a photo which Dave Northey showed to the audience the following afternoon to show how much work had gone into this
Monday the 28th - Galway
We were still finalizing some of the demos as the opening presentations were being made, but that is really what made this tour so much fun. The first session was a fantastic start with 158 people in attendance, the largest session we have ever had in Galway! The crowd was enthusiastic and asked plenty of great questions, making the event fun for all involved. The demos all went went well, the demo gods were on our side!
Also of interest was the presentation by the European Development Center (EDC) guys who revealed that Windows 7 was a global development effort in Redmond, Dublin, Haifa, India and Tokyo. Shay did a great job highlighting the features that were developed in Dublin and showing that Windows is an international product. He demoed the Themes available for different locations that were created here in Dublin.
The Windows @ Home session in the evening was equally as positive. 58 people came out in the evening for an open discussion and demo on Windows 7, Media Center, Windows Home Server PP3 and Xbox in the connected home. Everyone had a great time with plenty of positive feedback throughout the night and the surprise give-away of an Xbox 360 Elite ended the night on a high.
Tuesday the 29th
We pack up all of the servers, desktops, cabling and related gear and head to Cork to do it all again. Upon arrival we revise the order of the day and add a few more feature demos into the script as we learn from each show and constantly evolve the presentation to make it the best possible. We head out to the Indian Princess for a team meal with Anthony Crotty from University College Cork, tremendous Indian feast (I like it HOT!!!!).
Wednesday the 30th – Cork
Another great day of presenting. The demos were for the most part solid but we experienced some difficulty with the PowerShell demo after I turned on word wrap in notepad to make the text larger for display on the screen, resulting in some cut and paste issue in the PowerShell window :( We worked it out after to a few minutes of “trouble” dancing. 151 people came out and after a quiet start, got involved near the end with some great questions and observations. Plenty of questions during the break and after the show on the MDT, Direct Access and Branch Cache demos we showcased on the day.
One of those in attendance was Fr. Kevin (below), a Franciscan monk. He nearly lost the faith with Vista but he is already “evangelizing” the good word of Windows 7. We couldn’t resist the photo opp :)
‘After Vista and its faults I really am excited by windows 7 and look forward to using it. I call my computer my wife - windows 7 will add new life to my computer !! thank you. Thank you to your team for also showing a human face to Microsoft - it really was impressive’
The Windows @ Home session in Cork was the best one we have ever had. 134 people came out for the evening event. They were very enthusiastic and asked what seemed like an endless stream of questions. They really liked the Problem Step Recorder feature of Windows 7, resulting in plenty of conversation on this feature and how it could be used. Everyone had a great time with plenty of positive feedback throughout the night and the surprise give-away of an Xbox 360 Elite again ended the night on a high.
Thursday the 1st
We pack up all of the servers, desktops, cabling and related gear and head to Dublin for a session with some of the influential bloggers and tweeters on technology in the Irish market. This was a fun event as it was completely different from anything we have done in the past. This was a great opportunity as many of the people in the room would not be Microsoft supporters, so very good questions and in the end I think we had some Windows 7 converts!
Next up Belfast and Dublin!
Join us at the Windows 7 Technical Community Launch and be part of Windows history! Windows 7 is launching all over the world in the coming weeks and Microsoft Ireland are offering IT Professionals and Developers in your area, a chance to see the operating system uncovered. R2 of the already successful Windows Server 2008 is also being released - you will learn about the enhanced power of this server platform, along with the added benefits of running the server OS with Windows 7.
...and did I mention, you will receive a free copy of Windows 7 Ultimate Edition at the event?
We are also running a Windows 7 led Microsoft @ Home session in the same venue from 6.30pm to 9.00pm. This event is designed for those of you interested in the more advanced Windows 7 home-user scenarios. It will be a demo-based session covering: Windows 7; Home Server; Media Centre; Windows Live; and using Xbox 360 as a media extender.
Finally, regardless of whether or not you can make the launch event, why not take a few minutes to share your Windows 7 experience and win a Toshiba netbook, with the Windows 7 Experience7 Contest.
Experience7 is an opportunity for you to show us what your Windows 7 experience is like and what sort of PC you installed it on - ancient, new, or somewhere in-between! The highest Windows Experience Index and the most “interesting” low Windows Experience Index submissions, will both win a netbook. Give it a go - it’s a bit of fun and there’s loads of nice prizes on offer!
To get started, you can download a Windows 7 Enterprise 90-day Trial. Learn more about the Windows 7 Experience7 Contest @ www.microsoft.ie/experience7
See you out at the next events!
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