Toronto - A Success; See You In Ottawa!

What a fantastic day!  I'm back in my hotel after a pretty long, but very good day.  Up this morning at the crack of dawn and over to the Toronto Congress Centre for the VS 2005, SQL 2005 and BizTalk launch events.  This was the first of a 10 city Canadian launch tour, and it was fantastic!  Over 4,000 people, one of the biggest product launches in Canada. EVAR.  ;)

The day was kicked off by the president of Microsoft Canada, who then turned the stage over to Craig Symonds, the General Manager of Visual Studio (and fellow Canadian).  The excitement level for the keynote wasn't as high as I would have hoped, but it was pretty fantastic.  We had some GREAT presentations, and really cool videos and lots of very informative stuff.  I didn't realize how powerful and how BIG a change SQL Server 2005 was.  Sure, I knew it was this big cool thing, but wow, that sucker ROCKS!

Post keynote, the "experts" all headed into the pavilion where we had an opportunity to talk to you!  We answered tonnes of questions, and there were lots of you with ASP.NET questions, which was great!  I was able to answer most of them, and if I couldn't I did give out a few business cards so that people can contact me to get more info about what they need. 

The top 3 questions I had for the day were:

  1. ASP Classic to ASP.NET migration - how the heck do you do it?
  2. What is the story on moving web parts from VS2005 to SPS or SPS to VS2005
  3. What's Atlas or what is Microsoft's AJAX story. 

One of the coolest things was being able to answer these questions and get people excited about VS2005 and ASP.NET 2.0.  Lots of people who have read my blog are familiar with ASP.NET 2.0.  But lots of the launch event atendee's were familiar with ASP and haven't done much ASP.NET work, so they have some interesting work ahead of them.  But they now have a product team contact, and they love that.

At the end of the day, they got a few of us up on stage, in front of a few hundred people and let them throw questions at us.  I'm a bit of an attention junkie. I love being on stage and having an opportunity to either present things, or answer questions, and so to the guy who asked about master pages today.  Thanks :)  Sorry I couldn't give you the answer you wanted (you can't nest master pages in design time, but you can in runtime).  And to the few others who gave me an opportunity to speak, thanks!  I enjoyed!

Tomorrow I'm heading up to Ottawa.  I'll be at the MVP event at the Microsoft Office tomorrow evening, so if you're there, say hi!  Or, if you're at the launch event on Thursday, be sure to find me!

Oh yah, pictures.  I took a few but haven't posted them yet.  The launch team here is posting a bunch of htem on flicker at so be sure to check that out!