TechEd Europe Keynote: Cloud, Phone, Windows, Cloud, and more Cloud

Welcome to TechEd Europe 2010 Keynote with Brad Anderson where the theme was cloud, phone, server updates, and more cloud!



I just flew into Berlin and after dropping off my bags am now sitting watching the TE EU keynote. There’s a lot of great stuff being shown. For example, Brandon Watson showed off some new Win Phone 7 apps from Tesco, Allocine and eBay—latter is shown below.


Brandon also walked through the developer experience for Windows Phone 7, which is awesome. I’ve built out a couple of apps using the Express tools, and the experience is second to none; the tools are free, easy to use (especially if you’ve coded using Silverlight before), and you can create some very compelling apps. Interesting stat that was mentioned was 600 apps currently in marketplace, and the announce of Windows Phone 7 hitting the US market today.

Screenshots below of the developer experience and the emulator that lets you test your code. It’s very easy to get started.



To summarize the experience with the new Windows Phone 7, Brad said that Win Phone 7 is a “remarkable device and [it’s] amazingly easy to get started.” Users want to work how, when and where they want, and Win Phone 7 puts the user at the center of the experience.

More central to this blog, it was also great to finally see the first E2E demo of Office 365. We’ve shown bits and pieces (I showed SharePoint Online last week), but David Anderson (with some help from Chris Mayo) shows a great walkthrough of collaboration using Office 365 (which is a software as a service and accelerates the time to take advantage of Office).

Here are some screenshots of some of the things that were shown.

Office 365 Administration page.


page


Ability to quickly provision a site collection through the Administration console.


Ability to federate the provisioning out to an extranet partner scenario.


Adding user’s email as the point of federation.


Enabling Lync for the federated partner (Chris Mayo)


Once partner has been enabled, they can then collaborate on documents, as is shown below.


Finally, Office Web Applications provides a way to engage in browser-based document viewing and editing.


After discussing software as a service, Brad then focused on infrastructure as a service and closed with platform as a service.

Within infrastructure as a service, he announced Hyper-V Cloud, which are services, partners, resources, and infrastructure to help customers and partners to get private clouds deployed. Included with this announcement is the fast-track program ( to institute rapid deployment of your own private cloud.


Along the theme of managing private cloud and cloud resources, Greg Jensen then showed some of the newness in System Center, which is shown in the below screenshots (first is managing your cloud resources and the second is creating a new HR service template).



With a service template created (and appropriate configuration and properties set), the HR Admin can now add cloud applications using the service template. Also interesting was where Greg flipped personas and showed that the HR Admin can only see their application/resources as opposed to others who may also be deploying apps/services on that private cloud.


Brad then transitioned into talking about platform as a service; that is, Windows Azure. To provide some details on Azure, he invited James Conard to come out and talk to some of the new features of Windows Azure (see screenshot below) such as the long-awaited VM Role and extra small instances for smaller CPU/service usage scenarios.


James showed the new Fabrikam Azure services demo, where he showed access control service, data caching service to improve responses and performance, and other Azure service features.


Here’s a screenshot of James entering some data into the Azure Fabrikam application.


He also showed a preview of the Azure Developer portal, which looks great! The new portal gives you more granular management and views of your various activities.


James closed his demo by showing some of the new tooling features such as script start-ups and reusability of skills through things like entity framework model. I’ve been using Azure for a while, so I’m looking forward to getting a deeper use of the developer portal and the tools—which James mentioned would be out before the end of the year.


All in all, lots of great things were shown in today’s keynote. I saw the culmination of a lot of the work that has been happening around cloud, phone, productivity, and windows in the keynote—it was great to see good progress on a lot of these fronts.

I’ll update you more throughout the week!