Attended Microsoft / Intel event on Friday

This was a whole day event that was put on and made available to partners of Intel or Microsoft.  I’m signed up for both.   This was the first one I’ve been to that I had to pay $50 to attend.  Intel’s training events have been called ICC’s in the past.  The information was interesting, but not worth paying $50 bucks for.  A couple of subscriptions to IT magazines and nowhere near the time would have been a far better use of the time (and money).

The one thing I did pick up that would be of interest to me was the Intel Xeon 5100 Woodcrests are dual core and priced competitively.  I still need to find some pricing on the total solution, but I might like to get one.  My next server needs to support virtualization and four actual cores.  I want to use it to run a bunch of servers on in a virtualized environment running Virtual Server 2005 R2.

The information on Vista wasn’t new stuff.  I was pretty disappointed with it really.  It was the same content I’d seen at TS2’s and in webcasts.  I signed up for the after-the-show Vista demo on a bunch of Intel VBI notebooks.  Problem was, the systems were equipped with VPC’s running Vista.  They were very slow and painfully annoying.  Almost everything we demo’d we’d seen at the event, or at a TS2 or on a webcast.  I went through most of the content and left at 8:00pm.  I was glad I did.

Seagate was showing off a new hybrid drive for laptops that uses flash memory as a cache for the 5400rpm drive.  It’s supposed to provide a huge performance advantage and power savings.  I’d definately be interested in seeing this technology in action.  I’m fairly sure it wasn’t in use on the laptops we were using.  I talked to the rep at the show and he said he expected the technology will make its way to 3.5″ drives.  If they could build the same thing into a CF sized drive with 1G or so, it might be possible to get a HD based portable media player that would last for a week on a charge.  I could really get into that!

The coolest thing about the day was the opportunity to talk to a high-level muckety-muck from Microsoft about the OEM program.  I got to vent my spleen about partners getting not getting RTM bits of Vista and Office 12 until April or so.  I explained the situation with the Action Pack’s quarterly shipments and that we’ll just have gotten the January shipment when it releases to the public, so we’ll probably not get the bits until April.  He seemed surprised by that.  Even more so when the Microsoft guy, Bret, sat down at the table and confirmed everything that I’d just told him.  Maybe they’ll get something going and get it to us earlier.  I still haven’t gotten the SBS 2003 R2 from being on the beta for that over the summer.  Supposedly, as a Microsoft partner, I’m part of the “sales force” for Microsoft, but I won’t get to play with the RTM software until 3 months after general availability of the product.  Bummer.

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