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TechEd 2006 The one advantage of delivering an uninspiring keynote is that it is very unlikely to inspire a myth or legend that I can later have fun imploding, but that was the task that seemed to be set for Bob Muglia and Ray Ozzie at the Microsoft TechED keynote here in Boston.

It was short on technology and long on promises; with a total of four promises forming the cornerstone of their fundament-numbing two and a half hour introduction to TechED 2006: Advance the business with IT solutions manage complexity, achieve agility, protect information, control access, amplify the impact of your people

In many ways these sound more like mission statements than promises; being almost impossible to quantify. Can you come up with a KPI that measures PIA (Person Impact Amplification)?

There was some meat for developers in the form of ‘smoking’ demos of new software. For example the beta of Exchange Server 2007 will be available by the end of July and will include new features like searching on the mobile device.

There was also one new product announced, Forefront. This is essentially a set of products that provide a suite of security products across client and server. The first Microsoft Forefront products will be called Forefront Client Security and is hoped to be in open beta by Q4 2006.

In addition TechED delegates were given an insight into the new Windows Server Virtualization technologies that can, for example, reallocate memory to virtual servers on the fly.

Incidentally we know the demos were ‘smoking’ because that’s how Mary Lynn Rajskub described them. Mary Lynn plays the high-tech guru Chloe O'Brien in the television series ‘24’. She added some badly needed light relief to an otherwise somewhat uninspiring keynote.®

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