March 4, 2008: Microsoft’s East Coast Launch Event

Today is the New York City launch of the Microsoft 2008 product line. The official initial launch was held in Los Angeles last week but today was the kick off of the east coast tour. For those of you who have never been to a Microsoft launch event it includes all day seminars and classes in a variety of technical areas. This year the launch is for Windows Server 2008, Visual Studio 2008 and SQL Server 2008. I have been to launches previously in 2003 and 2005. I find them to be very valuable to get a quick snapshot of where Microsoft is heading for the next two to three years. It is an all day event, though, and rather exhausting.

I had to get up and get out the door even earlier than I normally would even when going into the office on the early side. The event was held at the Sheraton at seventh avenue and fifty-third. That means that I had to take the PATH to the World Trade Center and then the “E” train to seventh avenue. That meant that it took longer to get there than my usual walk to Wall Street and they wanted people to be there as early as a quarter after seven in the morning which was pretty early. I was shooting for a little closer to eight.

The morning keynote was pretty good and we got to see one of the Microsoft Technical Fellows speak and saw several demonstrations. We were provided a breakfast – orange, blueberry muffin, granola bar and orange juice. Then we had the morning technical session which ran until a quarter after one in the afternoon. We ate lunch during the session since I was in the “lengthy” morning session that had no scheduled lunch break. They provided a grilled vegetable sandwich, pretzels, red delicious apple and a Milky Way candy car.

I did get a short break between the sessions mid-afternoon so I hiked across seventh avenue to 810 Deli & Cafe to grab a large coffee and a tuna and avocado wrap before returning to the next session. I needed some caffeine to keep me going.

The afternoon session ran until just after five. All of the other sessions only went until four but I tend to be ambitious. The crowd had dwindled significantly by the time that we were leaving.

I beat Dominica and Oreo home but just five minutes. She came home and cooked dinner.

Dominica picked up Munchkin Cthulhu by Steve Jackson Games today. She has been dying to get her hands on card games for several days now.

On Sunday while hanging out with Ramona and Winni, Ramona was talking about sailing in the British Virgin Islands and mentioned this hilarious British red callbox that had been converted into a shower and installed at the end of a dock where they had, appropriately, docked. I said that I thought that that sounded exactly like the cover of Simon Winchester’s book “Outposts” which I had just read a few weeks ago – possibly while Ramona was in BVI. So I sent her a picture of the book and she identified it as the very same callbox. Now there is an incredible coincidence. Such a tiny, unremarkable spot on the face of the planet and I didn’t have a clue where that picture was taken and for her to actually have been there just a week ago and to be talking about it – madness, as they say in Belfast.

We ate dinner and watched some It’s A Different World and then I had to get to work to make up a bunch of things that didn’t get completed today because I was at the Microsoft show. So I worked about two hours until a bit after eleven. Dominica played more of MySims while I worked.

We had another Amazon order arrived today. I received “Interface Oriented Design”, “More News from Lake Wobegon” Audio CDs and the fourth season of Allo, Allo from the BBC circa 1987.

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