I spent yesterday at Microsoft’s Interact 2009 event, which was a fantastic opportunity to meet with representatives from the Exchange Server and Office Communications Server groups at Microsoft as well as to network with MVPs, key customers and other people that Microsoft considers influential in the Unified Communications (UC) space. Through 7 hours of workshops, a variety of topics were covered (some live, some via video links) providing feedback to Microsoft on product direction as well as receiving guidance on implement the technologies.
Those who know me of old (long before the days of blogging) will remember the youthful consultant who used to know a fair amount about Active Directory and Exchange Server. These days I’m more of a generalist (with less hair, slowly turning grey) but I still enjoy going back to my messaging roots and Interact allowed me to bring myself up to speed around the upcoming release of Exchange Server and the current release of Office Communications Server (OCS).
Today, is the day when Microsoft will officially announce Exchange Server 2010 (formerly known just by its version number – Exchange 14), along with general availability of the beta and, time-permitting, I hope to write a few posts over the coming weeks with a general UC (Exchange and OCS) focus, starting out with an overview of the new features in Exchange Server 2010.
Finally, for this post, I thought I’d share some pictures from yesterday evening’s event in Reading (which, along with the other pictures in this post were supplied by Microsoft UK courtesy of Eileen Brown). I don’t know what was planned for Redmond and Boston but, over here, one of the meeting rooms in building 3 on the Microsoft UK Campus was converted to a “traditional English pub”. We had a bar serving warm beer (in the form of bottles of London Pride), which caused some confusion for at least one senior ‘softie from “Corp” (there was chilled lager available too, as well as wine and a selection of soft drinks!), as well as a simulated fireplace, a darts board, various items of pub paraphernalia, picnic tables on a “terrace” outside and also some modern accompaniments – such as Xbox 360 kiosks, Air Hockey and Table Football – with a 1950’s jukebox thrown in for good measure!