Technically it began yesterday for those in deep dive training sessions, but today marks the official opening of Microsoft’s Tech.Ed 2011 conference. Held again on the sunny Gold Coast, the action starts with a Keynote at 4:30pm this afternoon.
This is a strange year for Tech.Ed, the current stage in product cycles means that while we may be keen to know more about Microsoft products and services, they may not be able to speak about a number of them.
In the Windows division, Windows 7 has been out for a few years now, with most consumers and businesses now having made the move. The attention has certainly turned to what’s coming in Windows 8, however there’s unlikely to be any breaking news ahead of the Build conference next month.
Office is in a similar position with most of those who are going to implement Office 2010, having already made the move. Those who were happy with office 2007 will stay there till Office 2012 arrives. On that note, there’s been almost no news about the next version of Office.
On the Mobile side of things the timing is also intriguing. Windows Phone 7 is still trying to gain the mind share of the mainstream public. While the most important update WP7.5 or better known as Mango is in developers hands, it’s not yet being discussed at length. Hopefully we get to see and go hands-on with some more of those 500 new features. There’s still no word on an official release date for Mango, but its expected to go close to the timing of iOS5, around late September, or early October. Remember the first Mango device has shipped, leaving the big question about distribution to existing WP7 owners. We can only hope that Microsoft learnt and has rectified the process after the disaster of the last major update.
It is understood that Visual Studio Next (VSNext) will be demo’d at the conference. Attendees will also get the chance to go hands-on with the unreleased, no delayed Star Wars Kinect.
Look out for lots of content from Tech.Ed 2011 right here on techAU. Be sure to follow #auteched on twitter for all the updates.
This year, the developer and it pro sections of the keynote have been split into separate sessions prior to the main keynote. This was based on feedback from previous years.
Disclaimer: techAU is attending Tech.Ed as a guest of Microsoft.
More info @ Tech.Ed