Tonight was the start of Tech.Ed Australia 2009. There was a mix of Microsoft and their partners showing off new hardware, software and services.
Attendees got hands on with the game (unreleased), and also got to watch / race against Jamie Whincup and Rick Kelly. I drove in a Lamborghini LP640, Subaru WRX STI and Mitsubishi Evo X on 2 brand new tracks. Unfortunately Microsoft were unable to obtain a recent built of the game, so V8 supercars were unavailable. We did however see the new damage engine, cars roll, graphically I wasn’t blown away, but without seeing the final build, I’d hesitate to judge that at this stage. Overall I was impressed with Forza 3 and hated to give up the controller.
Other games available to be played were Street Fighter IV, Fifa 2009 and Guitar Hero 5.
Intel launch of the Core i5
Before the official embargo is lifted and the product officially deemed ‘released’ attendees got to see the Core i5 in action. The skinny on the i5 is that it will take the place (fairly quickly) of the current Core 2 Quad offerings. The difference with i5 is that it has a turbo mode. This means a single-threaded app will result in the other 3 cores being switched off, while the remaining core is dynamically over clocked, making that app as fast as possible without user intervention.
Core i5 CPU’s will start at A$199.
Windows Mobile 6.5
October 7 2009, is the official release date for Windows Mobile 6.5. Microsoft were showing it off on a HTC handset. After discussing WinMo 6.5, Microsoft’s aim is very clear. They are almost solely aiming at the Enterprise with this release, co-incidentally where the iPhone has yet to dominate. They couldn’t resist a couple of pointy comments about security.
I enquired about the plan for Windows Mobile 7 (due mid-2010), the crux of it is that it’ll have many more consumer oriented features like multi-touch (which they say comes from their surface technology, not a response to the iPhone). Integration with Zune was also discussed, and as you’d expect Microsoft need to build the services associated with that device in Australia, before introducing it here, or integrating into Windows Mobile.
Wave 4 of Windows Live is scheduled for mid next year. Nothing confirmed, but multi-chat conversations could potentially add multi-video conversations.
Whilst exact numbers aren’t released by Microsoft, I was told Bing accounts for around 25% of Australian search. Anyone who’s used the US version of Bing will know their shopping, travel and review sections are awesome features lacking from Bing Australia. I enquired if there’s plans for correct this and indeed there is. Look for movement in this area shortly.
While it’s not a massive diversion from previous years, Microsoft have made a good start to this years Tech.Ed conference. So that’s about it, I had a great evening, meet some twitter-famous people for the first time in-person. Word on the street is that most attendees are enjoying their netbooks. Goodnight.