TechEd 2005 Recap

If you have not been to a Microsoft conference or event, here is what you missed at last weeks TechEd 2005 – Orlando, Florida…


June 5, 2005 Day 0

I first registered to get my badge for the event. Doing this during the week can take as long as 2 hours, so getting in early is a great idea.


I also get the layout of the Orange County Convention Center (OCCC), which is huge:

3 million square feet for the North and South building which was 100% occupied by TechEd.

950,282 square feet of Exhibition Space.

94 break out rooms

13,000 people attended and needed –

  • 117,000 bottles of water

  • 14,300 lattes

  • 15,600 ice cream bars

  • 4,000 pounds of chips and snack mix

  • 2,300 dozen eggs

  • 8,000 pounds of chicken

  • 52,000 servings of juice

All day instructor lead pre-conference hands on labs, security summit, and MVP all day event. I got lots of great information from these events. I had the opportunity to meet and greet MVPs from around the world and find out what they do and are like.


Next up was the chance to meet some of my favorite authors in the Author’s Reception and Book Signing. While I did not bring a book to have signed, I did chat up a few authors.


Lastly, the MCT welcome reception at night. Having already met MVP’s from around the world during the day, meeting MCT’s from around the world at night rounded off the day nicely.


June 6, 2005 Day 1

Steve Ballmer Keynote – It is always nice to hear what he thinks the future will hold.


Exchange Service Pack 2 was announced and it has a quite a few cool features


  • Increases the size limit for the mailbox database in Exchange Server 2003 Standard Edition from 16 GB to 75 GB. This includes 75 GB for both stores, Mailbox and Public Folder J 

  • Includes a new version of the Offline Address Book that significantly improves performance. 

  • Lots of controls for public folder management – thank you Microsoft. 

  • Allows enforcement of Cached Exchange Mode for Microsoft Office Outlook 2003 clients. 

  • Mobility features – Direct Push and Remote Wipe 

    • Lock devices after 5 minutes

    • Delete all content if the unit is lost or stolen

    • Configure devices over the air 

  • Anti-Spam filtering, Microsoft has added Sender-ID support, anti-phishing filtering, and increased the frequency of updates to SP2.

I found out today from the Exchange group that the /PAE switch will be supported by Exchange from here on out. Paul Bowden announced it Sunday and Microsoft will update existing knowledge base articles very soon, more when I hear more. This is a very interesting turn of events.


June 7, 2005 Day 2

Paul Flessner’s Keynote –

Paul had a few good demos, jokes, and stories. He announced that Microsoft SQL Server 2005 and Visual Studio 2005 would be released November 7, 2005. SQL Server 2005 has a ton of new and exciting features.


One of his demos was with Radio Frequency Identification (RFID), they gave each attendee a sticker that contained an RFID tag embedded in it. I kept mine in case anyone wants to see what it looks like. It only weighs as much as a sticky note – very interesting stuff. He (Paul) demoed how RFID and Visual Studio 2005 could be used to track people or objects. The demo was kind of scary but still an interesting insight into the possible future.


Lastly, Microsoft gave everyone a free copy (via a code) of SQL Server 2005 Standard Edition.


June 8, 2005 Day 3

Monday (during the Keynote) Windows Server Update Service was officially released and I picked up a CD of it today. has all the details. It’s about a 127 MB download.


June 9, 2005 Day 4

I spent sometime today learning about SQL Server 2005 ( and how we can move to it when it’s released. The Microsoft SQL booth had free SQL Server 2005 Upgrade Advisor beta CD’s. If you have used either of the Best Practices Analyzer’s then you know the interface. It walks you through your current SQL installs and tells you upgrade paths to 2005.


With 2005 you can even move from Oracle without all the hassle. I had a nice long talk the Microsoft Product Manager for that product today.


June 10, 2005 Day 5

The Windows Server Clustering Group held a Cabana session today that was excellent. A Cabana session is an open forum, open room, open format for one-on-many direct question and answers. Elden Christensen talked about the many benefits of Windows Server 2003 SP1 to clustering and some of the exciting futures of Longhorn and beyond. GPT ( GUID Partition Table (GPT) is really going to take off an allow servers many benefits. 64-bit Operating Systems and Applications are being discussed in almost every session. One presenter this week went so far as saying that you won’t be able to buy a 32-bit machine within the next 24 months, I really doubt that, but it is very interesting information or vision from Microsoft. has what you can do with GPT on 64-bit technology and today with the 32-bit SP1 install; you get some of the exact same features.


June 11, 2005 Day 6

All week I have been attending sessions on Security, Windows Server 2003 R2, Exchange, SQL, and Clustering. Lots of great information, way too much to recap in full, hence the highlights listed here. Overall an excellent week that feed my brain with lots of information.


TechEd features:

  • Cabana’s/Communities – were you can sit and talk to the Microsoft Experts for a given field, though Virtual Server was not at the show. This is by far the most popular thing at the show.

  • 400 Break out sessions – you name a topic, it was covered.

  • Hand on Labs – Excellent idea, all lead and manned by MCTs.

  • Instructor lead labs – A great way to learn new technologies.

  • Discounted MCP Exams – 50%, a very nice chunk of change.

  • MCP Study Hall – with practice tests.

  • Exhibition area – with lots of vendor information and freebies for the kids.

  • Communication Network – were attendees can send email to others (though the Global Address List is sorted by first name and nothing other then name is populated), post information in TechEd Public Folders, and learn about event changes.

  • Free shuttles – to/from local hotels and to the airport after the event is over.

  • Company store – to buy books, gadgets, and clothes.

  • Free Expresso’s, Smoothies, Donuts, Pepsi, and lots of healthy and unhealthy snacks – Plus my personal favorite bottled water.

  • Birds of Feather – nightly group gathers of your peers, no matter what peers you have       .

  • Jam Sessions – only held a few nights this year, but basically a free for all music session with fellow attendees.

  • Tech Ed Bloggers – blogging about the event.

  • Wireless network access – which I never use, it’s unsecured, had numerous complaints as to it availability and speed, and a pen and paper work nicely so taking a tablet PC/laptop/wireless device is simply not needed.

  • Xbox gaming center – when I tried it, 50% of the boxes were frozen or dead, the rest were full.

 Miscellaneous TechEd Information:

Steve’s Keynote:


TechEd 2005 Webcasts:




I will post some pictures later…

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