Despite being evacuated from the facility for a fire in an electrical room, the recent TS2 event sponsored by Microsoft was a great learning experience. Highlights of the event included the entire presentation runninng on Windows Vista Beta, Microsoft's new Windows platform launching in early 2007. Despite earlier claims that everyone would have to upgrade all of thier hardware to partake, Vista will ship in 32bit versions taking advantage of todays most recent PC and laptop purchases.
The 2007 Office (not Office 2007 - huh?) has drastic menu changes, but very intuitive, better use of screen space, faster formatting, and a new document standard based on xml that allows anyone to view a document without having to have that version of Office. In fact you don't even need Office at all since it is an Internet enabled format. Despite the late relase date, you can still make Office 2003 pay for itself in less than 8 hours of your time (that's how much simpler it is to use) and I can even show you a way to get a FREE UPGRADE to 2007 Office when it comes out.
R2 version of Small Business Server 2003 is mostly full of the latest Service Packs for the first version. However the Premium version does include SQL 2005. The new branch office support allows the setup of a "Virtual Server" that synchronized shared data, so no matter what office you are in, you see the exact same things. Seamless failover is included so users stay connected even when the local server or Internet connection drops.
Many more topics and demo's where discussed. I didn't win any books or CD's, but all in all it was a great event.
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