2,000 people help UK launch VS/SQL/BTS

It's happened: The main customer launch event for the UK took place yesterday, Nov 8th. It was a fantastic day for us, with 1,500 technical people and 500 "decision makers" (CxO, IT Manager, etc), two keynotes, a host of developer and IT Pro sessions, hands-on labs, "ask the experts areas", "chalk & talk session", partner booths, executive breakfasts and lunches...it was a full day!

If you were there I'd love to hear your feedback, if you weren't you can watch the technical keynote webcast here.

Of course, the show goes on: We're in London Monday and Tuesday next week (14th, 15th), Harrogate on the 22nd and Edinburgh on Dec 7th, overall reaching about 6,000 people in the UK.

Comments (7)
  1. K says:

    Have to say I was disappointed. The keynote screen was so blurry it couldn’t watch it for more than a few minutes and what’s with that support act?

    Even though I’d pre-booked, the talks I attended had too many people in them so I had to sit on the floor, and then the speaker didn’t have a microphone so was almost inaudible.

    I left early, skipping the software giveaway, a bit of a waste of time in all.

    Nice venue, poor execution.

  2. Ian Moulster says:

    Thanks for the feedback K, and really sorry to hear that you had a bad experience.

    Maybe I’m bound to say this but your comments do seem to be at odds with other feedback we’ve received from delegates (eg verbatim comment "The demonstration was informative and I have left the event (today) excited and invigorated in my role as a software developer").

    However that isn’t meant to diminish the validity of your comments: I’ll absolutely pass your comments on to the launch team, and thanks for letting us know.

    If you’d like the software pack drop me an email with your delegate details and I’ll ensure you get one.

  3. Stephen Veiss says:

    I’m a little ambivalent over the event. I didn’t learn all that much from the keynote – but I’ve been fiddling with the betas and following the blogs, so I didn’t expect to hear all that much new.

    The hands-on labs were useful, as was the ask the experts area, and it was nice to see at least a couple of people there from the MS UK Academic team. Most of the vendors exhibiting were targeting towards enterprise-class customers, which I probably should have expected, but it would have been nice to see some things useful to a skint student.

    The only session I wanted to attend was on Writing Secure Code, which despite registering for that session online, I wasn’t able to see. Apparently, some people without the correct badge had been let in, and around six people were turned away because the room was too full. The conference staff have promised to send me any notes or materials from that session, so hopefully I’ll get a chance to look over the material later.

    I did pick up the voucher for the software, and picked up some useful information from the experts and a couple of the vendors, so the trip was worthwhile… but I do think it could have been a little better organised.

  4. K says:

    Ian I may take you up on that offer. The Register has a similar take on the launch – "This week’s VSTS launch used dated, and rather loud, rock music to cast developers in the mold of rock stars…" [http://www.theregister.co.uk/2005/11/09/microsoft_testers_criticism/].

    I’m just pleased I had somewhere to pass on my feedback.

  5. Ian Moulster says:


    Sorry you weren’t able to get into the "writing secure code" session (despite booking), I have passed your comments re logistics to the events team so we can tighten it up for London etc.

    The session was run by my colleague Paul Maher who has just posted a blog entry –http://blogs.msdn.com/paul_maher/archive/2005/11/11/491718.aspx – that may help fill in some of the gaps.

    If you don’t get the rest of the material you were expecting let me know and I’ll follow it up.


  6. Mike says:

    Following up on the comments by K and Stephen.

    Given that VS and SQL have been knocking around in CTP form for quite a while but had only recently been released the launch was likely to be attended by;

    1) Some folks who’d seen the stuff before and quite a lot of it.

    2) Some folks who were brand new to it as they don’t do "previews" – just like I never did when I worked as a dev.

    My own view is that the event probably did ok for the people in category (2) but I’m guessing that you chaps are more in (1).

    My question then is – what should we do for you chaps at similar events in the future?

    Is it about having more depth sessions to poke around in CLR 2.0 or ADO.NET 2.0 or System.Transactions or whatever topic?

    Or…is it something else?

  7. K says:

    Mike. My issues were mainly with the organisation and overall presentation as opposed to the content. Looking through the list of available sessions I’d say you offered a pretty good mix.

    I felt the keynote was a bit of a mess, almost as if the presenter never spent anytime with the guys doing the demos. The main content targeted at "decision makers", the BizTalk demo targeted at experienced developers and a Web Developer demo which seemed to be aimed at 4 year-olds. It didn’t flow nicely.

    In general I objected to the whole "rock music" thing – you’re not releasing a new MP3 player after all.

    Thanks for asking though.

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