Day 3 at the WPC. Steve Oliver Reports

Today’s keynote by Andy Lees, Corporate Vice President, Server and Tools Marketing, had a pronounced emphasis on Windows SBS 2003 R2. Andy played a crazy video clip spoof on “The Davinci Code” that was all about the “Green Check” that got a chuckle out of most people in attendance.

My role today was to assist the fabulous Beatrice Mulzer in conducting an SBS R2 Hands On lab. She did excellently; in fact, so well I actually forgot she isn’t a member of the SBS Product team! I ended up finishing 1 for 1 as I failed on a complex licensing question that one of the students asked, but scored on debunking that never-dying myth, “You can’t have an additional domain controller in an SBS network.”

Back on the Expo floor, and up in the SBS Lounge, I ran into a “Who’s who” of famed SBS'ers: Vlad of, Dean Calvert, SBS MVP, Harry Brelsford, proprietor of the SMB Nation, David Schrag, of, Susanne Dansey, SBS community leader extraordinaire (, and of course, Beatrice Mulzer, now VP of SMB Nation, whom I had assisted in the Hands On lab session. One thing was reinforced to me through all these interactions: there is a high demand for solutions based documentation in the SBS space. SBS'ers as a whole, tend to be more focused on docs that explain how to do “x”, where “x” is a popular SBS technology solution, as opposed to docs that attempt to thoroughly educate users on this or that technology. As an example, I think 90% of the questions I fielded during one hour on the floor were around solutions involving CRM and SBS. SQL on SBS was a close second. This makes total sense when you consider that SBS is preeminently a small business solution, not just “a server.” The long and short of it is that partners want documentation that explains how to “get ‘er done.”
At the end of the day, we finished the “Wear to win campaign” where attendees that wore the “Green Check” T-shirts on the Expo floor, received a coupon for a free copy of SBS R2 Standard Edition. There were a ton of partners on the floor and the action was fast and furious! I saw a lot of happy faces when they received their coupons for a free copy of the product! Tomorrow promises to be just as exciting as we have several SBS demos/talks happening…

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