The 20th anniversary of Microsoft’s TechEd North America kicked off with a keynote showcasing Windows Server 2012, Windows Azure, Visual Studio 2012, and SQL Server 2012. They should have renamed it the Windows Azure hour, though.
A cloud-based infrastructure back end was included in 90% of the demos. These demos included:
- System Center 2012 migrating virtual machines seamlessly from a local data center to 3rd party service provider
- The process of creating virtual machines in Windows Azure
- The act of deploying web and mobile applications to Windows Azure directly from VS 2012 with one click
- Using SQL Server 2012’s Powerview to break down 140,000 movie tweets (I believe stored in a Hadoop cluster on Windows Azure though the presenter was unclear) into useful information for a movie theater owner looking to maximize revenue.
Of all the demos, the last demo (Powerview) was my favorite because of the clear business use case. Azure now supports a couple of Linux distributions. Microsoft will be competitive as a Windows IAAS provider, but I don’t envision Microsoft capturing market share by incorporating Linux into Windows Azure.
The Good: Microsoft’s cloud push, Powerview demo
The Bad: Using apple emulators with Visual Studio, Linux on Windows Azure, demo gremlins
The Rating: All that said, I’d give the keynote a 3/5.