Tuesday, September 27, 2016

My findings on Microsoft Ignite 2016 day 1 (Keynote and Event) recap

Day 1 in Atlanta was somewhat expected but not what I hoped for. The day was starting with the keynote (part 1), where part 2 was presented end of day. With around 23.000 attendees (which is equal as last year) it was full house! Within the Philips Arena itself there was plenty of space left, which is strange because there is room for 18.000 people as mentioned on Wikipedia. My guess is there were around 10.000-12.000 people at maximum :-)

Speakers were Julia White, Satya Nadella, Scott Guthrie, Donovan Brown and Laura Jones. No names like Joe Belfiore, Gurdeep Singh Pall or Brad Anderson this time. Instead of other keynotes before, Wi-Fi was working great this time. Even during the keynote opening, which is very pleasant! Point is, there were some announcements mentioned, but no technology demo's on them. Instead of that a lot of Microsoft marketing and topics like cloud solutions and artificial intelligence were mentioned. And that's pity if you get what I mean.

Julia White on stage

Announcements were done on the following products or solutions:
-Windows Server 2016 is GA (Download)
-System Center 2016 is GA (Download)
-Azure Monitoring dashboard, for overview
-Delve Analytics Outlook add-in for email statistics 
-Surface hub stormboard app, offers new features

-Windows Defender Application Guard for Edge browser

Furthermore the following was mentioned during the first keynote:
-IT stands for Innovation and Transformation
-Azure in 34 regions now, 2 times more as Amazon AWS
-Azure platform is growing strong says Gartner
-Windows 10 running on 400 million devices now
-MS Edge is the most secure browser for enterprises
-Cortana has 133 million users, 12 billion questions

Small moment of fame

Besides of that I went to two sessions on Windows 10 functionality and deployment. Both were level 200, which is kind of marketing level with a bit of tech information. More information on that in a next blogpost. No interesting information on Windows Server 2016, System Center 2016, Enterprise Mobility and/or MS Intune at all which is odd.

The Georgia World Congress Center itself is a really huge place, with lot's of floors and escalators. Many of them were malfunction for a while too. When moving between sessions, Expo hall or Food service, it is possible that a 20-30 minutes walk is needed. When a session is overbooked, it's almost impossible to be on-time for another one. That's the downside of an event with so many attendees. Back in the days of Microsoft Management Summit (MMS), with around 5.000 attendees this was never a problem at all.

Bus transfers are great, you never have to wait for transfers to Microsoft Ignite conference or hotel. Point of discussion is there is no paper conference guide this time, it's all mobile driven now. When you use your phone a lot for tweeting too (like me), you must load your battery during the day. Unfortunately you must really search for that, where it's not possible to load during the sessions. Between the sessions there is less time in between, which given a (partly)missed session to be battery loaded again.

My overall feeling after day 1 with two keynotes is somewhat expected but not what I hoped for (as mentioned earlier). Because Microsoft is talking about Mobile-first, Cloud-first and Azure solutions only, there's no feeling with new on-premises solutions and features like Windows Server 2016 and/or System Center 2016. Count that with long walks and bad lunch, and you have a kind of superficial day. Hope that next days (with more tech sessions) will be much better!

Stay tuned for more information on this.

More blogposts on Microsoft Ignite:
My scheduled sessions and product focus on Microsoft Ignite 2016

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